US Marshal Job Description and Career Opportunities in Virginia

The United States Marshals Service (USMS), as the law enforcement arm of the federal judiciary, is tasked with fulfilling law enforcement duties, including witness protection, judicial security, tactical operations, and criminal investigations.

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Given its involvement in federal crimes and its partnership with state and local law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prosecution of dangerous and violent criminals at all levels, it comes as no surprise that the USMS in Virginia frequently makes headlines in this state:

  • February 11, 2014: The U.S. marshals in Virginia arrested an individual who was wanted by the Richmond City Police Department regarding a violent shooting that occurred on January 16. The individual in question was charged with shooting the victim three times in the head during a robbery.
  • January 31, 2014: The U.S. marshals in Virginia successfully captured an individual wanted in Denton County on charges of aggravated sexual assault of a minor.
  • January 22, 2014: The U.S. marshals in Virginia successfully captured an individual wanted by the USMS for a violation regarding his supervised release.
  • January 8, 2014: The U.S. marshals in Virginia announced the capture of a Norfolk man who was wanted on a number of serious charges against a minor child, including abduction, sodomy, indecent liberties, indecent exposure, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
  • December 18, 2013: The U.S. marshals in Virginia arrested a man who was wanted in Norfolk for aggravated sexual battery of a victim under the age of 13.

The USMS in Virginia is divided into two districts:

  • Eastern District of Virginia: Alexandria, Newport News, Richmond, and Norfolk offices; also oversees the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force
  • Western District of Virginia: Organized into the following divisions:
    • Roanoke
    • Danville
    • Abingdon
    • Big Stone Gap
    • Charlottesville
    • Harrisonburg
    • Lynchburg


How to Become a U.S. Marshal in Virginia: Minimum Requirements for Employment

Individuals who want to learn how to become a U.S. marshal in Virginia and take advantage of the myriad of career opportunities available with the USMS must ensure they meet the minimum requirements for employment, whether they have aspirations of working in judicial security, prisoner services, or investigative services, among others.

Minimum requirements for employment for U.S. marshal jobs in Virginia include:

  • Must be a United States citizen
  • Must be between 21 and 36 years old
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license
  • Must pass a two-part competitive exam (includes a writing sample)
  • Must pass a physical fitness test
  • Must pass a panel interview
  • Must pass a background investigation

In addition to the agency’s minimum requirements for employment, all candidates must be able to qualify for U.S. marshal jobs in Virginia at the GL-7 federal pay level. This means they must possess the required education, experience, or a combination of the two.

Qualifying at the GL-7 Level through Education – Individuals may qualify at the GL-7 level if they possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, provided they have a history of superior academic achievement, which includes possessing a 3.0 overall GPA, a 3.5 GPA in courses related to their major, and graduating in the upper third of their class.

Individuals who cannot meet the superior academic achievement requirements may also qualify through education if they have completed at least one full year of graduate-level education in a law-enforcement related program.

Qualifying at the GL-7 Level through Experience – Individuals may qualify at the GL-7 level if they possess at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to the GL-5 level. Specialized experience includes planning and carrying out investigations, using firearms and dealing with people, and planning and making arrests.

Basic Training Requirements

All new deputy U.S. marshals must attend a mandatory course of basic training, which includes 17 ½ weeks at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia.

Basic academy training includes rigorous physical conditioning, tactical defense training, and field/classroom training in a number of areas, including:

  • Court security
  • First aid
  • Courtroom evidence and procedure
  • Driver training
  • Building entry and search
  • Surveillance
  • Computer training

U.S. marshals training to become detention enforcement officers or aviation enforcement officers must also complete an additional three-week program at the FLETC, which requires intensive physical conditioning.

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