QUANTICO, Va. — A 19-year-old Marine corporal is looking forward to increased pay, foreign travel, enhanced promotion opportunities, and being used as leverage after his embassy is attacked and he's taken hostage, sources confirmed.
"I've just had this dream ever since I was a kid of serving my country and guarding those big embassies," said Cpl. Nathan Miller, who passed Marine Security Guard school earlier this month. "Now I can live up to the storied job description of the MSG: Protect classified information and, when all else fails, get kidnapped and beaten by a hostile crowd of protesters in every clime and place."
While the job description of an MSG may not sound glamorous at first look, it's a step up from other positions at embassies around the world. CIA officers for example, serve at embassies so they can be tortured and thrown in a shallow grave, while the main role of a Diplomatic Security officer is to make personnel security recommendations that will be largely ignored by the State Department.
With their special role abroad, MSGs receive a pay increase to offset their future captivity. They also stay in their own complex, called the "Marine House," have drivers and chefs, and receive promotion points that make them eligible for the next rank even while they are held by terrorists and other psychopaths.
A senior defense official confirmed that when Cpl. Miller and the other MSGs are not serving in their hostage role, they are sitting in an armored box all day pushing a button and looking at identification badges.
"Sure, the State Department types hate my guts for making them wear their badges and busting them for mishandling classified material," Miller told reporters. "But when the decapitations start, who do you think they'll come crawling to then?"
Robert Burns, a former State Department official in the Bush Administration, told Duffel Blog he was adamant about the role that outreach and diplomacy can do to change perceptions in foreign lands.
"American embassies around the world — especially in the Middle East — serve a vital role as bonfires that provide a festive gathering place and warmth for the local populace," Burns said.
Still, the leadership of Marine Corps Embassy Security Group stresses that only the best of the best make it through selection and training, and move on to embassies and consulates throughout the globe.
"This is a great experience within the Marine Corps," said Staff Sgt. Rob Fernandez, who serves on the MSG recruiting and screening team. "We teach you how to handle weapons you'll never fire in the defense of the consulate and you get to work with the best hostages in the Marine Corps. The bottom line is that we are looking for only the best possible hostages to serve with us."
Duffel Blog correspondents Lee Ho Fuk and Smelly Infidel contributed reporting.