Unit HomeIntel OPS & PERSDefense Attache Program
Intelligence Division

 

Intelligence Division

Deputy Commandant for Information

Pentagon
MARINE CORPS SUPPORT TO THE DEFENSE ATTACHÉ SERVICE (DAS)

MISSION STATEMENT

Provide the best and most highly qualified personnel to serve in the Defense Attaché Service (DAS) representing the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Navy and the Commandant of the Marine Corps at U.S. diplomatic missions around the world.  Service-fill priorities for assignments to the DAS will reflect the significant contributions of this critical joint duty to the advancement of U.S. foreign policy, Department of the Navy maritime strategy, and the national security of the United States.

MARINE ATTACHÉ (MARA)

Being an attaché is a unique opportunity unlike any other in the Marine Corps.  Attachés are part of a vital team with four principal responsibilities:

  • Representing SECDEF, SECNAV, CMC, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Geographic Combatant Commanders
  • Serving as military advisors to the U.S. Ambassador while advancing U.S. national and foreign security policies along with the specified interests of DoD, DoN, and the Corps
  • Reporting on host nation/regional political-military activities
  • Supporting U.S. military theater security cooperation and/or security assistance programs in selected countries

 

OPERATIONS COORDINATOR (OPSCO) AND OPERATIONS NON-COMMISIONED OFFICER (OPSNCO)

  • Provide day-to-day DAO management and coordinate other activities assigned by the SDO/DATT.
  • Provide operational, financial, administrative, and logistical advice to the SDO/DATT, Service Attachés, DLOs, and DAO/DLO support staff.
  • Act as primary action officers to the U.S. diplomatic mission and DIA mission support offices.
  • Provide supervision to assigned NCOs, U.S. civilian employees, and locally employed staff as assigned or directed by the SDO/DATT.

 

A UNIQUE MARINE CORPS EXPERIENCE

The DAS plays a vital role in supporting U.S. national interests.  The men and women who have served as military attachés reaped personal rewards rarely duplicated in any other part of the Corps while:

  • Coordinating administrative and security matters for all U.S. military personnel in-country
  • Working as part of the U.S. diplomatic mission’s "Country Team" and performing a crucial role as one of the U.S. Ambassador’s key advisors
  • Perfecting language skills and area knowledge for greater effectiveness
  • Developing a new appreciation for foreign military policy and international environment complexities
  • MARA assignments are based on DoD and State Department strategic planning guidance; geographical locations; political-military situations; and the ongoing interaction with foreign government representatives in that host nation or region

 

PROGRAM QUALIFICATIONS

Service in the DAS is open to all Military Occupational Specialties regardless of billet designator.  The DAS is looking for Marines who:

  • Thrive on adventure, challenge, and change
  • Adapt easily to the world around them
  • Are willing to be involved in the local culture
  • Can positively influence peoples' opinions and understanding of the United States and its policies
  • Are often the first Americans a host nation military official will get to know on a personal basis

 

This requires a mature Individual who is:

  • Sensitive to cultural differences
  • Knowledgeable about the U.S. diplomatic mission
  • Able to communicate U.S. Government policies on political-military issues
  • Always exemplifying American values through their demeanor, reputation, and attitude

 

SPECIALIZED TRAINING

MARAs / OPSCOs / OPSNCOs are specially trained for their service abroad, which is conducted through the Defense Intelligence Agency and includes: 

  • Introduction to the local culture and social customs of the country
  • Familiarity with the politics of the country
  • Understanding of the country's foreign policy and military affairs
  • Language instruction

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

A MARADMIN will be released each spring announcing selection board details, including submission process and timeline.  The board convenes for up to a week during the month of August, with results published via MARADMIN in the fall following SECNAV approval.

 

Applications for MARA, OPSCO and OPSNCO billets will be submitted through the applicant’s chain of command and, for MARAs only, must include an endorsement from the first general officer in their chain of command.  “By direction” endorsements will not be accepted.

 

A complete list of the countries available for each given year is posted on the Intel Division website (details below).  Applicants should list available billets in order of preference; however, applicants may be selected for any country based on the needs of the Marine Corps.  An individual’s specific education, language, regional or cultural expertise will take precedence of individual desires when slating selectees.

 

For reserve billets, applicants must belong to the reserve component (SMCR, IMA, IRR) or the active component with a transfer date to the USMCR before the end of the FY.

 

COUNTRIES OF ASSIGNMENT

MARA

  • Australia
  • Cameroon
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Ghana
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Latvia
  • Liberia
  • Lithuania
  • Mexico
  • Oman
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Romania
  • Senegal
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Republic of Korea
  • Spain
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Vietnam

OPSCO

  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • Ghana
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nepal
  • Tunisia

HOW TO APPLY

 

POINTS OF CONTACT

HQMC Intelligence Department 

  • COMM: 703-693-5421

Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA) 

  • COMM: 703-432-5992

Reserves HQMC IMA Det. Sponsor

  • COMM: 703-695-0720