Other Special Operations Forces

USMS Special Operations Group (SOG)

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The Special Operations Group (SOG) is a specially trained and highly disciplined tactical unit. It is a self-supporting response team capable of responding to emergencies anywhere in the United States or its territories. Most of the deputy marshals who have volunteered to be SOG members serve as full-time deputies in Marshals Service offices throughout the nation, and they remain on call 24 hours a day for SOG missions.

The SOG also maintains a small, full-time operational cadre stationed at the Marshals Service Tactical Operations Center at Camp Beauregard, LA. There, all SOG deputies undergo extensive, specialized training in tactics and weaponry. These deputies must meet rigorous physical and mental standards.

The group’s missions include: apprehending fugitives; protecting dignitaries; providing court security; transporting high-profile and dangerous prisoners; providing witness security; and seizing assets.

SOG was one of the first DOJ entities to arrive in Iraq in 2003. Originally, the main mission of the team of deputies was providing security and support to the Iraqi High Tribunal for the trial of former dictator Saddam Hussein.

Over time, the role of the SOG in Iraq has evolved, and more than twelve rotations of Deputy U.S. Marshals have served in Iraq, fulfilling a variety of roles and performing duties which include:

  • Providing and maintaining safe housing for Iraqi judges;
  • Providing security for high-profile prisoners awaiting trial;
  • Establishing and operating safe houses;
  • Working with the Iraqis to ensure the security of the Central Criminal Court of Iraq and other courthouses in the country;
  • Training Iraqis in security and protection procedures; and
  • Implementing a witness security program for Iraqi trials.

In addition, Deputy U.S. Marshals have conducted numerous courthouse security assessments, advised Iraqis on procedures and technologies that will improve the safety of civil and criminal courts throughout Iraq, and trained hundreds of security personnel, including 120 Iraqi police assigned to the Iraqi High Tribunal courthouse. The SOG is an elite tactical team compromised of deputy U.S. Marshals with expertise and specialized training in tactics and weaponry. They run missions all over the U.S. and support missions abroad when needed.


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