Security Engineering Officers
Security engineering officers (SEOs) are responsible for managing the Department's technical and information security programs, projects, and resources throughout the world. SEOs protect our people, facilities, and sensitive information against espionage, terrorism, and crime.
These highly skilled engineers develop, maintain, and install electrical and mechanical systems such as access and perimeter controls, closed-circuit television, alarms, locks, and x-ray and bomb detection equipment. Engineers plan and conduct technical surveillance inspections to detect and nullify clandestine intrusions. They test new technical equipment and develop new techniques, strategies, and procedures for finding hidden intelligence-gathering devices.
SEOs continually are challenged to identify security risks, analyze those risks, and develop systems to ensure the integrity of our computers and worldwide network information systems.
U.S. Navy Seabees and a cadre of specially trained security technical specialist assist SEOs with the maintenance and repair of our security systems.
Security Technical Specialists
Security technical specialists work as a team member for security engineering officers in support of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security's worldwide technical security programs. These programs provide protection for Department of State facilities and personnel from technical espionage, acts of terrorism, and crime through the use of sophisticated electronic and electro-mechanical security systems.
U.S. Navy Seabees
U.S. Navy Seabees perform sensitive construction and construction surveillance overseas. They also work with security engineering officers at our diplomatic missions throughout the world in the installation and maintenance of closed-circuit TV cameras, alarm systems, electromagnetic door locks, vehicle barriers, and other special equipment.
With their reputation for excellence, Seabees are often tasked with a wide range of special projects such as public access control systems, post communications centers, and armoring embassy vehicles.
Diplomatic couriers protect information by ensuring the secure movement of classified U.S. Government material across international borders to over 180 Foreign Service missions. Diplomatic pouches can contain thousands of pounds of equipment and construction materials, as well as classified documents bound for sensitive posts.
Additionally, Diplomatic courier control officers escort sensitive, but unclassified, crated materials within the United States and across international boundaries. These materials receive the same secure shipment as diplomatic pouches but, unlike diplomatic pouches, are declared to customs on entry into a country.
The Diplomatic Courier Service securely delivered over 9.5 million pounds of classified material and 1 million pounds of controlled material last year.
The Diplomatic Courier Service is constantly evolving to meet the increasingly restrictive guidelines imposed by various countries.
Marine Security Guards
U.S. Marines help DS protect information by serving as Marine Security Guards (MSGs) at more than 120 U.S. diplomatic missions. Under the management of the regional security officer, the DS special agent responsible for all security matters at each diplomatic mission, MSGs handle internal security.
Standing guard at Post 1, MSGs monitor surveillance devices, fire alarms, and communications systems that cover the entire embassy. They safeguard classified information and, as part of their daily routine, conduct inspections where classified information and equipment is stored or used. While primary protection of the embassy is the job of the host government, in the form of guards, should an embassy be attacked and that protection fail, the MSGs'mission is to delay any hostile group long enough to destroy classified material and aid in safeguarding the lives of diplomatic personnel. MSGs also assist in evacuating embassy personnel and other Americans living in the country should that be necessary.
Marines have played an important role in American diplomacy since 1798. To learn more about the DS Marine Security Guard program, visit our online exhibit Partners in Diplomacy. You may also view images of MSG personnel on the job at our Marine Security Guard photo gallery.