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.


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


  • 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.


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


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


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


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/winter following SECNAV approval.

Applications for MARA, OPSCO and OPSNCO billets will be submitted through the applicant’s chain of command and must include an O6 command endorsement.  “By direction” endorsements will not be accepted.

A complete list of the countries available for each given year is posted on this 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.  Declination of MARA assignment may impact an applicant’s ability to apply for the MARA program again.

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. Applicants with over 5040 Active Duty Points on their Career Retirement Credit Report are ineligible.

COUNTRIES OF ASSIGNMENT (countries are listed with rank requirement, language requirement, tour length, current dependent restrictions, and if it is being screened on the FY26 selection board):


  • Dominican Republic (FY26 selection) - O5, Spanish, 36 months
  • Ghana - O5, French, 36 months
  • Latvia - O5, Russian/Latvian, 36 months
  • Papua New Guinea (FY26 selection) - O5, Tok Pisin, 24 months
    • Note: Schooling limitations associated with school-age children


  • Australia (FY26 selection) - O5, 36 months
  • Bangladesh - O4, 24 months
  • Cameroon - O5, Spanish, 24 months
  • China - O5, Mandarin, 36 months
  • Colombia - O4, Spanish, 36 months
  • France - O5, French, 36 months
  • Georgia (FY26 selection) - O5, Russian, 24 months
  • Indonesia - O4, Indonesian, 36 months
  • Iraq (FY26 selection) – O3-O4, Arabic, 12 months
    • Note: Unaccompanied tour
  • Israel - O4, Hebrew, 36 months
  • Italy (FY26 selection) - O4, Italian, 36 months
  • Japan – O6, Japanese, 36 months
  • Jordan (FY26 selection) - O4, Arabic, 36 months
  • Kenya - O4, Swahili, 36 months
  • Liberia (FY26 selection) - O4, 24 months
  • Lithuania - O4, Russian, 36 months
  • Mexico - O4, Spanish, 36 months
  • Mexico - O4, Spanish, 36 months
  • Norway - O4, Norwegian, 36 months
  • Oman - O5, Arabic, 36 months
  • Peru - O4, Spanish, 36 months
  • Philippines - O4, Tagalog, 36 months
  • Romania - O4, Romanian, 36 months
  • Senegal - O5, French, 24 months
  • Singapore (FY26 selection)- O5, 36 months
  • South Africa - O4, 36 months
  • Republic of Korea - O4, Korean, 36 months
  • Spain (FY26 selection) - O4, Spanish, 36 months
  • Taiwan - O5, Mandarin, 36 months
  • Turkey - O4, Turkish, 36 months
  • Ukraine - O4, Russian, 12 months
    • Note: Unaccompanied tour
  • United Kingdom - O5, English, 36 months
  • Vietnam - O4, Vietnamese, 36 months


  • Bahrain – E7-E8, Arabic, 36 months
  • Dominican Republic – E7-E8, Spanish, 36 months
  • Jamaica (FY26 selection) – E7-E8, English, 36 months
  • Libya (FY26 selection) – E7-E8, Arabic, 36 months


  • Armenia - E5-E8, Armenian, 24 months
  • Egypt (FY26 selection) - E5-E8, Arabic, 24 months
  • El Salvador - E5-E8, Spanish, 36 months
  • Ethiopia (FY26 selection) - E5-E8, 24 months
  • Ghana (FY26 selection) - E5-E8, French, 36 months
  • Mexico - E5-E8, Spanish, 36 months
  • Nepal (FY26 selection) - E5-E8, 24 months
  • Oman - E5-E8, Arabic, 36 months
  • Tunisia - E5-E8, Arabic, 36 months
  • Ukraine - E5-E8, Russian, 12 months
    • Note: Unaccompanied tour

HOW TO APPLY   (Please use Edge, as Google Chrome can cause browser issues.)

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