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Detention Enforcement Officer


Detention Enforcement Officer (DEO) duties include:

  • Transporting prisoners
  • Conducting searches of prisoners/detainees
  • Applying and/or removing restraints (handcuffs, leg irons, and waist chain)
  • Cellblock management
  • Prisoner Processing Qualifications Applicants must have one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the next lower grade which demonstrates the responsibility for transporting prisoners; conducting searches of prisoners/detainees; applying and/or removing restraints.

Applicants must be appointed prior to their 37th birthday.

Detention Enforcement Officer requirements include:

  • All new Detention Enforcement Officers are required to successfully complete a 3-week rigorous basic training program conducted at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia.
  • The incumbent will be required to carry a firearm while performing duties and maintain firearm proficiency.
  • Some of the duties require physical stamina in resisting assault; in running long distances to reach the scene of emergencies; in repelling or resisting intruders; in withstanding exposure to extreme weather conditions; in working alongside inmates in confined areas; sitting in vehicles for extended periods; and standing in a detention area for extended periods of time.

Detention Enforcement Officer positions will be posted on the USAJOBS website as they become available.

The United States Marshals Service is the nation's oldest and most versatile federal law enforcement agency. The missions of the Service include protection of the judiciary, court security, witness security, asset seizure and forfeiture, apprehension of fugitives, and prisoner transportation and custody.


  • Transporting prisoners/detainees
  • Handling prisoners/detainee property
  • Coordinating prisoner family/disability/medical situations in detention setting
  • Conducting contraband cell/vehicle sweeps
  • Assisting in maintaining order in the cell block
  • Preparing documentation required to transport prisoners/detainees
  • Assists in escorting prisoners in the courtroom and maintaining prisoner custody and safety during court proceedings

Conditions of Employment

  • Must provide proof of U.S. citizenship.
  • Must undergo pre-employment medical suitability and meet medical requirements for the position.
  • Must undergo to periodic examination/evaluation of ability to meet the medical requirements for the position.
  • Must undergo pre-employment physical fitness testing and test bi-annually for the duration of career.
  • Must pass a pre-employment drug screening. This position is a Testing Designation Position (TDP) and subject to random drug testing.
  • Must pass an initial Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) and successfully pass periodic reinvestigations.
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret clearance.
  • Must qualify in the use of multiple firearms and carry a handgun.
  • Must possess a valid driver's license at the time of appointment.
  • Must sign a mobility agreement and memorandum of understanding. Deputy U.S. Marshals will be placed in a duty location that meets the needs of the agency and required to remain at their initial duty station for a minimum of three years.
  • Must be willing to provide sworn statements and testimony in court.
  • Must complete an initial online application questionnaire and additional assessment(s).
  • Must meet all qualifications requirements by the closing date of this announcement.
  • Must meet all requirements and conditions of employment listed in this announcement.
  • May be eligible for a recruitment incentive.

All applications must be submitted through USAJOBS announcement.

Age Requirements

  • Individuals must be between the ages of 21 and 36 (must be appointed before 37th birthday)
  • Applicants below the age of 21 years will not be considered for the Deputy U.S. Marshal position.
  • Individuals beyond 36 years of age may receive an age waiver if: they are current federal law enforcement employees (indicated by SF-50), or they are veterans preference eligible candidates (refer to VetGuide for preference criteria)

Qualifying Experience

The Detention Enforcement Officer positions may be advertised at various grade levels. Each grade level has specific qualification requirements that must be met in order to be found minimally qualified for the position.

Please review and refer to the posted job announcement to find detailed information regarding these job requirements.

All applications must be submitted through USAJOBS.

All U.S. Marshal Service positions will be posted through the USAJOB website.

If you have questions about the Detention Officer position, please

Frequently Asked Questions

When will the United States Marshals Service (USMS) be hiring?

Applications for Detention Enforcement Officer Positions are ONLY accepted through the USAJOBS site during posted announcement open periods. We encourage all interested applicants to create or update their existing USAJOBS accounts and to set up their notice for U.S. Marshals Service job postings.

Hiring campaigns cannot be predicted, as they are dependent on a variety of factors to include:

  • Retirements
  • Departures
  • Funding

Information about hiring and recruitment will be posted on our website.

How long is the hiring process?

The hiring process is estimated to take anywhere from six to eight months depending on the various assessment phases. Every individual is different so times may vary.

Where is the nearest U.S. Marshal Service office?

The United States Marshals Service office nearest you can be found on our District Map.

Where will I be assigned to work as a Detention Enforcement Officer?

Detention Enforcement Officer positions are available within any of the 94 districts throughout the continental United States.

The available duty location(s) will be listed on the posted job announcement. Applicants will have an opportunity to select their preference in duty location(s) when applying to the position on USAJOBS.

What is the starting pay/benefits of a Detention Enforcement Officer?

Please visit Compensation and Benefits for more information.

Is a fitness test required for the Detention Enforcement Officer position?

The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) does not require a fitness test for the Detention Enforcement Officer positions.

Are Detention Enforcement Officer positions eligible to receive Availability Pay?

Detention Enforcement Officer positions are not eligible for Availability or LEAP pay.