As the end of January marked the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive, Marine Corps Embassy Security Group (MCESG) conducted a memorial ceremony for Cpl. James C. Marshall who was killed defending the United States Embassy in Saigon on Jan. 31, 1968 along with four Army military police.
The security group has held a long standing history of honoring the sacrifice of each of the 12 Marines killed while serving in the MCESG program on the anniversary of their deaths.
Six of Marshall’s fellow detachment members, as well as representatives from the Marine Embassy Guard Association, were in attendance.
“Marshall was not much different from the young Marines in the program today, standing armed guard at a diplomatic facility far from home, friends, and family,” Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Ahmed, MCESG personnel chief, and unit transition co-coordinator said. “Marshall is a reminder of the great responsibility and importance of this duty, specifically the need to be always ready.”
He represents the example set for more than 1,600 Marine Security Guards (MSGs) currently standing armed guard.
The Tet Offensive was a surprise attack orchestrated by the North Vietnamese on more than 100 cities and outposts in South Vietnam resulting in heavy casualties. This led to the eventual withdraw of American support from the region.
This event was especially significant to Ahmed because as a staff member at the security group, he was able to truly appreciate the security group program through a different perspective and know the support he provided to the MSG’s made a huge impact on their life and mission accomplishment.