[[quoteright:350:[[Series/{{Gunsmoke}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Lunch-Box-Gunsmoke-Matt-Dillon-US-Marshal-Aladdin-Industries-1959-1961_copy_9315.jpg]]]]

A federal law enforcement officer, charged with apprehending fugitives from federal law, protecting the federal courts and ensuring the smooth function of the court system.

The United States Marshals Service was the first federal law enforcement agency created in the young U.S.A., in 1789. While its primary duty was to the judicial system, the Service also acted as the local-level representative of federal laws. For example, the Marshals took the census every ten years until 1870.

Marshals have the ability to deputize ordinary citizens (but not military personnel) at need, popularly known as "forming a {{posse}}." In films and television, many marshals' deputies are [[CluelessDeputy clueless]], which will inevitably exasperate the marshal when he finds out. SturgeonsLaw strongly suggests that this happened in RealLife as well.

Since a marshal is directly responsible to the federal government, they're not as likely to be influenced by local politics as TheSheriff or a police chief. That said, many U.S. marshals have also been sheriffs or town marshals before or after their federal service.

Note that the difference between something like the FBI and the US Marshals is that the marshals are expected to go off into the wilderness, usually alone, take into custody and bring back to justice whoever they are sent after. It pretty much requires that you be a total {{Badass}}. So while an FBI agent might or might not be a Badass, a US Marshal always is - even if he looks like a [[BadassBookworm nerd]]. Big duties assigned to the Marshals Service today include WitnessProtection and prisoner transport across state lines. They are not, however, the Air Marshals assigned to flights to counter hijackings, which is a separate service entirely.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Carrie Stetko from the ''ComicBook/{{Whiteout}}'' comics and [[TheFilmOfTheBook movie]]. (In RealLife, U.S. Marshals actually do have jurisdiction in Antarctica, although as of 2008, none are permanently stationed there.)
* Several U.S. Marshals appear in the "Apokolips Road" story arc of ''ComicBook/BirdsOfPrey'' escorting metahuman prisoners. They do pretty well, considering they're way out of their weight class on Apokolips.
* ComicBook/WynonnaEarp from the comic book of the same title. Wynonna is a descendant of the famous lawman Wyatt Earp, and she's the top special agent for a special unit known within the US Marshals known as The Monster Squad.
* In TheDCU, the 21st century 'Pow-Wow' Smith, descendant of the 19th century lawman of the same name, is a US Marshal.
* J.D. Hart from ''ComicBook/JonahHex''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* Sam Gerard from ''Film/TheFugitive'' movie and its sequel ''Film/USMarshals''.
* Creator/ClintEastwood's character in ''Film/HangEmHigh''.
* Artemus Gordon in ''Film/WildWildWest''.
* Karen Sisco from ''{{Out Of Sight}}''. She gets her man, in more ways than one.
* ''Film/{{Outland}}''. The protagonist played by SeanConnery is a Federal Marshal, though his character resembles more TheSheriff in this SpaceWestern inspired by ''HighNoon''.
* Marshall Strickland in ''[[Film/BackToTheFuture Back To The Future Part III]]''.
** Who looks almost exactly like Wild Bill Hickok.
* Stockburn of the Creator/ClintEastwood {{Western}} film ''Film/PaleRider'' is a corrupt, villainous variant.
* WyattEarp in ''Film/{{Tombstone}}'', which is TruthInTelevision. He was supposed to serve warrants for the cowboys who killed his brother Morgan, but it proved to be legal cover for his RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
* Arnold Schwarzenegger in ''Film/{{Eraser}}'', working on the Witness Protection program.
* ''Film/ConAir''.
* In ''Film/IronMan2'' Tony and Happy find an attractive woman standing by his new car. When Tony asks who she is, she replies "Marshall". It's only when she informs Tony he's being HauledBeforeASenateSubcommittee that we realise it's not her name.
* One shows up in ''Film/DjangoUnchained'', in Daughtry. He is a reasonable and conscientious lawman, contrasted with the town sheriff [[spoiler: who is in fact a wanted fugitive with a bounty on his head.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* In the later AnitaBlake novels Anita, Edward (Or rather his legal identity, Ted Forrester) and other licensed vampire slayers are granted federal marshal status, mainly to take care of the legal hassles of a slayer chasing a vamp over state lines. Actually one of her more plausible upgrades.
* Morgan Kane, protagonist of the most commercially successful Norwegian book series to date, is a US marshal for most of his career.
* Teddy Daniels and his partner Chuck Aule in ''Literature/ShutterIsland'' (and its film adaptation). [[spoiler: Or is it?]]
* ElmoreLeonard has written several prominent Marshal characters, many of whom have appeared in other media, including Raylan Givens, Karen Sisco and her father Marshall (retired, and yes, he was "Marshal Marshall Sisco.")
* Rooster Cogburn from ''TrueGrit'' and its two adaptations, "the meanest one, double-tough, knowing no fear".
* Deputy Marshal Custis "Longarm" Long, of the long-running ''{{Longarm}}'' paperback series. The Marshal himself in the stories is William Vail, and sometimes lends a hand.
* In the ''Waco'' series by JTEdson, Waco - having held a variety of law enforcement positions - ends his career as a U.S. Marshal.
** Deputy U.S. Marshal Solomon Wisdom 'Solly' Cole appears a supporting character in several of Edson's novels.
* In Literature/{{Portlandtown}} The Marshal was one most of his life, and people still respectfully address him as such.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Matt Dillon of ''Series/{{Gunsmoke}}''.
* Frank Ragan of ''{{The Dakotas}}'' is a US Marshal. He has three deputies.
* Jack Carter was a US Marshal before he became Sheriff of {{Eureka}}.
* The RedShirt traveling with Kate in ''{{Lost}}'', Marshal Edward Mars as portrayed by Fredric Lehne.
* Mary Shannon and Marshall Mann of ''InPlainSight''.
* First Sam Cain and then Teaspoon Hunter of ''Series/TheYoungRiders''. They had a habit of deputizing the entire cast, which meant they could have a lot more action plots than if the express riders had stuck to delivering the mail.
* Raylan Givens of ''[[{{Series/Justified}} Justified]]''. He basically thinks he's [[CowboyCop a modern-day Wyatt Earp]] and actually pulls it off ''very'' well.
* A&E has ''Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force'' a documentary show about the Joint Fugitive Task Force of New York/New Jersey.
* The title character of ''KarenSisco'' and her father Marshall, a retired Marshal.
* ''BreakoutKings''
* ''Series/TheAdventuresOfBriscoCountyJr'': Brisco County, Sr. was a US Marshal.
* ''[[Series/{{ChaseNBC}} Chase (NBC)]]''
* In ''Series/TimeTrax'', Lambert's cover in present day was as a U.S. Marshal, as it is the role of that office to apprehend fugitives.
* ''{{Eagleheart}}''
* One episode of ''DangerousRoads'' showed US Marshals who drove a prisoner-transport shuttle bus.
* The US Marshals are seen in ''Series/PersonOfInterest'', guarding HR's boss prior to his trial. [[OneManArmy Reese]] goes through them like a knife through butter. ''Even their SWATTeam.''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Manhwa ]]

* Coburn of ''Manhwa/{{Priest}}'', who represents a completely secular neutral third party in a setting where {{fallen angel}}s, a demon-possessed priest, and superhuman [[KnightTemplar foot soldiers]] of a CorruptChurch wreak havoc on the frontier.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Radio ]]

* Matt Dillon of Dodge City in ''Radio/{{Gunsmoke}}'' - who described himself in the radio episodes as "the first man they look for, and the last they wanna meet. It's a chancy job, and it makes a man watchful - and a little lonely."
* James Whipple of ''LightningJim'' and his deputy marshal Whitey Larsson.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* An option for player characters (detailed in the ''Law Dogs'' source book) in ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Jake Marshall takes CowboyCop to new levels in ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'' and actually dresses up as a stereotypical Western federal marshal.
* [[CoolOldGuy Marshal Johnson]] in ''RedDeadRedemption''. His actual role in the plot is that of TheSheriff of Armadillo, and hedoesn't act much like a real U.S. Marshal would. At one point he even says that he can't do anything about early game BigBad Williamson because he commits his crimes in the next county over. This is despite real Marshals having [[ArtisticLicenseLaw jurisdiction over the entire state or territory they're deployed in.]] Presumably the game designers confused him with the "town marshal" who only has jurisdiction in one locality.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Even though it is a SpaceWestern, this is pretty much the ''[[WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers Galaxy Rangers]]''' job description.
* [[TheBoondocks Starring 50 Cent as Air Marshal 50 Cent.]]
-->'''50 Cent''': I'll stop these terrorists, or die tryin'!

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Famous Real Life Marshals ]]

* Frederick Douglass. Yes, ''that'' Frederick Douglass.
* Dallas Stoudenmire (1845-1882), successful City Marshal who tamed and controlled the remote, wild and violent town of El Paso, Texas; became U.S. Marshal serving West Texas and New Mexico Territory just before his death.
* Virgil and Wyatt Earp, Deputy Marshals for the Arizona Territory (Virgil first, Wyatt after his brother's death.) Virgil was also the town marshal for Tombstone.
* James "Wild Bill" Hickok, Deputy Marshal of Fort Riley, Kansas.
* Bat Masterson, later in life, was appointed a Deputy Marshal for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan, the Bronx, and the lower Hudson Valley) by Theodore Roosevelt, to give him a relatively peaceful post where he'd still be a lawman.

----