Gunnery Sergeant Jacob McCardle is the commander of the Marine Detachment at the US Embassy, New Delhi, when the president of the United States arrives on an official visit, the same man who, as a Congressman, sponsored the bill that had decimated the Corps in a cost-cutting effort. As the president arrives, the embassy is attacked and isolated by a mob of nationalists. With the Indian government seemingly unwilling to take action to restore order and with an ambitious vice-president seizing this as an opportunity to move up to the White House, it is up to Gunny McCardle and his small band of Marines to keep the president alive. Faced with tremendous odds, Gunny has to lead his Marines in an almost impossible task. That is nothing new to the US Marines. Impossible tasks are the Corps' forte. But can his small detachment keep up the tradition of the Corps and succeed despite tremendous odds?