is an unincorporated community in and the county seat of Stafford County in the northern part of the U.S. state of Virginia. It lies north of Fredericksburg, approximately south of metropolitan Washington, D.C., and about north of Richmond, the state capital (Connor, 2003). The Marine Corps Base Quantico is located north of the community. U.S. Highway 1, Interstate 95, and Virginia Railway Express commuter trains pass through Stafford. Like the rest of Northern Virginia, as well as central Maryland, modern Stafford has been shaped by its proximity to the nation's capital. It is largely populated by professionals working in the federal civil service, the U.S. military, or for one of the many private companies which contract to provide services to the federal government. The latter are known locally as beltway bandits, after the Capital Beltway, an interstate highway that circles Washington, D.C.