Be sure to replace or remove anything in italics in your version. Remember, this is a guideline. Do not use it verbatim. Use CTRL + A to highlight all text and then CTRL + C to copy and put your cursor in a document and press CTRL + V to paste. Be sure to clean up unneeded text. You do not want this to appear to be a verbatim copy.
TO: Personnel Security Division
ATTENTION: Your adjudicators name goes here; it should be on the last page of NOPA
FROM: Your Name (Social Sec #) Border Patrol Agent (Applicant)
SUBJECT: Response to Notice of Proposed Action
DATE: Today’s date
Dear Adjudicator’s name, be sure to put Mr. or Ms. and their full name.
This will be your first paragraph and your opening remarks. Restate your full name, the position you’re applying for and that this document is your response to the NOPA. Follow these remarks with an introduction and your intentions. It should look something like this.
I take full responsibility for my poor decision-making and immaturity, as well as my lack of foresight and judgment. I am ashamed, remorseful, embarrassed and regretful of my conduct during this period of time. My intentions with this response are to address the issues listed on the N.O.P.A, take responsibility for my conduct and demonstrate that I am no longer the same immature young person I was during whatever time period the offense/s occurred.
I would also like to present you with evidence that I have overcome my discipline problems, my immaturity and my lack of good judgment. I have reformed my behavior and matured greatly since the time of these infractions. I have become a responsible and productive individual, in both my professional and personal life. I have the highest devotion and desire to serve my country with the U.S. Border Patrol. I have exerted a great deal of effort in order to correct whatever the mistakes were, for which the NOPA is issued for and have been continuously improving myself.
*NOTE* Stay away from letters of recommendation unless they are relevant to your specific issues. For example, if your issue/s is that you were constantly late to work for one of your former jobs, a relevant letter of recommendation would be one from your current employer that says you have the best attendance record out of anyone else in the company. An irrelevant letter would be one from a church or community leader saying that you’re a “Great Guy” and that you always “Do the right thing”. Continuing on….
That should be sufficient for the introduction and the first page. Next, you’re going to address each bulleted item in the NOPA one by one. Remember, this MUST BE a professional looking letter that a federal employee will not look at as a joke. You will not get a second chance to make a first impression.
Write it as if the governor or senator of your state is going to look at. You’re not writing a high school paper here, this should be something that a college professor would give you an A on. If you can, have a college level educator, a community or church leader, a business professional, an attorney or someone who has a STRONG command of the English language look at this paper before you submit it. Don’t give it to your high school buddy who got a B in English class. DON’T FORGET, this response will make or break your possible career in The Border Patrol and possibly in law enforcement. Take this seriously, because it is! Moving on……
Start with the category in BOLD letters and about 14 or 16 point font. I recommend using Times New Roman as your font throughout the document. Stay away from funky fonts, as they will look unprofessional and may be harder to read. For example:
Misconduct or Negligence in Employment
Write out the offense as it is listed on the NOPA (Failure to call in sick, for example)
Description of Incident
Describe the offense here; it should be at least a few paragraphs be sure to describe the incident/s in chronological order. Be sure to include time, dates and names. DO NOT SHIFT BLAME ON ANYONE ELSE. Write in a remorseful tone and make the adjudicator understand and believe you, that you did something wrong, you know you were wrong, you’re sorry for doing it and it won’t/hasn’t happen/happened again.
Next, you need to list the mitigating or extenuating circumstances. This does not mean say “It wasn’t my fault or I didn’t know any better.” This means write that you did something stupid; you were immature and young, etc. List legitimate reasons for the mistakes you made. Remember that they must be HONEST and verifiable reasons.
Mitigating/Extenuating Circumstances and Explanation
This is where you plead your case as to why you’re no longer plagued by whatever the issue was. Be sure to restate your remorse and provide evidence that you’re no longer still doing the same thing. For example, you were late to work because your car broke down and you weren’t able to get there on time. DO NOT say that it wasn’t your fault because there was nothing you could do about your car breaking down. Your response should be something like this: “I have learned from this mistake and this incident has not reoccurred. I have maintained my vehicle in proper working order and have been planning my time better, so that I can arrive to work 20 min early rather than right on time. I understand the importance of being prompt and have become more mature and dedicated to my job. I will exhibit these traits as a Border Patrol Agent and my earlier habits of tardiness will not be repeated.”If you can, provide proof that you have been doing so, example: An award from your new employer that you have never taken a sick day or called in late in 5 years.*NOTE* Mitigating circumstance can be any of the following, but are not limited to these; Time and rareness of incident, your age and maturity level at the time of incident, the fact that you have grown up and matured, the strides you’ve made since the offense, you’re willingness to fix the problem (i.e. Pay off debts if your credit was a reason for the NOPA)
Repeat the above steps for each offense. Be sure that when a new category is reached, you label it appropriately; For example:CRIMINAL CONDUCT
1. Speeding Offense 10/05/2002
Description of Incident
Describe the incident and what you were doing. AGAIN, DO NOT BLAME OTHERS, don’t say the cop was harassing you or picking on you.
Mitigating/Extenuating Circumstances and Explanation
You now have a clean driving record with no points and have not had a speeding ticket or moving violation in 7 years.
SUMMARY AND PERSONAL STATEMENT
This is where you make your last impression and closing remarks, again be thankful for the chance to explain yourself, restate remorse, regret, maturity and the fact that you have changed.
It should read something like this:
I would like to thank you again for the opportunity to explain my conduct and the findings of the background investigation relating to my application. I am truly appreciative for the ability to respond to these issues and to present evidence of my maturity and reformation from these previous offenses. I completely understand how these infractions raise a great deal of concern regarding my suitability for employment with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. I can also understand that these offenses bring up doubts about my integrity, commitment to a job, as well as my overall performance and maturity.
In closing, I would like to stress the facts that I have reformed, matured and have become a responsible and honest person over the last X number of years. I think many people regret the choices they make when they are young and I am no different. I made some bad decisions when I was younger and they have affected my life to this very day. However, I have made the effort to correct my past behavior and learn from my experiences.
I feel that my education and whatever other qualities and qualifications you have along with my drive and devotion to excel would be great attributes for a U.S. Border Patrol Agent. I hope you will allow me the opportunity to prove myself, by granting me the honor and privilege of serving in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. I thank you in advance for you time and consideration of my case and anxiously wait to hear from you regarding my application. If you need any further information or clarification on any part of my packet, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sincerely or Respectfully,
Your Name (Social Security #)
U.S. Border Patrol Applicant
Attach a business card in this corner>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
if you have one, it makes the letter
look that much more professional.
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