This page has been too long in coming. Too many agents who should have had successful and honorable careers have been fired, prosecuted or resigned in shame. This page is to give you a few hints on how to survive and flourish in the Patrol (or any other pursuit in life that you might follow.).
Don't Cheat! This means don't take shortcuts in your paperwork. Never fail to follow policy on incidents that occur during your shift. Never put down on paper that you left at a certain time unless you really did.
Don't run your mouth. For those of you who are still on probation or in the hiring process, let me say that again: Do NOT run your mouth. If you get a reputation as a chismoso(a gossiper), it will follow you forever. Don't badmouth fellow agents, whether they are journeymen or trainees.
Pay your bills and pay them on time. This will bode well for you in all aspects of life. If you can't afford it, simply do not buy it. Getting in over your head leads to thoughts of corruption. Consider overtime money as EXTRA money and NEVER get to a point where you depend on it. I would even make that my philosophy about AUO or LEAP pay.
Stay clean. There is no softer pillow than a clean conscience. You don't have to worry about making up lies to cover your tracks. You don't have to worry whether or not your phone is tapped. You don't have to worry about getting caught. You don't have to wonder when your fellow agents are going to find you out. Corruption hurts us all, and when an agent goes bad, he hurts not only himself and his family; he hurts the entire Patrol. The Mexican government has a problem with corruption, as do many South American and Central American countries. This is principally because the cops' wages are so low. The corruption is basically winked at. Your wages and your retirement as a federal law enforcement agent will be generous. Never should you have a problem meeting your obligations. Greed can destroy your career, your family and your life and your reputation. No excuses. We will seek out and uncover dirty agents and we will turn our backs on you like so much garbage if you fall prey to the smugglers' bribes. THINK. Is the money worth everything you have worked for? Is it worth losing your family to Sancho while you are doing time? Is it worth having a retirement you can count on for the rest of your natural life? Is it worth your HONOR?
Learn Spanish and learn it well. You will use it every day of your career. You may as well get it right. The Spanish speakers you contact in the performance of your duties will give you greater respect. Your fellow agents will take note of your efforts and abilities. It could actually save your life or the life of another person someday.
Practice shooting. Get good at it. A gun is just a tool, like a hammer is to a carpenter. The more you practice, the better you get. Practice all aspects of self defense. Stay in good shape. Work on that fast draw and on bringing the gun sights to bear on your target. Work on your weapon retention and recovery skills.
Use the Chain of Command. Your PAIC (Patrol Agent in Charge) may claim to have an open door policy. They will respect you more for not running to them with every little problem. Most problems can be handled way before they have to be handled by the boss.
A good attitude goes a long way. Have you ever known someone who always seemed to be crabby? No one wants to work with them. Don't be that person. Come to work happy. If you can't do that, you are probably not in the right job. Even if you happen to hate your current location/assignment or whatever, try to keep a positive attitude until you can move on.
If Mama ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy (or the converse for female agents). Keep your spouse happy. Be faithful to him or her. Don't let your personal pride destroy what you have. "Pride goeth before the fall." No yelling, neither at your spouse nor the kids. Be the voice of reason. Just be nice....not that difficult. It is so much easier to NOT BE RIGHT all the time.
All HonorFirst.com web pages and documents are copyright 2017 - 2021 by Ray Harris. All rights reserved. DISCLAIMER: HonorFirst.com is in no way affiliated with the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, or the US Border Patrol. The US Border Patrol is an equal opportunity employer.