February 27 - March 5
The workplace climate resulting from a combination of organizational pride and employee morale.
- Organizational pride is the positive feeling experienced by employees from being part of a meaningful team that is rich in history, tradition and culture.
- Employee morale is the feeling experienced by employees based in part on their perception of:
- Being valued by the organization,
- Fairly compensated, and
- Performing meaningful work.
The definition turns Esprit de Corps into a simple formula and defines parts that comprise organizational pride and employee morale.
Esprit de Corps = Organizational Pride + Employee Morale
Esprit de Corps is the key to a healthy organization and engaged employees.
Honor First is foundational to the Border Patrol's organizational pride and integral to its Esprit de Corps.
- On February 27, 1907, Mr. Black wrote a letter of complaint on Jeff Milton to President Theodore Roosevelt. The letter was sent to the Department of Labor where it was later sent to the National Archives. The letter does not contain a specific complaint but generalizations that end with Mr. Black stating that Milton “…has no right to carry gun…”
- On March 4, 1926, the Nogales Chamber of Commerce issued a resolution of appreciation to Customs Inspector Hugh Benton and Eugene Siddell of the Immigration Service for “uniform courtesy on the International Line…”
- Records show that “Eugene Siddell” was among the first Border Patrol hires in Noyes, Minnesota in 1924. (See page 6 of this document)
- 1926 Arizona newspaper clippings describe "Eugene Siddel"l as an Immigrant Inspector who had been wounded in France during WWI.
- It is uncertain if they are the same person.
- On March 1, 1928, San Antonio District Director William Whalen wrote a cover memo and forwarded, “Forty Suggestions to Guide and Assist New and Old Patrol Inspectors”. Although some of the suggestions may be a bit dated, many of them still apply today.
- On March 5, 1928, H.R. 11755 was introduced which would have had the USBP be a separate agency under the Department of Labor.
- On March 4, 1957, William “Bill” Carter wrote a letter to Paul “Bing” Crosby. Bill was a Border Patrol Inspector that had been on leave for nearly 5 years while serving in the U.S. Air Force. Bill was asking Bing for assistance to restart his career in the USBP as his time in the USAF was coming to an end. Bing wrote back (in the same attachment above) expressing sorrow that he couldn’t assist other than providing another a better contact. The letter provides an interesting insight into the USBP and INS of the time:
- By 1957, the INS had reorganized into 4 regions.
- Border Patrol Inspectors maxed at GS-8’s with a base pay of $4,970.
(Follow this link to see examples of USBP employees Upholding Honor First)
- An organization’s values are codified in its awards system. Recognizing the achievements, service and heroism of employees is important. It is critical for those in positions of leadership to value the workforce. Awards are a fundamental manner for leaders to demonstrate appreciation to the workforce for upholding the organizational values. – U.S. Border Patrol Honorary Awards
Border Patrol Agent
Border Patrol Agent David Gutierrez was recognized for his courage and heroism in saving an individual from a flaming auto crash on March 1, 1984. The crash vehicle was engulfed in flames when BPA Gutierrez, without concern for his own life, pulled the driver from the car to safety. Although the crash victim received second and third degree burns over 65 percent of his body, his life was saved thanks to Gutierrez’s quick action.
Michael F. McCarson
Supervisory Border Patrol Agent
Del Rio Sector
On March 1, 1999, in the early morning hours, agents working the Comstock checkpoint witnessed a vehicle crash through a fence and go out of control after hitting a deer on the highway, causing the vehicle to overturn and burst into flames. Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Michael F. McCarson, upon witnessing the crash, immediately recognized the severity of the situation and acted with total disregard for his personal safety by fighting the flames and pulling the injured driver from the burning vehicle before it was totally overcome with fire.
Simultaneous with these life-saving actions, SBPA McCarson directed on-scene agents in rendering assistance while ensuring their safety at all times, coordinated an emergency response with local officers and emergency personnel, as well as performed first-aid treatment to the injured driver. SBPA McCarson’s immediate and skillful emergency actions not only prevented a tragedy from escalating to a casualty, but clearly demonstrated his training and experience as a Border Patrol Agent and his dedication to his work.
Manuel E. Barreda
Supervisory Border Patrol Agent
Rio Grande Valley Sector, Fort Brown Station
On the night of February 27, 2012, Agent Barreda witnessed a group of individuals attempting to cross the treacherous waters of the Brownsville Navigation Ship Channel, a 44-foot-deep and several hundred foot-wide waterway designed for large vessels. Agent Barreda observed that one of the individuals, later identified as Angel Celestino-Alvarado, was struggling to swim and keep his head above water.
Agent Barreda quickly evaluated the situation and notified the U.S. Coast Guard. He realized, however, that because of the frigid temperature of the water, the Coast Guard might not reach the victim before he succumbed to hypothermia or exhaustion. Agent Barreda jumped into the channel and swam 120 feet toward the drowning man, who advised Agent Barreda that he could no longer feel his legs or arms. Agent Barreda quickly secured the individual in his grasp and towed him toward the shore.
As Agent Barreda swam back to the bank of the channel in the dark with the victim in tow, he began to suffer effects from the cold water. Border Patrol Agent Jacob Gamboa, who had been nearby and was coordinating the rescue effort from the shoreline and monitoring Agent Barreda, entered the freezing water without hesitation and assisted Agent Barreda and the victim safely back to the bank of the Brownsville Navigation Ship Channel.
Agent Barreda’s heroic choice to voluntarily enter the water, coupled with Agent Gamboa’s assistance, led to the victim’s successful rescue when otherwise, he most certainly would have drowned.
As of December 8, 2021, the U.S. Border Patrol has suffered 151* fallen.
- 3 Mounted Watchmen fell before 1924 and are carried as Border Patrol fallen
- 48 Border Patrol Inspectors fell between 1924 and 1970
- 99 Border Patrol Agents have fallen since 1970
- 1 Enforcement Analysis Specialist
The names that appear below hold a place of honor. They have made the ultimate sacrifice in an effort to fulfill the oath each officer took to protect and defend the United States of America.
The facts regarding each officer are presented without major editing of the "language of the day" found in the reports detailing the circumstances of each event. This is done to provide the reader an association with historical timeframes.
Employees who died in the line of duty due to being exposed to deadly illnesses will not have the cause of death listed.
*With the exception of two of the fallen immediately below, all names are listed (or in the process of being included) on the official Honor Roll of U.S. Border Patrol fallen and inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The U.S. Border Patrol should fix these discrepancies. HonorFirst.com honors both of the fallen.
- Joe R. White - He is recognized as officially fallen by the U.S. Border Patrol but his name is not inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial.
- John Charles Gigax - His name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial (see link) but he is not recognized as officially fallen by the U.S. Border Patrol. His EOW was November 7, 1999.
No LODD anniversaries this week.