This week in USBP History, Vol. 56
September 25 - October 1
Welcome to another This Week in USBP History!
This week I stumbled upon a pretty significant document, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Fiscal Year 2023 Congressional Justification. Basically, this is CBP's fiscal plan which of course includes the U.S. Border Patrol. I know this 563-page document may be a dry read for some. So, I took the liberty of reviewing it for you...
Below is a highlight of some the funding for the Patrol. Keep in mind that not all of the funding is under he control of the Patrol such as the line items for facilities and uniforms.
USBP's total budget - $5.4 billion
Man, that's a lot of money! Of course, me being me, I searched the document for the concepts of employee recognition, morale, retention and attrition. Sadly, there wasn't much. The document provides this overview:
As I had spoken of in the email a couple of weeks ago, the USBP is great at responding to a crisis. However, the workforce needs an organization and leaders that are present and supporting them, every day, not just during a crisis. A change in organizational culture is needed. If I had a voice with USBP leadership, I'd recommend that they work to instill the tenets of Esprit de Corps as defined below.
But, to bring this back to Border Patrol history, in its first year, the Patrol's authorized strength was 450 Inspectors with a $1.0M budget. 99 years later, its authorized strength is 19,555 agents with a $5.4B budget!
As always, this week's update brings us interesting occurrences in Border Patrol history. In 1918, we have a document written by the Father of the Border Patrol recommending that the immigration district partner with the military to address illegal crossings. We have the official birth of the Voluntary Return in 1927. There's an organizational chart from 1936, and the finalization of the BORTAC device in 2001.
But, what commonly receives no more than a footnote in many conversations is the Patrol's contributions and sacrifices during the 1962 riots at the University of Mississippi. Consider purchasing Joe Banco's book, HONOR FIRST: The Unsung Heroes of Oxford, for a deeper dive of the story of the, "...U.S. Border Patrol deployment to the University of Mississippi in 1962 to defend the U.S. Constitution and ensure the enrollment of the first African-American at Ole Miss."
There are no Newton-Azrak Award action anniversaries this week. But, I am highlighting two recipients from 1987 whose exact dates of action are unknown. I should also mention that a Newton-Azrak Award recipient, George E. Evancheck (award statuette, notification letter), had somehow been omitted from any lists and was at risk of being forgotten. I have added him to the HonorFirst Newton-Azrak Award page and will add more information once it’s found.
Finally, we remember two of our fallen on the first anniversaries of their deaths.
Enjoy the update and have a great week!
Esprit de Corps
The workplace climate resulting from a combination of organizational pride and employee morale.
Esprit de corps is reinforced through the shared goals, mission and values of the organization and its employees.
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.
Newton-Azrak Award Action Anniversaries
Follow this link to see examples of USBP employees Upholding Honor First.
There are no Newton-Azrak Award action anniversaries for the week. However, there are many actions for which the date is unknown. I will highlight some of those below. In 1987, two people were presented Newton-Azrak Awards and their dates of action are not known.
Lee R. Prejean
Criminal Investigator Lee R. Prejean conducted undercover activities as part of Operation Castoron, which commenced as a marriage fraud investigation and grew into a visa fraud, smuggling, gunrunning, narcotics and terrorist investigation. Through his devoted and selfless efforts, he was able to infiltrate the large-scale conspiracy organization posing as a corrupt immigration officer. During the period of his undercover activities, he held hundreds of consensually monitored conversations, both telephonic and in person, with criminal elements involved in the investigation. He received pay-offs for alleged misconduct on his part, and was able to elicit the support and fidelity of the criminal principals in the case to such an extent that much valuable information was supplied to him willingly by these individuals which, in effect, led to the successful conclusion of this investigation. His involvement was so thorough that he placed a separate telephone and answering machine in his home in order that he might be available to the principals at any time.
Mr. Prejean demonstrated unusual courage and competence while in the line of duty and under very trying circumstances.
George E. Evancheck - award statuette, notification letter
Border Patrol Agent
Del Rio, Texas
No description available.
As of May 16, 2022, the U.S. Border Patrol has suffered 152* fallen.
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.
David B. Ramirez
Entered on Duty: April 6, 2003
Title: Border Patrol Agent-Intelligence
End of Watch: September 26, 2021
Agent Ramirez entered on duty on April 6, 2003, as part of the 546th Session of the Border Patrol Academy. At the time of his passing, he was assigned to the Sector Intelligence Unit/Joint California Forensics Center in San Diego, California. The circumstances of his passing were reviewed by an executive panel and the CBP Commissioner who determined that this death occurred in the line of duty. He is survived by his wife Rosemary; children: David, Cristian, and Castiel; and father: Modesto.
Alfredo M. Ibarra
Entered on Duty: February 9, 2011
Title: Border Patrol Agent
End of Watch: September 27, 2021
Agent Ibarra entered on duty on February 9, 2011, as part of the 963th Session of the Border Patrol Academy. At the time of his passing, he was assigned to the Blythe Station, Yuma Sector, Arizona. The circumstances of his passing were reviewed by an executive panel and the CBP Commissioner who determined that this death occurred in the line of duty. He is survived by his wife Monica; children: Alfredo, Aydan, and Adrian; and mother: Evangelina.
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Blog author, retired U.S. Border Patrol Assistant Chief and, current U.S. Border Patrol employee advocate.
Site founder and owner, former Senior Patrol Agent and retired Immigration Special Agent.
U.S. Border Patrol historian and retired Deputy Chief Patrol Agent.
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