When workforce morale is low, where is/are employee perception(s) faltering and what can you do to change those perceptions?
Esprit de Corps
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.
- This memo, written on February 16, 1928 by former “Chief” of the Border Patrol George Harris, warns employees about visiting Mexico too frequently.
- George Harris would be one of the first two Chiefs of the Border Patrol (called Supervisor, Border Patrol) in 1926 with the implementation of General Order 61. In 1927, he would be reassigned to other positions leaving Ruel Davenport to be the sole Chief of the Border Patrol. In 1932, Harris would return as the Chief of the Border Patrol (called Director at that time) and be the only person to serve nonconsecutive terms in the position.
- On January 18, 1939, the Central Office (HQ for you newbies) issued a memo to the field to inventory all badges and cap insignia for all positions. All of the field responses have been collected from the National Archive giving the most complete list of badges and cap insignia available for that time. By February, the districts began to respond to the request:
- On February 13, 1939, the Central Office authorized Army sun tan uniforms for wear in the El Paso District (modern-day Tucson, El Paso and Big Bend Sectors). Interestingly, the memo shows a full transition to the tan uniform by authorizing the forest green rough duty uniforms to be worn until they become unserviceable. Also, the tan uniforms were authorized only for the three districts along the Mexican border; the Los Angeles, El Paso and San Antonio Districts.
- It is unknown when the tan uniforms began to be used, but the Border Patrol Museum has photographs that show khaki uniforms were worn in the lower Rio Grande Valley as early as 1949.
(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
Senior Patrol Agent
New Orleans Sector
Senior Patrol Agent Michael Deshaies was recognized for his efforts in saving a person from drowning near Pensacola, Florida during a February cold spell. On February 18, 1993, Agent Deshaies, in an act of unparalleled bravery and heroism, exhibited total disregard for his personal safety by diving into the frigid water of a wide drainage canal and pulling a drowning victim to safety. The victim, a fleeing illegal alien, was carried ashore and revived by Agent Deshaies.
Carlos A. Lara - photo
Border Patrol Agent
El Centro, CA
On February 18, 2019, Border Patrol Agent Carlos Lara was assigned to the Calexico Station’s area of responsibility when, beyond the call of duty and facing grave danger he entered the All-American Canal to rescue a man in distress. Before entering the water, several attempts to assist the drowning man were made using a rescue disc. Once it was determined that the rescue disc was ineffective, Agent Lara disregarded the danger of the swift current and entered the frigid and treacherous water. Agent Lara swam to the victim, took control of him and pulled him back to the canal bank and to safety. Agent Lara’s quick and selfless response at the risk of his own life prevented the loss of another life. Agent Lara’s actions brought great credit upon himself and United States Border Patrol.
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.