This Week in USBP History, Vol. 26
February 27 - March 5
Esprit de Corps
The workplace climate resulting from a combination of organizational pride and employee morale.
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 Actions
(Follow this link to see examples of USBP employees Upholding Honor First)
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.
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.
No LODD anniversaries this week.
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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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