March 13 - March 19
This is a huge week in USBP history:
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)
Christopher M. Jacobs (one of the 26 non-USBP recipients)
Detention Enforcement Officer
Buffalo, New York
On March 16, 1992, Detention Enforcement Officer Christopher M. Jacobs saved a passenger from a burning vehicle. He and another officer were escorting a detained alien on the New York State Thruway. They were at a tollbooth when a vehicle traveling at a high speed plowed into the rear of another vehicle in the booth adjacent to the D & D vehicle. There was an instantaneous explosion that pushed the vehicle forward about 200 feet, engulfing the car into a fireball. Officer Jacobs exited his vehicle, obtained a fire extinguisher, and ran to the vehicle. The driver was able to exit on his own but the passenger was semi-conscious and unable to get out. Officer Jacobs entered through the driver’s door, ignoring the real danger for himself, and got the passenger out. He administered first aid until the ambulance arrived.
Alan W. Marshall
Border Patrol Agent
During the evening shift on March 15, 1992, Border Patrol Agent Alan W. Marshall made a winter water rescue of an alien he was pursuing, who broke through an ice-covered pond. In trying to reach the man, Agent Marshall was plunged into the same water as the ice gave way beneath him. Agent Marshall’s strength, endurance, and bravery saved not only himself, but also the alien twice that night. After having to physically lift the man from the water, Agent Marshall had to force the man to stay on his feet and walk to reach shelter in 17-degree weather.
Richard L. Ashlaw
Patrol Agent In Charge
For his heroic actions and unselfish disregard of his own personal safety to come to the rescue of James Baker, who otherwise had no chance of surviving the New Albion Hotel fire March 16, 1998. Patrol Agent in Charge Ashlaw’s actions certainly went above and beyond the responsibilities and duties of a Border Patrol Agent.
1999Floyd Southerland III
Border Patrol Agent
Del Rio Sector
On March 18, 1999, at approximately 12 noon, Border Patrol Agent Floyd “Buddy” Southerland III and his partner responded to sensor activity three miles up river from the Port of Entry at Del Rio, Texas. Upon arrival at the location of the sensors, Agent Southerland and his partner observed four subjects on the United States side of the Rio Grande River. When the four subjects saw the Border Patrol vehicle, three of the four jumped into the river and began to swim to an island in mid-river. The fourth hesitated, looked at the agents, then jumped. The fourth man could not swim.
The Rio Grande River flow down river from Amistad Dam is controlled through water release monitored by the International Boundary and Water Commission. The commission had increased water release from the dam to supplement irrigation needs in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas to a level that brought the river to a very high and swift current.
As Agent Southerland arrived and observed the scene, the fourth man was floundering in the water away from the shore and near the mid-river island. Agent Southerland shouted to the three men on the island to help their friend, but they refused. The Rio Grande, due to high water, was a mass of floating debris of cane stalks and other flotsam. Thinking quickly as he watched the river drag the man down and away from the shore and island, Buddy told his partner to get the spare tire from the government vehicle as he began to remove his gun belt and boots. Without hesitation and with total disregard for his own safety, Agent Southerland dove into the muddy river to search for the man. Agent Southerland’s partner cast the spare tire into the river, Agent Southerland used the tire as a floatation device, swam out, located the floundering man, pulled his head out of the water and with monumental effort, brought the man back to the safety of the river bank. The man was a 29-year-old Mexican national.
Agent Southerland’s act of selfless heroism and life-saving actions of commendable efficiency and skill draw upon his training and experience acquired throughout his career with the U.S. Border Patrol. He displayed great physical courage, as well as moral courage, to do the right thing.
This was the second act of heroism that Agent Southerland had been involved in during that Fiscal Year.
In October of 1998, Buddy was cited by the office of the District Attorney, 63rd Judicial District of Texas, for his apprehension and arrest of a man who had kidnapped a teenaged girl, terrorized, and sexually assaulted her. It was the opinion of the District Attorney that Buddy saved her life by rescuing the girl from the man who was holding this young victim.
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.
Nicholas D. Greenig
Date of Birth: February 20, 1978
Entered on Duty: December 1, 2002
Title: Border Patrol Agent
End of Watch: March 14, 2006
On March 14, 2006, Agent Nicholas Greenig was killed in a vehicle accident on the Tohono O'odham Nation in Pima County, Arizona, when the department vehicle he was riding in struck a bull walking across the highway. He and his partner were working a plainclothes detail when the accident occurred at approximately 8:00 pm.
Agent Greenig had served with the Border Patrol for three years and was assigned to Ajo Station in Tucson Sector. He was raised in Laurel, Montana, where he attended public schools before he transferred to a private high school in Billings. He graduated with honors from Utah Valley State College in Provo and joined the Border Patrol in 2002. Agent Greenig was a graduate of the 535th session of the Border Patrol Academy. He was a senior patrol agent and a member of a special unit that targeted violent criminal organizations, which smuggled people and drugs.
*Ramon Nevarez, Jr.
Date of Birth: March 27, 1983
Entered on Duty: August 15, 2005
Title: Border Patrol Agent
End of Watch: March 15, 2007
On March 15, 2007, Agents Ramon Nevarez and David Tourscher were involved in a single vehicle accident on NM Highway 338 near Cotton City, New Mexico. At approximately 9:00 p.m., Agent Nevarez succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
Agent Tourscher was flown to a hospital in El Paso, Texas, where he died. Agent Nevarez had served with the Border Patrol for two years.
*David J. Tourscher
Date of Birth: November 22, 1982
Entered on Duty: June 26, 2006
Title: Border Patrol Agent (trainee)
End of Watch: March 16, 2007
On March 15, 2007, Agents David Tourscher and Ramon Nevarez were involved in a single vehicle accident on NM Highway 338 near Cotton City, New Mexico.
Agent Nevarez succumbed to his injuries at the scene. Agent Tourscher was flown to a hospital in El Paso, Texas, where he died early the following morning. Agent Tourscher had served with the Border Patrol for nine months.
Date of Birth: November 4, 1985
Entered on Duty: March 5, 2009
Title: Border Patrol Agent
End of Watch: March 15, 2021
Border Patrol Agent Alejandro Flores-Bañuelos was struck by a vehicle and killed on March 15, 2021. Agent Flores-Bañuelos had responded to reports of a crash on state Route 86, a four-lane divided highway north of Marina, California. The traffic accident occurred during a dust storm that caused low visibility in the area. Flores-Bañuelos was the first to arrive on the scene and began assisting a 75-year-old woman whose vehicle had become disabled in the roadway. A second northbound vehicle struck Agent Flores-Bañuelos who was transported to Pioneers Memorial Hospital and later succumbed to his injuries.
BPA Flores-Bañuelos started his CBP career on March 5, 2009 and spent his entire Border Patrol career at the Indio, California Border Patrol Station in the El Centro Sector. Prior to joining the Border Patrol, Agent Flores-Bañuelos honorably served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was born and raised in Richgrove, California and graduated from McFarland High School in McFarland, California. He is survived by his wife, his three children and his mother.
* A sad fact is that the USBP has lost two Agents/Inspectors due to the same event nine times (18 fallen). Their names are listed below:
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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 Supervisory Border Patrol Agent and retired Immigration Special Agent.
U.S. Border Patrol historian and retired Deputy Chief Patrol Agent.
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