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 employee 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 April 11, 1918, the Commissioner-General wrote a letter to the Chief of Military Intelligence in Washington D.C. The referenced document was written on February 5, 1918, by Father and future Chief of the Border Patrol, Frank Berkshire and provides a 10-page summary of the status of the border.
- On April 13, 1922, Frank Berkshire wrote a memo to the Commissioner-General concerning the suggestion of merging aspects of the Customs Service with the Immigration Service. Berkshire divided his answer into two parts, administrative and patrolling functions. Berkshire did not support merging customs and immigration inspection functions (which would occur in 2003 under CBP/OFO). However, he did support merging all federal border patrol functions under one organization.
- On April 12, 1926, Thomas A. Robinson received a letter of inquiry to ascertain if he would accept a probational appointment as a Patrol Inspector in the Jacksonville District. Although Mr. Robinson indicated he would accept the position, there are no records that would support him ever having become a Border Patrol Inspector.
- The document in this file describes a brief gunfight that occurred on April 10, 1931 involving Patrol Inspector Charles Askins, two other Patrol Inspectors and shooters believed to have been Mexican Fiscal Officers. The shooting occurred immediately after the Patrol Inspectors intercepted alcohol smugglers at the river bank in El Paso, TX.
- On April 11, 1935, former Chief of the Border Patrol Ruel Davenport wrote a response to the current Chief of the Border Patrol Willard Kelly concerning training newly appointed Patrol Inspectors.
- This response is believed to have been related to a December 22, 1934 memo that Chief Kelly had sent to all of the border districts (except for the El Paso District). The memo shared the El Paso District training plan, requested all other districts to explain how they trained new inspectors and invited them to give suggestions and comments.
- On April 11, 1935, District Director Landis of the Montreal District (District #1), sent a telegram to INS headquarters in relations to a visit by Chief of the Border Patrol Willard Kelly. The telegram pertained to the state of the facilities in the district which includes modern day Houlton, Swanton and Buffalo Sectors.
- On April 11, 1935, in what would prove to lead to the birth of the USBP Pistol Team, the Tampa Sub-district issued a nationwide shooting challenge to all USBP sub-districts, “We will shoot any course of fire at any distance.” See “How did the USBP Pistol Team begin?” in the HonorFirst History page for the full story and to find out how Tamp placed after issuing the challenge.
- On April 13, 1937, Newport District Director Landis sent the Commissioner of the INS a report of all the Colt and Smith & Wesson Model 1917 revolvers in their inventory. This was in response to the USBP transitioning to the Colt New Service Model .38 caliber revolver. Interestingly, it is mentioned that Patrol Inspector Charles Askins visited the district in the memo.
- On April 10, 1942, the Assistant Chief Supervisor of the Border Patrol wrote a letter, forwarding a request for 20 guard badges to be furnished to the Oak Grove Inn in Asheville, NC. This letter is noteworthy for several reasons:
- It shows that the INS was headquartered in Philadelphia at the time.
- It contains one of the earliest uses of the title “Assistant Chief Supervisor of the Border Patrol” which is believed to have evolved into the modern, “Deputy Chief of the Border Patrol”.
- It shows an early connection between the USBP and the internment of Axis diplomats. The Oak Grove Inn was one of the first places that foreign diplomates from enemy countries were interned.
(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
George Fernandez Jr.
Border Patrol Agent
San Diego Sector
Border Patrol Agent George Fernandez Jr. was recognized for his courage in jumping into the driver’s seat of a run-away van in time to steer it out of the path of an oncoming truck. As a result, five persons, including two children, were saved from death or certain injury.
New York, New York
John B. Knowles
New York, New York
New York, New York
Reginald D. Ricks
New York, New York
Interpreter John Gallo, Investigator John B. Knowles, Investigator Joseph Occhipinti and Investigator Reginald D. Ricks were recognized for their participation in several highly complex and dangerous undercover bribery-corruption investigations resulting in some of the most noteworthy arrests and convictions in the history of the INS.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Investigator Edwin Rodriguez was recognized for aiding local police by capturing an assailant who had mortally wounded a police officer.
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 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.
Clarence M. Childress
Date of Birth: January 21, 1877
Entered on Duty: February 16, 1918
Title: Mounted Watchman
End of Watch: April 16, 1919
At 3:00 a.m. on April 13, 1919, Mounted Watchman Clarence M. Childress and his partner, Mounted Watchman Leroy D. Straw, were on duty near Monument 9, known as “The Island,” near El Paso, Texas. The officers observed a man come near the line on the Mexican side. A few seconds later, three men ran from the United States side into Mexico and joined the man waiting there. The group then moved several hundred feet into Mexico. A few minutes later, seven men came to the line, which at that point was marked by a barbed wire fence. Two of the seven men held it down with their feet while the other five crossed to the American side with sacks on their backs. The officers made a challenging run at the smugglers and the two who had remained on the line immediately opened fire while the other five dropped the sacks they were carrying and ran toward Mexico. The officers returned fire and all seven of the smugglers ran further into Mexico, disappearing over the mesa. While the officers were pursuing the smugglers, Childress said, “I am hit and going to telephone.” Officer Straw proceeded to the point where the smugglers had abandoned their contraband where he remained, expecting Childress to return.
When Childress failed to return, Mounted Watchman Straw became concerned and proceeded to a house where a telephone was available. There he learned that Childress had been seriously wounded and was being cared for pending the arrival of an ambulance. An emergency operation was performed, but he failed to recover. Death occurred at 9:10 a.m. on the morning of April 16, 1919.
Survivor benefits - As per this document, his wife received $60.50 per month for her and their two children. Then $38.50 per month for her only.
Archie L. Jennings
Date of Birth: May 6, 1923
Entered on Duty: October 15, 1956
Title: Patrol Inspector
End of Watch: April 16, 1960
On April 16, 1960, Patrol Inspectors Robert M. Chaldu, Archie L. Jennings, and Gordon G. Hanks were assigned to duty from midnight to 8:00 a.m. at a traffic checkpoint known as San Mateo Flats, on Highway 101, about 18 miles north of Oceanside, California. The operation was concerned primarily with locating deportable aliens and alien smugglers who were enroute from the border to interior destinations. All vehicular traffic was stopped and inspected with a view to determining the citizenship status of the occupants.
At about 6:40 a.m., an automobile went through the checkpoint without slowing down, whereupon Inspector Chaldu pursued the car in a patrol vehicle. At that time, Inspector Jennings was manning the traffic check at the stop sign where vehicles are halted. A car driven by Mr. Francis J. Defazio approached the stop sign, and his car was struck from behind by a speeding automobile operated by Mr. Gabriel Montoya. On impact, Mr. Defazio's car went out of control and struck Inspector Jennings, knocking him 50 feet away.
Inspector Jennings was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. The cause of death was listed as basilar fractures of the skull. In addition, he suffered numerous contusions, fractures and lacerations.
Christopher Shane Simpkins
Date of Birth: September 23, 1972
Entered on Duty: July 6, 1997
Title: Border Patrol Agent
End of Watch: April 12, 2021
Border Patrol Agent Christopher Shane Simpkins passed away on April 12, 2021. The circumstances of his passing were reviewed by an executive panel and the CBP Commissioner who agreed that this death occurred in the line of duty. Agent Simpkins will be remembered for his diligent service to the nation and for his bravery in the face of danger.
Agent Simpkins entered on duty on July 6, 1997 at the Falfurrias Station, McAllen Sector, Texas, as part of the 342nd Session of the Border Patrol Academy. At the time of his passing, he was assigned to the Lake Charles Station in the New Orleans Sector.
A native of Selma, Alabama and a graduate of the University of Alabama, Agent Simpkins also honorably served his country in the National Guard as a military police officer. He is survived by his wife, daughter, parents and two brothers.