This Week in USBP History, vol. 55
September 18 - September 24
Welcome to another This Week in USBP History!
A couple of weeks ago I wrote of the Patrol's culture. Here's a web version of that email. In that email I describe those aspects of the Patrol that I think make the it special.
For the Patrol to maintain its unique culture, it's important to attract applicants that posses or can assimilate the characteristics of the Patrol's culture. I would expect a recruitment announcement to be something along the lines of:
Are you the kind of person that:
That is type of announcement attracts people because of who they are. It attracts people who will be a good fit in the Patrol.
I did a quick internet search to see what recruitment announcements are out there. Here are the two main ones:
First - Current Openings - U.S. Border Patrol
Second - Join Our Team
Here's another approach... And I'm not going to give the answer(s), I'm only going to ask questions...
It is the answers to those questions that will provide the best material to attract the best candidates. BUT, the Patrol must first know thy self. If the Patrol has not defined its culture and values, then it will not be able to attract fitting candidate. Further, it will miss a great opportunity to instill organizational pride into the workforce.
Now to this week's update!
We start with a memo from 1918 that refers to the Passport Act of 1918 and regulations of August 8, 1918 concerning passports and permits. It was those that really caused the first dominos to fall that would lead to the formation of the Patrol. We have a brief account from retired Senior Patrol Inspector Edwin M. Reeves first day on the job in 1924. We finish the documents with the fourth anniversary of the USBP Honorary Awards!
We celebrate the 30th anniversary of William C. Spencer's Newton-Azrak Award action.
We also remember the loss of three of our fallen, including two that fell in the same event. Travis W. Attaway and Jeremy M. Wilson fell due in the same incident in 2004. 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:
Daniel P. Cox and Edgardo Acosta-Feliciano both fell on July 31, 2021. However, their causes of death were not related.
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.
William C. Spencer Jr.
Senior Patrol Agent
On September 19, 1992, Senior Patrol Agent William C. Spencer Jr. performed a truly remarkable feat of strength, endurance, and bravery to rescue a woman who was seconds from drowning in the swift currents of the Niagara River at Buffalo. After noting the woman’s lack of effort to save herself, and when she slipped beneath the surface and returned in a face down position, Agent Spencer dove into the river, without a floatation device. He swam about 30 yards to her, raised her head out of the water, and administered resuscitation. Agent Spencer then had to support himself and the woman while ladders could be rigged by the Buffalo Fire Department for removal from the water.
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.
Josiah B. Mahar
Date of Birth: August 29, 1948
Entered on Duty: February 22, 1983
Title: Senior Patrol Agent
End of Watch: September 23, 1988
At about 3:15 p.m. on September 23, 1988, Senior Border Patrol Agent Josiah B. Mahar was involved in an automobile accident on Star Route #27 near Eustis, Maine. Agent Mahar was driving a Service vehicle and was patrolling in a southbound direction when an oncoming vehicle crossed over the centerline and struck his vehicle head-on as he rounded a bend in the road. The impact to Agent Mahar's vehicle was directed along the driver’s door and front fender area. Senior Patrol Agent Mahar died at the scene from massive head injuries sustained in the accident.
Burial Details Unknown
Travis W. Attaway
Date of Birth: May 3, 1973
Entered on Duty: December 1, 1997
Title: Border Patrol Agent
End of Watch: September 19, 2004
On September 19, 2004, at approximately 2:45 p.m., Border Patrol Agent Travis W. Attaway was part of a three-man team conducting marine Border Patrol Operations on the Rio Grande River near the Free Trade Bridge at Los Indios, Texas when their boat capsized. Agents Attaway, Wilson, and Sandoval were ejected from the boat into the fast moving waters of the Rio Grande. Agents in a nearby boat responded to the distress calls and were able to rescue Agent Sandoval, but they could not locate Agent Attaway or Agent Wilson. An intensive multi-agency search and rescue operation that included the Government of Mexico was initiated, and on September 21, 2004, at approximately 1:30 a.m., the body of Agent Attaway was recovered. At approximately 3:05 a.m., the body of Agent Jeremy Wilson was also recovered. Both agents were located within 150 yards of where their boat initially capsized.
Agent Attaway was 31 years old and was a graduate of the 359th session of the Border Patrol Academy.
Jeremy M. Wilson
Date of Birth: July 31, 1975
Entered on Duty: November 3, 1997
Title: Border Patrol Agent
End of Watch: September 19, 2004
On September 19, 2004, at approximately 2:45 p.m., Border Patrol Agent Jeremy M. Wilson was part of a three-man team conducting marine Border Patrol Operations on the Rio Grande River near the Free Trade Bridge at Los Indios, Texas when their boat capsized. Agents Wilson, Attaway, and Sandoval were ejected from the boat into the fast moving waters of the Rio Grande. Agents in a nearby boat responded to the distress calls and were able to rescue Agent Sandoval, but they could not locate Agent Wilson and Agent Attaway. An intensive multi-agency search and rescue operation that included the Government of Mexico was initiated, and on September 21, 2004, at approximately 1:30 a.m., the body of Agent Attaway was recovered. At approximately 3:05 a.m., the body of Agent Jeremy Wilson was recovered. Both agents were located within 150 yards of where their boat initially capsized.
Agent Wilson was 29 years old and was a graduate of the 356th session of the Border Patrol Academy.
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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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