“Organizational pride is the positive feeling experienced by employees from being part of a meaningful team that is rich in history, tradition and culture.”
Honor First and Esprit De Corps
- On December 11, 1924, General Order 42, Uniforms – Border Patrol was implemented, laying the foundation of the uniform that exists today.
- Some of the interesting items in that 4-page order:
- All Patrol Inspectors wore silver hat insignia, collar discs, shoulder ornaments and buttons. Patrol Inspectors in Charge (now called CPAs) wore the aforementioned in gold.
- All items were controlled by HQ.
- The color of the uniform was forest green.
- Two hats authorized, the Pershing hat and the campaign hat. Campaign hats were considered a summer variant.
- Pants were riding crops with leather wraps called puttees (not boots)
- 1926-1936 General Order 42 would be amended many times:
- 1926 –
- Boots first authorized
- 1928 –
- First official rank insignia (fabric) for Senior Patrol Inspectors, Chief Patrol Inspectors and Assistant Superintendents
- Fabric controlled by HQ
- All metal on the uniform must match based on rank. Oxidized for BPIs and SPIs and gilt for CPIs and above.
- First time-in-service insignia (fabric). Fabric controlled by HQ
- Cross strap worn over left shoulder
- White shirt authorized under jackets for dress occasions
- Insignia discontinued on the campaign hat.
- 1929 –
- Long overcoat authorized
- 1930 –
- Pith helmet authorized
- 1926 –
- Some of the interesting items in that 4-page order:
- On December 9, 1927, two separate gunfights occurred in El Paso between Border Patrol Inspectors and smugglers as described in these documents. One gunfight lasted seconds while the other between 30-40 minutes. No injuries were reported in either gunfight. Interestingly, the 30-40 minute gunfight was believed to be between Border Patrol Inspectors and at least one member of the Mexican Fiscal Guards and infers that the local Mexican authorities were involved in alcohol smuggling.
- This document contains a cover memo and three sworn statements concerning a gunfight that occurred on December 6, 1929. The cover memo is from Chief Patrol Inspector Horsley (El Paso Sub-district) to his boss, District Director Wilmoth (El Paso District). The three sworn statements were taken from the Border Patrol Inspectors that had engaged in the gunfight.
- On December 7 , 1931, Assistant Superintendent Antonio Bonazzi wrote a memo to his boss, the Commission of Immigration for the Montreal District of the competitive shooting score of the Border Patrol Inspectors assigned to the district. The Commission of Immigration for the Montreal District forwarded the memo to his boss, the Commissioner-General of the Bureau of Immigration. The memo is interesting for several reasons:
- It shows that the USBP as long valued marksmanship, and
- Shows three levels of Immigration Service hierarchy in a single memo,
- Assistant Superintendent - highest ranking USBP uniformed position and USBP leader over the Chief Patrol Inspectors in a district
- Commissioner of Immigration – The head of a district. Also, known as a District Director in some districts.
- Commissioner-General – The head of the agency, the Bureau of Immigration.
- This incredibly informative collection of documents from December 1933, shows the locations and manpower of the nine-year old USBP
- On December 7, 1937, El Paso District Director Grover Wilmoth wrote a memo to three of his subordinates, the Chief Patrol Inspectors of the Tucson, El Paso and Alpine Sub-districts. Evidently, Border Patrol Inspectors in the district had doubts concerning their authority to stop vehicles. Wilmoth provided a quote from a federal case from the Southern District of Texas that shows the support from the judiciary for the USBP to stop vehicles. It’s a long quote, below is the last sentence:
- The law has a practical purpose, and it must have a practical application, and if you limit the right of search to the point of entry, it would be a foolish construction.
(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
No Newton-Azrak Award action anniversaries for the week.
As of December 5, 2021, the U.S. Border Patrol has suffered 150* fallen.
- 3 Mounted Watchmen fell before 1924 and are carried as Border Patrol fallen
- 48 Border Patrol Inspectors fell between 1924 and 1970
- 98 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.
Doyne C. Melton
Date of Birth: January 17, 1902
Entered on Duty: October 29, 1927
Title: Patrol Inspector
End of Watch: December 7, 1933
Patrol Inspector Doyne C. Melton was shot and killed in a battle with Mexican smugglers at El Paso, on December 7, 1933. Six Patrol Inspectors were moving up in the darkness on seventeen Mexican smugglers who were wading across the river with packs of liquor. One of three smugglers acting as spotters who had preceded the main body of the smugglers over the river, concealed beneath a platform on the American side, opened hostilities by shooting Inspector Melton. The opening shot was fired without warning and before any challenge had been given. Inspector Melton was shot through the heart, dying instantly. The bitterness of the fight was evidenced by the fact that in addition to the slaying of Inspector Melton, four smugglers were killed and another was wounded.
James G. Burns
Date of Birth: July 31, 1924
Entered on Duty: June 8, 1955
Title: Senior Patrol Inspector
End of Watch: December 8, 1968
Official reports covering the death of Senior Patrol Inspector James G. Burns indicated he was performing line watch operations, looking for evidence of illegal aliens in a river bottom near Calexico, California, on Sunday, December 8, 1968. He was searching places of concealment in heavy undergrowth, which was exceptionally strenuous activity and required considerable physical exertion. At 6:30 a.m., he began to suffer pains in the chest area, which prompted him to immediately return to the office. He was taken home by another officer and was then conveyed to the El Centro Community Hospital by his wife. He passed away at 8:25 a.m., less than two hours after being stricken. Death was caused by an occlusion of the left coronary artery due to arteriosclerosis.