October 22 - October 28
Welcome to another This Week in USBP History!
A Reflection on Community Engagement within the Border Patrol Forum
A Legacy of Community Engagement:
For over two decades, our Delphi Forum has been a trusted platform for Border Patrol personnel, providing a space for sharing experiences, insights, and camaraderie. Known for its unofficial information and insights, it has fostered a close-knit community amid our ranks. It all started on August 25, 1999 with the following post from Ray Harris:
Turning the Tide: A Forum Reimagined:
Several years ago, Ray Harris, the forum’s founder, initiated a reset to curb the vitriol that had crept into discussions. This step, coupled with active moderation by Ray and myself, has significantly improved the forum's environment, encouraging more respectful and constructive dialogue.
The Current State of Engagement:
Recent levels of engagement have varied. Some members have voiced concerns about potential repercussions for their online interactions, particularly in the wake of incidents surrounding other online platforms like the "I'm 10-15" Facebook page. Despite these challenges, the spirit of support and camaraderie within our forum endures.
Prioritizing Safe and Respectful Dialogue:
Ray and I serve as active moderators with a shared goal of perpetuating healthy conversation. We are committed to taking immediate moderating action if members or discussions push the bounds of acceptability. We have a primary objective to ensure that conversations within our forum never become a source of embarrassment to the Patrol or its workforce.
Inviting More Voices:
We warmly welcome all current and former Border Patrol personnel to join our forum and contribute to our ongoing dialogue. Your experiences and perspectives are invaluable and contribute to the diverse and rich discourse that defines our community.
Upholding Civil Discourse:
This insight into logical fallacies is not intended for confronting others, but rather to foster a personal understanding and self-awareness, contributing to the quality and respectfulness of discussions within the forum.
Celebrating Supportive Behaviors:
In recent discussions within our forum, we have seen instances of supportive behaviors that embody the essence of constructive leadership. These behaviors include:
These behaviors, exhibited by members under the veil of anonymity, reflect a commitment to maintaining a positive and informative dialogue within our forum. It's the spirit of supportive interaction that we celebrate, as it nurtures a culture of mutual respect and continuous learning, irrespective of rank or position.
The respectful and constructive interactions observed in the forum serve as a microcosm of the positive communication that can be fostered within the broader Border Patrol community. Through such interactions, we move closer to an environment where open dialogue flourishes, and collective problem-solving becomes a norm rather than an exception.
The Path Forward: Embracing Positivity and Open Dialogue:
Our forum serves as a conduit for celebrating the nobility of our service, encouraging open dialogue, and uphold our shared values. Together, we can navigate through challenges and steer our discourse towards a more positive and inclusive direction.
Reflecting on recent discussions, the opportunities to further foster a respectful and engaging environment are evident. By embracing the principles of respect, open dialogue, and diverse perspectives, we continue to uphold the legacy of our forum as a nurturing ground for supportive interactions among Border Patrol personnel.
This week, we highlight a few more chapters from the U.S. Border Patrol's history. In 1928, a report of a shooting/alcohol seizure incident on October 24 showcased the collaborative efforts of Immigration Border Patrol and a Mounted Customs officer, with Patrol Inspectors Douglas D. Pyeatt and Irvin H. Cone actively involved. Transitioning to 1936, a letter from a uniform manufacturer sought clarification on the color of the leather for the bill of the USBP's Pershing hat, following the directives of General Order 179. Fast forward to 1950, discussions and proposals emerged to establish a new training facility in El Paso, as the existing infrastructure at Camp Chigas became outdated. Lastly, in 1959, the initiation of Operation Pressure marked a significant strategic response to counter illegal entries and illicit activities between the U.S. and Cuba, underscoring the adaptability and readiness of the force. Join us as we continue to explore notable events that have contributed to the evolution of the U.S. Border Patrol.
This week, there are no known Newton-Azrak Award action anniversaries. However, some actions do not have a specific date, and I would like to take this opportunity to highlight Criminal Investigator Ted L. Giorgetti's action from 1974.
During this week, we solemnly remember five of our fallen on the anniversaries of their deaths.
Enjoy and have a great week!
P.S. - As an open and continuous invitation to current and former USBP employees, I am always accepting photos to post in the USBP Photo Galleries and in the Upholding Honor First pages. I sure would appreciate you visiting those pages and sending me anything that you think I could post (just send them to email@example.com). As always, make sure to explore all of the hyperlinks to the documents and pages. Finally, please forward this blog to whomever you think may enjoy it.
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.
THROWBACK PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Echoes of Duty
A lone U.S. Border Patrol Ford Bronco kicks up a storm on a rugged trail, embodying the relentless spirit of guardianship. As the desert shares whispers of past vigilance, every grain of sand billowed into the arid sky tells a story of dedication. A nostalgic lens into a cherished chapter of our enduring legacy, when the journey was tough, the mission was clear, and the heart of the patrol beat strong against the vast frontier.
Follow this link to see examples of USBP employees Upholding Honor First.
Ted L. Giorgetti
Criminal Investigator Ted L. Giorgetti received accolades for his extraordinary commitment to duty and pivotal role in dismantling a major narcotics syndicate, resulting in the largest drug bust in Chicago's history.
In collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Giorgetti's relentless efforts led to the disbanding of a narcotics ring responsible for multi-million dollar annual operations. His actions culminated in the arrest of four individuals and the seizure of heroin and cocaine with an estimated street value exceeding $10 million. The operation's success was largely attributable to Giorgetti, who initially uncovered the illegal activities through a trusted informant and subsequently orchestrated the sting operation in partnership with the DEA.
Remarkably, Giorgetti, aided by Investigator Gerald Coyle, located a significant portion of the 20-kilogram drug haul even after DEA agents had abandoned the search. In a personal letter of commendation, DEA Administrator John R. Bartels, Jr. praised Giorgetti, stating, "I extend my personal congratulations for the exemplary cooperation you provided to the DEA and commend you for the high level of professionalism you exhibited throughout this investigation."
As of March 6, 2023 the U.S. Border Patrol has suffered 155* fallen.
The following names hold a distinguished position, as they have made the ultimate sacrifice in their unwavering commitment to uphold the oath each officer took to protect and defend the United States of America.
The facts concerning each officer are presented with minimal editing to preserve the "language of the day" found in the original reports, providing readers with a sense of historical context.
In compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974, the cause of death for employees who lost their lives in the line of duty due to exposure to lethal illnesses will not be disclosed.
* Please note that despite their deaths meeting the criteria for Line-of-Duty-Deaths at the time, Patrol Inspector Garvis Field Harrell and Border Patrol Agent John Charles Gigax are not officially recognized as fallen by either the Customs and Border Protection or the U.S. Border Patrol. However, HonorFirst.com respectfully recognizes and includes both Inspector Harrell and Agent Gigax among those who have fallen in the line of duty.
Ross A. Gardner
Date of Birth: July 9, 1900
Entered on Duty: January 2, 1925
Title: Patrol Inspector
End of Watch: October 28, 1925
On October 27, 1925, Patrol Inspector Ross A. Gardner was returning from his official station, San Diego, California, to Elsinore, California, where he was temporarily assigned. He was operating a government-owned motorcycle that he had taken to San Diego to be repaired. At Sedoc, California, about three miles east of Elsinore, Inspector Gardner ran into the rear of an automobile that was stalled on the roadway. The stalled vehicle had no lights at the time and, reportedly, headlights on a truck heading in the opposite direction hampered the officer's vision.
Patrol Inspector Gardner sustained a fractured skull, fracture of the pelvis, and internal injuries. He was conveyed to Elsinore by a passing motorist but was later transferred to the Naval Hospital in San Diego, California. Death occurred at 4:20 a.m. on October 28, 1925.
Ralph L. Anderson
Date of Birth: February 16, 1923
Entered on Duty: May 1, 1950
Title: Patrol Inspector
End of Watch: October 25, 1968
On October 25, 1968, Patrol Inspector Ralph L. Anderson was assigned to the 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. shift on the international boundary near San Ysidro, California. He was working alone, checking the drag trails for signs of illegal crossings.
Shortly after 4:00 p.m., Patrol Inspector Charles Thompson found Patrol Inspector Anderson in a Service-owned vehicle in a remote area near the Mexican border east of the San Ysidro Port of Entry. There was a bullet wound in Inspector Anderson's right temple and a 218 “Bee” Savage bolt-action rifle inside the vehicle, with the muzzle pointing upward and leaning toward the decedent.
Investigation conducted by the FBI revealed that the rifle was carried loosely inside the vehicle with the muzzle upward. A mark on a gearshift lever knob indicated that the trigger of the weapon had fallen against the knob. The impact discharged the rifle, and the projectile struck Inspector Anderson in the right temporal region. There was no indication of any other person or persons having been in the area. San Diego County Deputy Coroner Murphy concluded the mode of death to be accidental.
Walter S. Panchison
Date of Birth: January 15, 1945
Entered on Duty: March 6, 1978
Title: Airplane Pilot
End of Watch: October 23, 1998
On Friday October 23, 1998, at 2:00 p.m., Agent Scott Panchison was flying a U.S. Border Patrol plane in response to motion sensors tripped along the United States - Canadian Border near Lynden, Washington. Agent Panchison was working with other agents in the area and was heading back to Bellingham International Airport when his plane crashed into rugged terrain in the Smith Peak area just north of Mount Baker Highway on the west side of Sumas Mountain. Agent Panchison lost his life in the crash.
Agent Panchison was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, but grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and a master’s degree from Pepperdine University. After graduation, Agent Panchison joined the U.S. Marine Corps, where he spent ten years flying F4 Phantoms, including flights from aircraft carriers in the Vietnam War. He left the Corps to join the U.S. Border Patrol, where he proudly served for 21 years. At the time of his death, he was stationed at the Blaine Sector. He was a graduate of the 119th session of the U.S. Border Patrol Academy in Glynco, Georgia.
Catherine M. Hill
Date of Birth: March 19, 1965
Entered on Duty: November 1, 1999
Title: Senior Patrol Agent
End of Watch: October 25, 2002
Senior Patrol Agent Catherine M. Hill, 37, was performing patrol duties in the Tijuana River Valley (Smuggler’s Canyon area) early in the morning on Friday, October 25, 2002, when her vehicle rolled down the edge of a 40-foot cliff. She died at the scene.
Agent Hill was a graduate of the 419th session of the U.S. Border Patrol Academy and was assigned to the Imperial Beach Station at the time of her death. Known for her outgoing and community-oriented personality, she was an advisor for Border Patrol Explorer post #1924 and a member of the San Diego Sector’s Peer Support Team.
Rafael G. Sanchez
Entered on Duty: September 16, 2002
Title: Supervisory Border Patrol Agent
End of Watch: October 24, 2021
Agent Sanchez entered on duty on September 16, 2002, as part of the 527th Session of the Border Patrol Academy. At the time of his passing, he was assigned to the Hebbronville Station, Laredo Sector, Texas. The circumstances of his passing were reviewed by an executive panel and the CBP Commissioner who determined that this death occurred in the line of duty. He is survived by his wife Anabel; children: Arielle, Maritza, and Rafael; and mother: Corina; sister Nora; and grandchildren: Joshua, Jordyn, and Gianna.
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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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