May 7 - May 13
Welcome to another This Week in USBP History!
!!! NEWS FLASH !!!
On May 2, 2023, Border Patrol Agent Travis Creteau was presented the Newton-Azrak Award as described in the following::
On August 5, 2012, Border Patrol Agent Travis Creteau displayed exceptional valor and determination in a daring attempt to save the lives of two young children, Giuliana Figueroa and Lesette Silva, from a submerged vehicle in the Otay Reservoir. When the car, driven by Arlene Hernandez, veered off the road and flipped into the water, BPA Creteau acted selflessly and without hesitation.
Risking his own life and facing grave danger, BPA Creteau performed beyond the call of duty as he bravely dove into the murky waters multiple times to locate and extract the trapped children from the vehicle. His tireless efforts demonstrated remarkable strength, resolve, and an unwavering commitment to saving the lives of the children.
Agent Creteau's courageous actions, along with the assistance of fellow U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and civilians, stand as a testament to his exemplary service and dedication to the United States Border Patrol. His actions brought great credit upon himself and the United States Border Patrol.
If you haven't already observed, my consistent aim is to craft engaging introductions that uplift the morale of the Border Patrol workforce and foster a sense of organizational pride. With that in mind, I'd like to extend an open invitation to everyone: If you're interested in contributing a guest blog, please submit your piece to Cliff@HonorFirst.com. Kindly ensure that your submission aligns with the overarching theme of bolstering workforce morale, promoting organizational pride, and offering effective solutions.
Now to today's intro!
12 Steps to Becoming a Great Leader: Recommendations for U.S. Border Patrol to Improve their FEVS Score and Build Upon their Unique Culture
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, of which the Patrol comprises about 40%, has been ranked 419 out of 432 subcomponent agencies in the federal civilian government by the Partnership for Public Service based on the 2022 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. To help USBP improve their FEVS score, I present 12 recommendations inspired by Simon Sinek's approach to leadership and the article, "How do you retain officers? Be a great leader." In this piece, I've attempted to marry these ideas together to make a comprehensive recommendation that may be beneficial to the U.S. Border Patrol. By focusing on the idea that "it's not about being in charge, but taking care of those in your charge," the U.S. Border Patrol can become a better organization with improved employee satisfaction and retention. To better understand the importance of these recommendations, let's first explore the unique culture of the Border Patrol and its origins.
The Border Patrol's Culture and Origins:
As written in This Week in USBP History, Vol. 53, the U.S. Border Patrol's culture can be traced back to its early days, marked by the rugged independence and fearlessness of Immigrant Inspector Jeff Milton, and early Patrol Inspectors like Wesley Stiles. From its inception, the Border Patrol has been characterized by a strong sense of self-governance, honor, and courage. The organization's motto, "Honor First," reflects the higher purpose and authority that guides its officers in their duties.
The unique culture of the Border Patrol lives in its workforce and is codified in its awards system, the USBP Honorary Awards, which recognizes administrative excellence, heroism, valor, law enforcement actions, lifesaving efforts, and service. This culture has shaped the organization, enabling its officers to confidently step outside of their assigned lanes and pursue their goals fearlessly.
With this understanding of the Border Patrol's culture, we can now delve into the 12 recommendations to improve the FEVS score and build upon this foundation.
Improving the U.S. Border Patrol's FEVS score requires strengthening and building upon the organization's existing Esprit De Corps, rooted in its values, traditions, and honor. By following the 12 recommendations outlined above, USBP leaders—from first-line Supervisory Border Patrol Agents to the Chief of the Border Patrol—can foster a more positive and effective work environment that embraces the organization's unique culture, ultimately leading to better employee satisfaction and retention. Understanding and valuing the origins of the Border Patrol's culture, ensuring the effective use of USBP Honorary Awards, and addressing the challenges faced by agents, such as the aging fleet, will help leadership guide the organization towards continued growth and success.
This week in USBP history, we begin on May 13, 1924, when the San Antonio District informed the Central Office about the number of additional guards required. Fast forward to 1928, a bill was introduced proposing the establishment of the Patrol as an independent agency under the Department of Labor. In 1968, 38 Patrol Inspectors were assigned to Washington D.C. and deputized as U.S. Marshals to provide assistance during the event called Resurrection City, and much more!
For the current week, there are no known anniversaries for Newton-Azrak Award actions. However, it is important to note that numerous actions have taken place with unspecified dates. As an example, in 1984, five individuals were honored with Newton-Azrak Awards, but the dates of their respective actions remain unknown. They are highlighted this week..
During this week, we solemnly remember seven fallen heroes, including Hector R. Clark and Eduardo Rojas, Jr., who tragically lost their lives in the same incident in 2011. It is with a heavy heart that we acknowledge the nine separate occasions on which the USBP has experienced the devastating loss of two Agents/Inspectors in a single event, totaling 18 fallen. We honor their memory and sacrifice, with their names listed below:
Enjoy 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.
THROWBACK PHOTO OF THE WEEK
The photograph above is the 48th Session of the Border Patrol Academy taken in front of Camp Chigas in 1953.
Border Patrol policy mandated khakis uniforms on the southern border 1951-1955. However, photographs show that khaki uniforms were worn in the lower Rio Grande Valley as early as 1949.
See this 1951 document and this 1954 document.
DOCUMENTS AND EVENTS
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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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