Border Patrol Agent: First Day on the Job

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Congratulations! After going through the most rigorous selection process with the Customs and Border Protection hiring authorities, passing the written Border Patrol Entrance Exam, the two challenging Physical Fitness tests, and the extensive background checks, you can finally call yourself a Border Patrol Agent (BPA). The journey towards getting this law enforcement job was by no means easy and you certainly want to start your first day right.

To help make your first day go smoothly, make sure that you don’t forget the forms that you need to bring and sign to make your appointment official. Basically, the first day involves an in-process orientation for new employees. You will be welcomed and your Oath of Office administered. Don’t forget to bring your Social Security card, passport or driver’s license, Appointment Affidavits (SF-61), and Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9).

All new employees are required to submit the Appointment Affidavits and the Employment Eligibility Verification. The Appointment Affidavit is used on the first day of work when you take the Oath of Office. Remember that this form is not to be completed until you are already sworn in. The form that you will bring should be blank and should only be signed and dated after you are sworn in.

The Employment Eligibility Verification form, meanwhile, is used to verify your citizenship and your eligibility to work in the United States. Before your first day on the job, complete Section 1 and sign it. You will present this together with your Social Security card and another form of identification (your license or passport) to verify your citizenship.

Be sure to pay attention to the orientation and the instructions that senior officers will give you. Start building good rapport with your fellow officers. Even if you won’t be assigned to the same duty location, you will still be working with each other, collaborating together on cases involving illegal aliens and smuggled goods. Since you are part one agency, teamwork is necessary.

Get to know the rules and regulations of the agency. Study the informational materials you will be given and make it a point to know the standard operating procedures by heart. If you understand the theory, you won’t risk committing unnecessary infractions that could put you in trouble while doing your job.

Finally, be sure to keep yourself in the best of shape always. You will be more able to do your enforcement duties successfully if you eat the right food, exercise regularly, and follow a healthy lifestyle to stay fit.