There is one bond that unites every person who has worn the green U.S. Border Patrol uniform in the last six decades – the Border Patrol Academy experience. Since 1940, the only way to wear a U.S. Border Patrol badge has been to successfully complete a formalized ―basic training‖ course of instruction taught by other agents. The Academy is where raw recruits are transformed into full-fledged U.S. Border Patrol agents. It is where the life-long training of a U.S. Border Patrol agent begins. It is where each new agent learns what it means to be a member of the Border Patrol family and heir to a proud tradition of devotion to duty and service to country.
Not everyone who starts the Academy completes the program. No one ―breezes through‖ to graduation. It takes an exceptional degree of mental toughness, physical endurance, emotional maturity and firm self-discipline to successfully complete the program, graduate, and report to the field for duty. Some trainees discover that, for personal or other reasons, the U.S. Border Patrol is not the career choice for them, and they leave the program.
Speaking and understanding Spanish is an essential part of any Border Patrol Agent’s job. Most of all Border Patrol Agent trainees, will be stationed on the southern border, which includes California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Ninety percent of the undocumented aliens you will encounter at the border will speak Spanish only. It will be your job to find out more about them, help them if necessary, and arrest and interview them, if required. You can only do this effectively if you speak Spanish yourself.
Once you have completed all the previous steps, which include the initial test, all of the forms, medical exam, oral board interview and first physical test (PFT1), (these are not in any particular order). You will be contacted by a background investigator. Not all background investigators follow the same process, some will talk to your neighbors, friends, maybe your family members, ex spouses and/or your employer, it all depends on what you’ve put down on your paperwork and what they can dig up on you.
The application process begins with an online application through www.usajob.gov when there is an open annoucement. After completing the online application you will be prompted to choose a location for testing. When applying you can choose level GS5, GS7 or GS9 make sure you apply for all if you feel that you might not qualify for another. It is very important choose a location for testing that is convenient to you. You will be required to show up with a government ID (driver’s license will work) and two number 2 pencils for the test. After you complete the online application, you will receive a study package in the mail which will also include an introductory video. If you are a native spanish speaker you can choose to take the spanish test on your test date. If you’re not a native spanish speaker, you will be required to take the artificial language test. Don’t worry, you will receive an artificial language test study guide.