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  • Originally posted by DMC1988 View Post

    My my question is, having a family, which location would you guys (current agents) recommend in which my commute wouldn’t be too long, yet still live somewhere in which I could raise a family? Thanks guys!
    You're going to have to be more specific on where you were offered or what you accepted since there too many to just guess where you're talking about. For example, most south Texas stations you can live 5-30 minutes from your station in a decent area. There a few where it will be an hour plus to live in a 'normal' area. Then west Texas for example, it is going to be a lot more of the long commute stations.

    Help us help you.
    UNITED STATES BORDER PATROL
    "90 years of tradition unhindered by progress!"


    honor first

    Comment


    • Exbpa340
      Exbpa340 commented
      Editing a comment
      I’ve worked in 4 of the stations you have listed (but it’s been many years) and can speak with some knowledge about a few others.

      IMB - Imperial Beach covers (or used to cover) from the Pacific Ocean to the San Ysidro POE. This will be almost exclusively X work (static positions).

      BRF - Brown Field (I was stationed there for 7 years) covers/used to cover from Otay Mesa POE to East of Otay Mountain and was responsible for the HWY 94 checkpoint. We had a few Xs and a decent amount of mountain work plus a checkpoint.

      Campo and Boulevard will be mainly mountain work with Campo having the I-8 checkpoint (or at least they used to have it).

      San Diego is a beautiful city but is crazy expensive and has horrendous traffic. If you were to choose BRF or IMB I imagine that you would be very junior (seniority) for many many years.

      Calexico - Between El Centro and Calexico I did 9 or 10 details. Extremely hot and less than spectacular place with one exception. There is an abundance of attractive Latin women in the Calexico/El Centro/Mexicali area and is the only redeeming quality. About 1.5 hours to San Diego. The work was somewhat enjoyable. Horrible education and medical care. Would not even contemplate raising a family here.

      Yuma - I did three details there back in the day. It’s ok I guess but it’s crazy hot (one of the hottest places I’ve ever been) and not really a place to raise a family. Both San Diego and Phoenix are about 2.5 hours away.

      Douglas - I did one detail there many moons ago and it was the worst place I worked as a PA. Douglas proper is a rather unpleasant place but most PAs live in or near Sierra Vista (about an hour drive).

      Nogales - I have not logged anytime in Nogales but have heard decent things. One advantage is that you can live near Tucson and have access to quite a few amenities. Cost of living is very reasonable.

      I can’t speak with any knowledge about the Texas stations other than a classmate of mine stationed in Kingsville telling me to stay away from the Rio Grande area. He actually recommended AZ stations as a better place to work (he was at BRF with me and went on many of the same details to AZ stations).

      Top choice for me would be Nogales. It has a strong reputation. A commute of 40 minutes would have you living in a decent neighborhood just outside of Tucson and the houses go for 175 - 250k. Above 250k you can get a really nice house. Temperature around Tucson/Nogales is hot but significantly cooler than Yuma or Calexico.

      San Diego choices 1 - BRF (fewer static positions than IMB). 2 - Campo. 3 - IMB and lastly Boulevard.

      I would not consider Calexico unless I was single. I would not accept Douglas or Yuma.

      Just my 2 cents

    • DMC1988
      DMC1988 commented
      Editing a comment
      Gentlemen, you don’t know how helpful you all have been.

      Thank you very much.

      After careful consideration, research, and speaking to the wife, i decided to take the CBPO route. We won’t have to relocate, and financially we would be better off. I’m starting as a GS9 (thankful for that) and that puts up in a better position up here in the northeast.

      Once again, thanks guy! Expo, Shu, Battlewagon, Singleronin, and Merlin (from CBP) my goal is to be as knowledgeable as you guys in the coming years. Thanks!

    • Radio Raheem
      Radio Raheem commented
      Editing a comment
      DMC1988 I think you made the best decision for your family. Sometimes that's what it comes down to but people take the selfish route. Congrats on your new opportunity!

    • DMC1988
      DMC1988 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you Radio Raheem

      Also for all your input. Stay safe!

  • Hey guys, I'm sure this has already been said numerous times before, but location is very important within Border Patrol. Make sure you take a location that you can live with, for both you and your family, if you have one. Things to do, medical, schools, etc. Even for you single guys and gals, depending upon the location, the dating scene might be full of a ton of people with baggage that you really don't want to deal with, or you might have to drive a very long way to have a nightlife.

    Due to attrition and a mass amount of retirements, we are really hurting for people and its only going to get worse in the near future, so the ball is in your court. HR is offering better and far more options than what I got 13 years ago, I'm sure that can be said for many of the other BPA's on this site as well. I only got one option, take it or leave it.

    Make a good choice, because there's a very good chance you will be unable to transfer for 8 - 10 years, if not longer.

    There's a good amount of current and former PA's on here that are happy to answer any questions you have, and we're not going to sugarcoat it for you, we'll tell it to you straight.

    Comment


    • Passed my PFT two days ago just waiting on the update on CASS. It'll push me to 50% on BPA and OFO (already 50% on that). Now the waiting game on the Poly and BI to finish. I'm really unsure which of the two I'll end up picking since both will give an offer when done. I love the idea of having actual patrol work with BP, but OFO seems like it would be a more stable long term since every port of entry uses them country wide (and internationally). I'm going to be researching heavily

      Comment


      • Does anyone have insight on using a GI bill for the time at the academy? I've heard other guys have done it. (Specifically post 9/11)

        Comment


        • battlewagon
          battlewagon commented
          Editing a comment
          It definitely can be done and many do. I can't help on the how, but it's pretty common. The academy is in Artesia, NM, not Brunswick FLETC

        • Talonderiel
          Talonderiel commented
          Editing a comment
          NoSoup4you, it has been covered on the CBPO threat. (https://forum.officer.com/forum/empl...82#post6809582)

          From Krash777,

          For veterans that want to use there GI Bill whole at academy.

          CBP employees wishing to use this program must, as the "student", directly connect with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) via the following link and submitting the required On-the-Job (OJT) training forms for Post 9/11 G.I. Bill purposes:

          https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/d..._Factsheet.pdf

          https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/o...enticeship.asp
          The CBP employee then works with their supervisor to provide VA with all required paperwork for the G.I. Bill payment.

        • NoSoup4you
          NoSoup4you commented
          Editing a comment
          Talonderiel looked around but I guess not hard enough. Appreciate it!!
          Last edited by NoSoup4you; 09-03-2019, 12:19 PM.

        • Talonderiel
          Talonderiel commented
          Editing a comment
          NoSoup4you, no worries... that's why I'm still hanging around these forums! I'm sure some of the CBPOs, BPAs, and MIAs hang around too. The forum search functioning is not the easiest to use on sometimes.

          If any AEAs are hanging around, that's the secret group. :P

      • When is the next academy date?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by MadameAshley View Post
          When is the next academy date?
          Academy classes start the academy pretty much every other week at a minimum. When they are really cranking them out, I've seen a new class EOD every week. But I believe every other week is the norm right now last time I spoke to a good friend teaching there now.
          UNITED STATES BORDER PATROL
          "90 years of tradition unhindered by progress!"


          honor first

          Comment


          • Hey guys I have just passed my polygraph and finished everything else for the applicant process. Does anyone know what is next step or if i will be given a academy start date anytime soon? also is it common to start the academy while the background investigation is still going on?

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Cgrizz View Post
              Hey guys I have just passed my polygraph and finished everything else for the applicant process. Does anyone know what is next step or if i will be given a academy start date anytime soon? also is it common to start the academy while the background investigation is still going on?
              I'd you haven't already done it, you will have the drug test. There should have been a form when you started your background that you could opt in or out of going to the academy on a provisional clearance. A provisional clearance is where they do a very preliminary background and if everything looks like it'll probably turn out all right, they send you to the academy while it finishes. Of course if anything turns negative then you will be pulled from training and terminated, if you can't justify their findings or explain them. It's not a big deal if you don't opt-in for this, it just means you have to wait until the background fully clears before receiving an EOD date.
              UNITED STATES BORDER PATROL
              "90 years of tradition unhindered by progress!"


              honor first

              Comment


              • Cgrizz
                Cgrizz commented
                Editing a comment
                thanks for the information!

            • Hi, I took PFT1 today for BPA, passed step test and push ups, may have failed sit ups. If I am given another chance, do I just have to do the sit ups or everything else again? Thanks!

              Comment


              • battlewagon
                battlewagon commented
                Editing a comment
                How did they not give you a defined yes or no answer at the conclusion of the test? It isn't something that should be open to interpretation of in a 'pending' status while the determine if you passed or failed the situp requirement. What did they say?

              • WannabeCBP
                WannabeCBP commented
                Editing a comment
                The lady who administer the test said she had confidentiality and couldn’t tell me, and that I would get notification from the agency. I just want to know if anybody failed one of them and was given another chance to retest just the one that didnt go well.

            • Can anyone explain to me how advancement works for BPA. does your paygrade automatically advance every year until you reach gs 12? and is it easy to reach the 6 figure pay range since there is no overtime?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Cgrizz View Post
                Can anyone explain to me how advancement works for BPA. does your paygrade automatically advance every year until you reach gs 12? and is it easy to reach the 6 figure pay range since there is no overtime?
                Basically you got it correct. Lets say you hire in as a GS-5 on January 2. The following Jan 2 you automatically get GS-7, the next Jan GS-9 then GS-11 then GS12. Upon reaching GS-12, every year you will get a STEP increase. Its usually like $900-$1100 more per year, and that continues until STEP 5. After STEP 5 then the increases occur every two years. At the GS-11 pay level, with holiday pay and some night shifts, you can make $100,000 a year.

                Comment


                • WannabeCBP
                  WannabeCBP commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Nice path!

                • Exbpa340
                  Exbpa340 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  ****Two years between steps for step 4 to 5, 5 to 6 and 6 to 7. Three years between steps for 7 to 8, 8 to 9 and 9 to 10.***

                • DiverB72
                  DiverB72 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Ahhh got it. It was so long that I was a lower step, I totally forgot. Gosh with 3 years in between steps, guess I wont see anymore past this next one

              • Hey lads quick question, I have Asthma, it's controlled but the paper work i got says I need a thing from my doc clearing me for duty.

                Anybody with experience know if I can just use a copy of my doctors sign-off on the CBP Medical Review forms?
                I'd go back to my doctor and have him write a short note signing off on this but i'm uninsured and the doc I had is a pretty cheap individual... for reference I asked him for a copy of my medical documents and he wanted to charge me for each page that was in a PDF on a flash drive, so essentially over $300 to copy and paste a PDF into my usb stick....

                Comment


                • NoSoup4you
                  NoSoup4you commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Chances are theyll ask for a methacoline challenge and/or a pulmonary function test. Itll be on the pricey side without insurance. Also very exhausting. Once those tests are complete, then a letter from the doc confirming the findings.

                  They might proceed without it but those 2 tests are probably and should be what they ask for.

              • Oh one more thing, I'm looking into getting a personal trainer since I've got 2 months before i ship out.

                Is there a physical fitness test at the academy that if you don't pass it in your first week you're automatically **** canned? If so what is the thing that most newbies fail on?

                I'm trying to do good by my family and country and I'd love to go above and beyond expectations, it's somewhat hard to do with my current job and salary but i'm trying to make time to better myself!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Buck_Macdonald View Post
                  Oh one more thing, I'm looking into getting a personal trainer since I've got 2 months before i ship out.

                  Is there a physical fitness test at the academy that if you don't pass it in your first week you're automatically **** canned? If so what is the thing that most newbies fail on?

                  I'm trying to do good by my family and country and I'd love to go above and beyond expectations, it's somewhat hard to do with my current job and salary but i'm trying to make time to better myself!
                  Honestly all you need to be doing now is a basic workout doing the fundamentals. Running, sprints, sit ups, push ups, and body weight stuff like wall sits, air squats, lunges, etc. It may seem like an over simplification, but what will be your breaking point at the academy is the 400th body builder, not failing at some advanced technique lifting form that a trainer will help you perfect.

                  Save the money from the trainer and use it to eat right. Go ahead and get off energy drinks and caffeine while you are at home instead of going cold turkey at the academy.

                  There is a test pretty much out the gate and if you don't pass it at the graduation level standards then you'll get yelled out and maybe have to do a memo. Nothing permenant or that will follow you from the academy. The only one that actually matters is the graduation test. However it is in your interest to pass all of them.
                  Last edited by battlewagon; 09-08-2019, 07:30 PM.
                  UNITED STATES BORDER PATROL
                  "90 years of tradition unhindered by progress!"


                  honor first

                  Comment


                  • Any tips or advice for the poly? (Other than arriving early, minimizing stress... etc)
                    I never had a meeting with a BI and no one contacted any of my references. Poly is in a few weeks.

                    Also, when you EOD and arrive at the station, what is the living situation? Are you paying out of pocket for a hotel until you go to the academy?

                    Comment

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