So You Wanna be a Border Patrol Agent….

February 27, 2017  
Categories: Learnin'

Once again Rocco joins us for a subject he’s intimately familiar with: becoming a United States Border Patrol Agent. See his previous post about earning your Ranger Tab here. Catch him at the Nancy’s Squat’n’Gobble buffet on Spaghetti Night for an autograph. Mad Duo

So you Wanna be a Border Patrol Agent….

Vince “Rocco” Vargas

I get this question all the time…

How do I become a Border Patrol Agent?

How do I join Special Operations?

First you need to apply for the Border Patrol. You do this by going to USAJOBS.Gov. There they’ll have the application if they’re currently hiring. Once you fill it out you should receive a test dates within days. If you pass that test then you will have the oral exam (show up in a suit and tie for fucks sake!) and other exams, from the physical fitness test (super easy) to a health examination and background investigation (which takes the longest). Eventually if you make it past all that you will have to do a polygraph (good luck).

Once you’ve made it through the process you’ll have to get through the ParaMilitary Academy. If you have any military background you’ll be comfortable with it.

The academy consists of PT and a lot of learning. Without giving away too much information, it covers anything within the realm of immigration and illegal drug education as well as Basic Law Enforcement training and driving.

If you don’t speak Spanish well enough to pass a verbal phone test you will have to stay for another few weeks to learn what I call “Working Spanish,” which is just enough to sound like an idiot in front of your Spanish speaking partners.

After all this is complete (about five months) you will head to your duty station and start your Field Training and testing. This will last up to a year.

After two years of being an Agent you will then have the opportunity to try out for other teams. I’ll talk about two of those teams, BORTAC and BORSTAR.

There’s been a rumor that I was a BORTAC Agent. That’s false. I was a BORSTAR Agent attached to BORTAC. I was fortunate enough to be on a team that respected my previous training from the military and was basically pulled in to the team as a medic but was treated as a operator with medical training. This isn’t always the case with other teams.

BORSTAR Selection is about 30 days. I won’t talk about what the selection process is all about since I’m one of the people who helped shape the course into what it is today, but I can tell you it’s no walk in the park. I believe it is a very respectable challenge for any level of physical and mentally strong individual.

A BORSTAR Agent can have a similar mission to an Air Force PJ.

I have heard BORTAC Selection is a challenge as well, and closely resembles a short version of Ranger School.

Either way be ready for a challenge you didn’t expect to see in the civilian world.

Once you have joined the teams:

BORSTAR’s agents receive additional advanced specialized training in emergency medical, tactical medicine, technical rope rescue, paramedic, austere medic, load planner, helicopter rope suspension training, rescue watercraft/boat operator, cold-weather operations, personnel recovery, small unit tactics, tactical combat casualty care, operations management and planning, and advanced dive, swift-water, and technical rope rescue operations.

BORTAC’s agents acquire additional skill sets in high-risk warrant service, intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance, foreign law enforcement/Border Patrol capacity building, airmobile operations, maritime operations, and precision marksman/observer.

Having a career in the Border Patrol was one of the best decisions I ever made. If you’re looking to be a part of the federal system, have the ability to be in the field and be an independent worker this is a career for you. If you want to work hard there is plenty of work out there to find. The pay is comfortable and the action can be frequent. If you join one of the Special Operations teams, life in the Patrol can have more benefits. I was living the dream being a medic for my BORTAC team. BORTAC was in my opinion one of the most talented and experienced teams out there.


Hopefully I’ve answered all your questions. If you have more questions feel free to hit me up on any of my social media platforms.

So I leave it up to you, if you want to be a Border Patrol Agent, all you need to do is apply!



Read more Advice for the Noble Profession of Arms

Army Ranger in Afghanistan.




Vincent "Rocco" Vargas

Got a smoke?

About Vincent Vargas


Rocco served four years with the 75TH Ranger Regiment. During his tenure with the Regiment, he did three combat deployments to Iraq, serving in every billet on rifle, crew-served and anti-tank teams. After his AD time was up Rocco went on to become a USAR Drill Sergeant at Ft. Sill. He then went on to join the US Border Patrol and eventually volunteered for BORSTAR (Border Patrol Search and Rescue Special Operations Unit). He later worked as a SOG Operator attached to a BORTAC team, medic and combatives instructor, ultimately leaving to become a vetrepreneur after a lengthy period of honorable service. He is the author of Light the Fuse and a part of the FX Networks Mayans MC television drama series.

Rocco is married with four kids (two girls, two boys) – among whose young ranks are boxers, MMA fighters, baseball players, volleyball players and assorted other warriors in training. An international celebrity on par with such greats as Jack Elam and Zac Efron’s little brother, he’s basically our own tattooed combat veteran Hasselhoff.

Follow him on Instagram at @vincent.rocco.vargas (his podcast is at @vinnyroc). He’s online at

Get banged on the regular, sign up for the newsletter!

Mad Duo

Mad Duo

About the Author


  1. Shaft

    Thanks My Brother in Arm’s, had the honor of working with some great BP Agent’s during Op Jump Start, Tucson Sect, 2006, Thanks again, Blessings.

  2. Mark Mobley

    I went through most of the BP application process, then dropped out in favor of becoming a paramedic. I think it was the best decision I made, I love what I do every single day. Had I known, or understood BORSTAR better, I might have reconsidered. I may still. Thank you for the insight. Do you know if your PM license must be reissued based on the state your assigned?

  3. MO

    Nice article Vince. Glad you are doing good young lad!!

  4. Phil Earnest

    So you were first a Ranger, what Battalion? then BP, and then BORSTAR, is this correct??

    I went to the 2 of the 75th back in 84, finished RIP, started with a class of 166 want a bee’s, after the fourth or the begging of the fourth week we had 24, left and then two of them failed the PT test, I keep hearing one, one, one,one, get your butt up Ranger, then 10 of us went to “C” Company 2nd of the 75th RGR, first platoon, third squad. Learned to be a Ranger under then Sgt Carl Detrick, who finished as a Command Sargent Major of the Third Ranger Regiment, not really sure if Dek retired at this regiment, he’s has two combat jumps. Went to one of the first regimental Pre-Ranger classes, then right to Ranger School in November of 85-86, yes, white thread was used to sew my Tab to all of my Jungle fatigues, did a lot of push-up because of that but I refused to re sew it onto my Jungles, I’m a winter Ranger and we are your worst night mare made flesh, if you went through a winter course you will understand, it just plan sucked. Once I got out, I went into the BP, class 245, finished my six & ten month tests, then it was a badge and a gun, I then went to BORTAC class 10, of the fifty of us who started, I was one of the ten (X3) who graduated; this was in 1994, then Clinton came into office and OP bright star was canceled, so going down south was a no go.I was asked to assist in teaching, Smoking, class 11, but was officered an Investigations job up here in UT with then INS now DHS/ICE. I’m looking at mandatory retirement in may 2017, basically I wanted to tell you it was refreshing to read/hear you tell your readers you were not BORTAC, and, yes, it was based on Ranger school. I like your guys web sight but your all young cherry Rangers, no offence meant, it took me a while to understand what you meant by “Blue Falcons” in my day they were Bravo Foxtrots (BF) or as we referred to them Buddy Fuckers, they usually didn’t last a patrol once it was confirmed they were a BF. I’m a retiring Fed now and these young guys just don’t understand what “not leaving a fallen Comrade behind” means anymore or I’m just a dinosaur whose time has passed, wouldn’t mind talking with you about the old days, your the very first guy I’ve encountered in law enforcement whose career has been so very close/mirried mine in our experiences. It took me a long time to get fragging a room and then dealing with anyone still standing out of my mind after the Rangers and start thinking like a cop, big difference between UCMJ & USC of federal regulation or Justice. Stay Safe. I wrote this for you and not to be posted if that’s OK.

    • Shaft

      You remind me of the great men who helped my mother raise me into the great man I am today, Thanks again for your service and its people like you who made a great impact in my life, Rangers Lead The Way, Blessings.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular Articles back Breach-Bang-Clear

Find what’s in stock, and where, and compare prices. 

⚠️ Some hyperlinks in this article may contain affiliate links. If you use them to make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. It’s just one way to Back the Bang. #backthebang 

Get Patched In

Wretched Minion Patch