U.S. Border Patrol Chief, Mark Morgan announced the selection of Deputy Assistant Commissioner Carla Provost to serve as Deputy Chief to more than 23,000 employees of the U.S. Border Patrol. In this role, Provost will serve as chief operating officer—responsible for daily operations, planning and directing nationwide enforcement initiatives, and ensuring mission readiness. This makes Provost the highest ranking female in the entire 92-year history of the Border Patrol.
“I am deeply honored,” said Provost. “I realize it’s historic but I wasn’t aiming to do this. I never set out to be in this position, I’ve just focused on doing the best job in the position I’m in, and not looking at the next one. Doing my best has always led to that next position.”
Females only comprise five percent of the Border Patrol agent force, but they are every bit as tough and capable as their male counterparts. There have only been five female Sector Chiefs in the history of the Border Patrol. The U.S. Border Patrol was formed in 1924, however, it was not until 1975 that the first female agent, Christina Gee, graduated from the academy.
“Because there are so few of us, female agents always stand out,” said Provost. “I always tell women when they ask, they get to decide how they are going to stand out. I never saw myself as a ‘female agent,’ I just saw myself as a Border Patrol agent. And now I want to focus on my men and women on the front lines, just making sure I can help them do their jobs, and get home safe.”
Since September 2015, Provost has served as the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Professional Responsibility, which oversees compliance with all Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) agency-wide programs and policies relating to corruption, misconduct, or mismanagement and for executing internal security and integrity awareness programs.
Provost says some of the lessons learned along the way include making sure she was engaged in all aspects of the mission. She encourages agents to stretch themselves, to get out of their comfort zones, and to take assignments they wouldn’t normally chose for themselves.
Among the many accomplishments in her distinguished career, Provost led the standup of CBP’s Use of Force Center of Excellence, now known as the Law Enforcement Safety and Compliance Directorate, which is responsible for the development of CBP’s Use of Force policy and provides the agency with comprehensive and operational Use of Force programs. Provost also served as an instructor for bike patrol units, firearms training, and post-academy law while stationed in Douglas, Arizona, and directed sector budgets and human resources, and later oversaw operations at Yuma Sector.
Provost entered on duty with the Border Patrol on January 8, 1995, as a member of Class 277.