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    Military Skills Put to Use for This Army veteran

    Phillip Stern enjoyed a head start on beginning his law enforcement career two years ago.
    With five years of Army experience under his belt, the regimen, pace and structure as well as the physical and academic challenges at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia, were nothing new.
    “It was very helpful and similar,” said Stern, relating his military background to his law enforcement training. In fact, Stern became a section leader because of his Army drill and ceremony expertise. More importantly, he received a GI Bill stipend while attending the academy in addition to his CBP pay.
    After 16 weeks of training, he was badged as Customs and Border Protection Officer Phillip Stern and assigned to the Port of Roma, Texas. At this border town Stern put his people skills to work screening travelers entering the U.S. and helping to facilitate trade. Roma is a small port, so Stern quickly gained well-rounded experience.
    It didn’t take long for this former combat engineer to make another move. This time to Buffalo, N.Y., close to his home, family and friends. The new assignment offers variety, Stern explained, where he splits his work between two bridges located in Niagara Falls and Lewiston, N.Y. He still inspects visitors but may also conduct more in-depth inspections on travelers seeking a longer stay in the U.S.
    “Finding that one person who doesn’t belong is a rewarding challenge,” said Stern.
    The Port of Buffalo is a large and busy place with many opportunities for career growth. Stern, who holds an associate’s degree in business administration, aims to eventually specialize. He aspires to work in the targeting unit, where visitors and cargo are screened before entering the U.S. Eventually, Stern hopes to become a supervisor, all while remaining in Buffalo.
    While CBP officers have opportunities to work in different locations, including other countries, it’s also not unusual to spend an entire career in one location.
    Officer Phillip Stern checks for proper credentials at the international border.
    While his Army background has contributed well to his CBP position, there are also some differences, he noted. Having a union and working in more predictable and structured settings are among the biggest.

    “In the military, work seemed to have no end,” said Stern. Nevertheless, while he now serves the nation as CBP Officer Stern, his dedication to service continues as Staff Sergeant Stern in the Army Reserve.
    For information on CBP careers, visit



    Date Taken: 11.09.2016
    Date Posted: 11.09.2016 17:24
    Story ID: 214300
    Location: DC, US

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