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ohio_AGS18  
#1121 Posted : Wednesday, September 30, 2020 2:56:25 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: RN4433 Go to Quoted Post
Started my pre-academy today. Still no word on when Maryland will be opening up again for our academy, FLETC is underway but we're still in the dark. Supposedly aggies back in march are STILL waiting so don't expect to go anytime soon, they'll get them first before any of us who were supposed to go in October.

If you still have the option ask your assigned port if its possible for you to pre-academy/wait at a port near your hometown. There was miscommunication and I ended up coming to Arizona to report and do my pre-academy but they're saying after it's done I can go home and "work" at my hometown port. What work that is I wouldn't know until I'm actually there but it sounds like busy work (if anyone has insights I'd appreciate it). No guarantees they can do this however as it's up to the discretion of your hometown port and whether or not they are willing to take you on.


So I am in the March class that was the first to be postponed, we still do not have a date as so when we will be going to Maryland. I am reporting to my local port although I am assigned to Detroit.

And to offer some insight, so far I’ve been working on filing and just doing what I can to help. Mostly busy work since we aren’t cleared or trained to really do anything

Edited by user Wednesday, September 30, 2020 2:58:59 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

stillbliss  
#1122 Posted : Wednesday, October 21, 2020 9:32:56 AM(UTC)
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My EOD was early July. My assigned port is Blaine, WA. I have been reporting to Mechanicsburg, PA which is closest to my home. There is no ag here at all. I spend my days studying stuff on Sharepoint, learning Spanish, and occasionally counting items that the officers here have seized.

This port is still almost two hours from my home so I get a motel room Monday night through Friday morning. The motel is only $49 a night so it is cheaper for me to stay here than it would be paying rent in my assigned port. Plus, I don't want to be paying rent for the 3-4 months of academy time.

I do have the option of reporting to Baltimore or Philadelphia where there is an active ag presence. However, I could never find such a cheap, relatively safe motel in those locations for the same price.

So, here's my question......(I'd like to hear from pre-academy people who are in ports with an ag presence)
Are you learning anything relevant to your future job? Are you allowed to do anything that is actually ag-related? Am I missing out on a lot by reporting close to home?

I am fine with staying right where I am at until academy starts....unless I am really missing out by being in this non-ag port.

Thank you for your input, Kristen
Leaver  
#1123 Posted : Thursday, October 22, 2020 7:56:13 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: stillbliss Go to Quoted Post
My EOD was early July. My assigned port is Blaine, WA. I have been reporting to Mechanicsburg, PA which is closest to my home. There is no ag here at all. I spend my days studying stuff on Sharepoint, learning Spanish, and occasionally counting items that the officers here have seized.

This port is still almost two hours from my home so I get a motel room Monday night through Friday morning. The motel is only $49 a night so it is cheaper for me to stay here than it would be paying rent in my assigned port. Plus, I don't want to be paying rent for the 3-4 months of academy time.

I do have the option of reporting to Baltimore or Philadelphia where there is an active ag presence. However, I could never find such a cheap, relatively safe motel in those locations for the same price.

So, here's my question......(I'd like to hear from pre-academy people who are in ports with an ag presence)
Are you learning anything relevant to your future job? Are you allowed to do anything that is actually ag-related? Am I missing out on a lot by reporting close to home?

I am fine with staying right where I am at until academy starts....unless I am really missing out by being in this non-ag port.

Thank you for your input, Kristen


Kristen,
While it is frustrating that you are not getting any direct exposure to the agriculture mission and operations, there are still some things you can do there to help your experience in training. Once you get to the FLETC part of the training, you'll be learning many things that cross over to the Officer side of operations, to include reviewing passports and other travel documents and knowing how to identify fakes and altered documents, looking for imposters, and especially how to take a thorough customs declaration. So spend some time with the Officers and see how they process people for customs and immigration. Pay special attention to how they get a good binding declaration, (hopefully they do a good job at that). Look at CBP Form 6059B and memorize all those questions without looking at the form, and know what kinds of answers you should get to those questions. Those skills will pay off once you get to FLETC. Also, see if the Officers will allow you to go into the non-live (training environment) for some of the CBP query systems like USEC and TECS. Also look over some of the paperwork they process like cargo declarations.
If you have the time, brush up on basic insect taxonomy. Just get familiar with the vocabulary, insect physiology and how to use keys to identify insects. Don't go memorizing families, classes, orders or anything to that level, just get comfortable with the process.
Also... go to the CBP Intranet home page (CBPnet) go to the "Resources" column bottom left, and then click on the "Agriculture Manuals" link so you can start looking at the Manuals used for regulating. Just get an idea of how the manuals are laid out and how to navigate through them. These manuals include:
- Manual for Agricultural Clearance
- Animal Products Manual
- Cut Flowers and Greenery Manual
- Miscellaneous and Processed Products Manual
- Plants for Planting Manual
- Seeds Not for Planting Manual
Also click on the link for the "Fruits and Vegetables Import Requirements" (FAVIR), database and try to navigate around and become familiar with it. And check out the AQIM Handbook and again get an idea of what's involved.

Good luck and hope that helps.

Edited by user Thursday, October 22, 2020 9:57:07 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

thanks 1 user thanked Leaver for this useful post.
Rivkins on 10/23/2020(UTC)
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