Standing corps

Border Guard Officers


Marcos joined Frontex after more than 20 years of experience in various military services in Cyprus. He is currently deployed to Finland as a border guard.

“My primary task is to support the Finnish authorities with border surveillance. Every day, we patrol the Finnish-Russian border.

This deployment is unusual and unique. While we got used to patrol in a car, in Finland our patrols also take place… on skis! There is a lot of snow, the days are short and the temperature can vary from -10 to -30 degrees. Each day, we may patrol on cross-country skis for about 20 kilometres in places that cannot be reached by car.

Before this deployment, we received a specialised five-day training and the necessary equipment to prepare us for working in these conditions. I have also learned how to identify human and animal footprints in the snow. These are the main elements of our daily patrolling.

I am among the first standing corps officers to wear a weapon. We are proud to make history, to be among the first to get executive powers. Before we were allowed to wear a weapon, each of us had to undergo an individual assessment carried out by the Finnish authorities.  All Frontex officers are trained in law enforcement, so this is rather a refresher training. It included local laws and regulations regarding use of force and practical exercises.

The exam was demanding but not difficult since we are all law enforcement officers with previous experience. It was more demanding than any other weapons exam I have taken before as it was held in an open shooting range with sub-freezing temperatures reaching -10 degrees in order to stick to the real working conditions. Most of us could not feel our fingers from the cold and this made the exam very tough but we need to get accustomed to using weapons in this environment.

Frontex takes evaluations, examinations and assessments very seriously and does not leave anything to chance. The weapons assessment is mandatory and is performed at least once a year to prove that your skills and knowledge in weapons handling and use of force is up to date.

I think that self-discipline is one the most important skills to perform this job. Frontex is very important to protect the EU’s external borders. It has a capacity to monitor the situation from the European perspective and share this expertise with the national authorities for the benefit of all EU citizens.” 

Border guard officers are deployed to various locations at the EU’s external borders, from North to South, from West to East. They assist national authorities in border surveillance and border patrols.