Border Patrol announces first female chief

WASHINGTON, DC (NBC) - The U.S. Border Patrol has announced its first female chief.

Carla Provost

Carla Provost has led the patrol as acting chief for over a year and her position was made permanent on Thursday morning.

Provost began her career as a bicycle patrol agent in Arizona and moved on to other front line assignments there and Texas.

The new chief said retention of agents, many of whom of work in difficult conditions in remote outposts is a top priority as well as expanding the number of female agents, who currently make up about five percent of the patrol.

Provost entered duty with the Border Patrol back in 1995 and has visited the Laredo Sector several times before.

During a press conference, Provost expressed admiration for the work the men and women of CBP do and thanked them for all their dedication to the country.

The U.S. Border Patrol has about 20,000 agents, most working along the southwestern border with Mexico.