Becoming an Agent: John Woodill Recalls Graduation

Special Agent John Woodill remembers feeling a sense of pride and obligation when he finally received his badge and credentials during his graduation from the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

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John Woodill: Standing there—and of course family comes down like graduation day, and taking that final oath and you (get) your creds—it’s very emotional, you know. It’s hard not to tear up a little bit realizing, “Wow, I’ve succeeded what I’ve dreamed of doing, and I made it through, and I’m very proud of what I’ve done, I have friends or family who I’m sure are proud of what I’ve done, at least I hope so.” And there has to be a sense of not only great emotion but a humbling of spirit to realize that you’ve come this far and you did this, as many others have, and a sense of obligation now, you know. You’re wearing a weapon, a shield, and carrying creds, and you have this enormous responsibility to carry out what you’ve sworn to do, and I think that weighs very heavily. I hope it weighs very heavily on people; it needs to. You need to realize the gravity of what you’re doing and use that as a good gut-check as you go through your career, to remind you of why you’re here and what you promise to do for the public.

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