FBI Careers: Special Agent
FBI Special Agent John Woodill talks about his experience working with the FBI.
I'm John Woodill; I'm a supervisory special agent and the unit chief of the WMD Director Operations Response Unit.
Before the Bureau, I worked as a journalist for about 10 or 12 years, primarily broadcast news. I worked in radio, I worked in television, I wrote, I produced, I anchored, I did some field reporting for a while in two different markets. But all along, my goal for a long time was to be an FBI special agent.
The Operations Response Unit is, as we like to refer to it as the tip of the spear for the Bureau's Weapons of Mass Destruction response. Essentially what my unit does is evaluate weapons of mass destruction threats. So, anything dealing with chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats. Materials, actors, incidents, we have a process in which we evaluate it, determine how bad it is, if it's real. If so, what do we need to do about it? And we assemble the teams to be dispatched to take care of the problem.
People look at the FBI as sometimes a glamorous career, especially for special agents because of how it's portrayed in TV and film. Fact of the matter is this: the action, the arrests, the guns, the badges, the high-profile stuff may be icing on the cake, you want to look at it that way. But the fact is that day in and day out, you're going to be doing a lot of writing, a lot of reports, a lot of analysis. Trying to make sense of a barrage of information, what it means, is it of any use? It requires a solid grounding in whatever your educated in. Judgement, critical thinking, that's the day in and day out.
The Bureau's afforded me tremendous opportunities. I think any one of us you speak to, not just simply those who are agents, but anyone working in the FBI will probably tell you the same story. There are extraordinary opportunities available to people. In the special agent career path, what I've been able to do is go places, meet people, work investigations, see things I never would have seen otherwise.
- 02.20.2018 — Facebook Live Event: FBI Victim Assistance
- 02.20.2018 — Seeking Information in Memphis Gas Station Robbery
- 02.16.2018 — FBI Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Program
- 02.16.2018 — Children of Thomas Wales Seek Information
- 02.09.2018 — FBI Cincinnati Hate Crime Investigation
- 02.08.2018 — Download the FBI Bank Robbers App
- 02.05.2018 — Salt Lake City ATM Robbery Attempt
- 02.02.2018 — 2017 Biometric Identification Award
- 01.26.2018 — Kidnapping in Calumet City, Illinois, December 20, 2017
- 01.17.2018 — FBI and Security Preparations for Super Bowl LII
- 01.17.2018 — Super Bowl Brings a Focus on Human Trafficking
- 01.09.2018 — E-Check Tutorial: Firearm Retrieval Questions
- 01.09.2018 — FBI Hazardous Devices School Intro
- 01.09.2018 — Training with Bomb Disposal Robots (360-Degree Video)
- 01.09.2018 — Inside the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School
- 01.02.2018 — Arizona Armed Robbery
- 12.18.2017 — Utah U.S. Attorney Discusses Affinity Fraud
- 12.18.2017 — SEC Regional Director Describes Affinity Fraud
- 12.18.2017 — Utah Fraud Victim Describes Her Ordeal
- 12.18.2017 — Salt Lake Agent Describes Affinity Fraudster Tactics