Celebrating Agents of Asian Ancestry: John Uda

A former teacher, John Uda served from 1979 to 2004 with assignments in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and FBI Headquarters.

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When I was a seventh-grader in a little Homedale (Idaho) town, I watched The FBI Story with Jimmy Stewart and I said, "That’s what I’d like to be." So that’s what I kind of set my goal as being an FBI agent.

I had a great time. It’s really what I always wanted. I knew I didn’t want to be a farmer. I knew I didn’t want to be a teacher. I went the teaching route and got in. I remember I had five goals in the FBI from the get-go. And that was, number one, have as much fun as possible. Number two, don’t get killed. Number three, be a defensive tactics instructor. And number four is be on SWAT. And number five is work violent crime. And I got to do—I didn’t get killed—I got to do all of those.

When I think about war stories, I think really of SWAT and all the things we did on SWAT. When I think of contributions to the Bureau, I think of the three years that I was a defensive tactics instructor at the Academy. You know I have agents that are now retiring that I taught the ropes to. So that was my contribution.

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