John Cody is an agent with the CIA.
He has been one for some time when we first meet him. That fact and some of his history which is good to know about Cody is explained early on in that first recorded adventure:
"Cody had been at this sort of thing for a long time, utilizing infiltration and combat skills taught him courtesy of Uncle Sam's Marine Corps and honed to a razor's edge during three tours of combat duty with the Special Forces in Vietnam. There he had commanded a covert 'hit-and-git' hard strike force intended to neutralize important enemy targets, both military and civilian, and, more than a few times, behind enemy lines, pulling off success after success when there had seemed no chance for success, and usually with no mention made in official files.
"During that time he had begun working with the CIA, and after the U.S. pullout he continued, even after his official military discharge, handling difficult jobs for the Company that took him from Ireland to Iran, from Libya to El Salvador.
"He drew the missions that were considered impossible, or maybe just too damn dirty, except for someone with his skills and track record; dangerous, lonely work, but the only kind Cody could imagine for himself."
To help him in his extremely dangerous assignments are three men who have their own stories and reasons for being as tough and determined as they are. Again in that first book we are given a one-line description of Cody and his men:
JOHN CODY. A former Princetonian seasoned in Vietnam combat, he's the CIA's most amazing "mission impossible" man—and sworn to fight terrorism by any means necessary.
HAWKEYE HAWKINS. The tough, wisecracking Texan, he's one of the most daring men Cody took fire with in Vietnam.
RUFE MURPHY. The black giant whose exploits as a daredevil pilot became a legend, he saves a special hell for terrorists.
RICHARD CAINE. Booted out of England's crack anti-terrorist strike force for insubordination, he's the world's greatest demolitions expert—and one of the bravest men alive.
Together they make up a unit called Cody's Army.