The worldwide popular TV show, the Discovery Channel’s “Lone Target” featured Joel Lambert as the mainstream star. The show is known also as “Manhunt” for the viewers outside the United States. Joel Lambert has spent ten years as a Navy SEAL.
“In China, it’s called ‘Capture the Special Master,’ and that’s awesome,” Lambert says.
The idea behind “Lone Target” pits Joel Lambert and his SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) skills against some of the world’s best military tracking units, including units on each continent including Maori warriors in New Zealand and U.S. Army’s Phantom Recon unit in the Arizona deserts. The story begins with Lambert’s insertion into the area controlled by “Hunter Force Unit’s” and his goal is to reach a designated extraction point within a certain amount of time without being caught.
“SERE [survival, evasion, resistance, escape] was something I enjoyed as a Navy SEAL,” Lambert says. “The field craft, SERE, heavy weapons, and explosives were the kinds of things I gravitated towards and did a lot of training in,” he added.
This is not the first time for Lambert to pose in front of cameras. Before he enlisted in the Navy, he actually did some acting.
“I had a background in commercials,” Lambert says. “I never thought this would ever be part of my life again. A friend of mine said he was putting a show together, looking for special operations guys with tracking and survival background. I went out there and saw they had guys from [the British] Special Air Service, Recon Marines, all these guys with specific skills sets. I thought, okay maybe this is more than just a guy trying to cobble together a pilot.”
He was right. “Lone Target” is a hit for the Discovery Channel. And what Lambert did next would change his life.
“I ran into the desert, built some booby traps, talked about tracking and tactics, the psychology of being hunted or hunting,” he says. “They offered me the gig and I thought, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ My ego is at stake. I’m going to be wearing that trident on my chest whether I talk about it or not. I’m going to be representing all my brothers. It was a huge risk.”
“Those are exactly the reasons why I had to do it,” he laughs. “It was the most amazing experience.”
Joel Lambert was caught three times out of six in the first season and only once the second.
“It’s a very hard thing, especially doing it in the daytime so we can film and I have a camera guy with me,” he says. “All the things that are necessary to making the show handicap me, not the hunter force. At first, I thought it was just unfair, but the more I thought about it, I was like, ‘You know what? It makes it even better because when I do get away because then I’ve really pulled some shit off.’”
The first time he gets in touch with the Navy SEALs was when he was ten years old. In that time, his father introduced him to a friend who had just finished BUD/s. He remembers the stories about how challenging it was to successfully complete BUD/s both physically and mentally. That has become his life goal for next 12 years when he enlisted in the Navy at age 22.