From SEAL to Gaming Creator
Meet the Master of Escape and Evade — Joel Lambert
By Annie Nelson
U.S. Navy SEAL and Afghanistan and Kosovo veteran Joel Lambert keeps things interesting. The star of the Discovery Channel’s Lone Target TV show (known outside the U.S. market as Manhunt) started on his journey due to fear, and fear has never defined him.
If you ask Lambert WHY he became a SEAL, he will tell you, “I wanted to be a SEAL because it was the thing that scared me the most!” You see, he wasn’t sure he could achieve it, so something inside him told him that was what he had to do. As Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club, said, “Find out what you’re afraid of and go live there.”
I asked Lambert how being a SEAL changed him as a man. “How did it change me? It rewrote my DNA. It inducted me into a sacred brotherhood that stretches back to time immemorial and goes forward to who knows where. There are a few true warrior societies left on Earth, and the SEAL teams are one of them. Long Live the Brotherhood.”
Residing in middle Tennessee now, Lambert loves the country life and living off the land. He has a passion for the people in his life, his dogs and our freedom and independence as humans.
Lambert has found his freedom and independence and is thriving! “I had to get out of California. Tennessee is gorgeous. I live on 80 acres of paradise with deer, turkey and all kinds of wildlife on our property. We are becoming self-sufficient, and I can drive into downtown Nashville [which is] 20 minutes away and have world-class entertainment, the city and everything I might need. It’s paradise here.”
I asked him what things from his military career led him to the life he has lived after his Navy career. Lambert said, “It was such a shaping experience that I can’t dissect it like that. To do so would cheapen the complete metamorphosis that the SEAL Teams were for me. However, the things that were uncovered/revealed in my being from that experience are some of the most precious in my existence.”
After his military career, Hollywood came calling. Lambert did quite a bit of scripted acting at first, and he still does occasionally, but he is mostly done with that chapter. The show Lambert is most proud of is Manhunt. He was dropped into foreign countries where he would sneak over their border, parachute in or come out of the ocean. The host nation’s Special Operations Forces, fugitive recovery team or specialty tracking unit would then try to track him down and capture him before he made it to his designated extraction point — one to four days after he started.
Lambert would use anti-tracking, counter-tracking (a primitive skillset) and all his wits and experience to try to get away before they could catch him. They would use everything at their disposal: Dogs, drones, human trackers, electronic gear, thermal imaging, whatever they wanted. Per Lambert, “It was an amazing experience and a great show.
We aired in over 240 countries and territories worldwide. I know exactly what drew me to Manhunt. [It] was precisely because I didn’t want to do it that I knew I had to [do it]. I did not want to do it because it would be hard. It would be dangerous; it would require all my skills, mental toughness and ability to endure miserable conditions and even then, even if I performed at my best, there was no guarantee that I would prevail. The deck was stacked against me — the constant threat of international humiliation looming. I looked at all the reasons NOT to do it, which were precisely [why] I knew I had to do it.
When I was going through BUD/S, the SEAL selection and training program, all I did was dream of graduation day when I would finally be on top of that mountain, the peak, the pinnacle. When I finally arrived, I stood up on that mountain and realized a funny thing: The darkest moments were the ones that were the most significant — where I had grown and evolved the most. Since then, I have tried to continue to find my best in the darkest, hardest places. Manhunt, while it was definitely not the SEAL Teams or life-and-death, still challenged me and allowed me to access that place of struggle where we can find ourselves at our greatest expression.”
Lambert also has a passion for innovation. He is constantly researching, engaging and moving forward. Behind the blue jeans and boots is a mind that does not stop.
So, what is the most captivating thing on the planet right now for all ages? Gaming. That is the space you will find Lambert engulfed in right now. Not as a gamer, but as a creator.
Lambert shared, “I have started a gaming company, and we are in our angel investor round. We have an incredible concept that we’re bringing to market in the augmented reality genre. Escape and Evade!”
People can go to escapeandevademobile.com and sign up. You can also follow their Instagram accounts: @joel5326 and @escapeandevademobile.
So, when the rooster crows, you will find Lambert feeding his chickens, “The Ladies” as he fondly refers to them, then tending to his produce and hay as well as his favorite girl, Miss Petunia, a foster-failure dog that he rescued fall of 2022. By midday, this entrepreneur creator will be grinding on the Escape and Evade gaming company. To think it all started because this young man feared being a SEAL.
Photo Credit: Discovery Channel