Introducing Cody Lundin’s New Partner on Dual Survival: Joseph Teti
By: Hillary Ossip
Dual Survival’s Cody Lundin has a brand new partner for Season Three. Joseph Teti is a US Special Operations veteran who is taking Dual Survival to a whole new level. As Cody put it, “Season Three is Dual Survival as it was meant to be.”
Before the season begins on January 1st, we want to give you a chance to get to know Joe better. We sat down with Cody, Joe, and executive producer French Horwitz to learn more about Dual Survival’s newest member.
Check out what they had to say below!
Want to know how Joseph Teti landed the role? Here’s the story, from French, Cody and Joe’s points of view:
French: It’s a tough process. We looked all over the United States and actually all over the world to try to find somebody with his experience who was good on television – it’s a very difficult thing to find. We were looking for a guy who had an incredible military background, who’d been in various dangerous situations, who had to rely on his skills and wit to survive.
We looked at easily over 100 people with these basic qualifications, narrowed it down to a half a dozen to try to see who would be the best fit with Cody. It took about 6-8 months, but we finally found Joe.
During the chemistry test that you see in Unbraided, within thirty seconds of Cody and Joe walking and talking and doing their thing, I knew that Joe was the right guy. I said to the show runner, “He’s the guy. We’re done. Let’s go drink beers.” I was so sure he was the one we’d go with.
Cody: Joe was I think one of five people that came to Arizona for the chemistry test – in my home state, on my turf. I remember meeting him, of course, and he was very respectful and polite and funny. And he really seemed to care – and I mean that in a good way. There wasn’t any pretentiousness. It was like he could take it or leave. You come into an area of business deal relationships or whatever it is – and you have an “I’ll win with this if I get it, and I’ll win with this if I don’t” – that it makes for a more authentic experience. I think that’s where he was at.
Joe: Well, when I met Cody, I think we clicked right from the get go. When I first met him I was pretty comfortable around him and he seemed pretty comfortable around me. It just seemed like we flowed really well together. He has a very funny sense of humor and I have a very unique sense of humor as well. I think that plays a lot into it because you have to have a good sense of humor in a survival situation.
Now, let’s get to know Joe a little better…
Why did you decide to change pace and join Dual Survival?
Joe: I had come to a point in my life where I was able to look in the mirror and know that I’ve done everything I could do in respect to serving my country. There’s obviously more I can do and I want to do, but I wanted to change gears, so to speak, and do something different. And I really didn’t know what it was going to be and then all of a sudden, Dual Survival popped up. It was really fortuitous.
Could you give me some background on your life pre-Dual Survival?
Joe: I have a military and government special operations background. I’ve served in three special operations units. I’m a former force recon marine, army special forces Green Beret, and I am a former operator in a highly classified government counter-terrorist unit. For more, check out Joe’s full bio.
In general, do you prefer a team environment or working solo?
Joe: I’ve always worked in a team environment. I have also done things by myself in special operations. But in a team environment, you always have that other person there, not only for moral support, but also to get things done. You can divvy up the tasks much more easily. And when there are two people, or three or four, the strength of the team is on your side.
Is there anything in particular you’d like viewers to know about you that they might not learn from the show?
Joe: A lot of people that meet me or see me or hear about my background, they automatically assume that I was some sort of tremendous athlete in high school or college. Fact of the matter is, I was neither. I was literally the 99-pound weakling in high school, which is really odd, because the norm is, most guys with my background in special operations – whether you’re army special forces or a seal or a force recon or whatever – normally those guys are extremely athletic in high school or in college. I wasn’t one of them.
I’ll be honest with you – I was never an athletic kid, but there is one thing that I was always – I was always confident and comfortable in the woods. Even alone at night as an eight or nine year old kid, I loved being in the woods and operating at night, playing in the woods at night. Which is really strange. But that actually paid off big dividends for me.
It doesn’t surprise me that I did well in special operations. I think from a very early age I was training myself and didn’t even know it.
What about Cody and Joe’s relationship as a team? Here’s what they had to say when asked about building their trust with each other and working together to survive:
Cody: Trust is developed through experience. The bottom line is, when you’re around someone for a period of time, and they seem to walk their talk repeatedly – not just with you, but with other people – then that builds trust. And that’s what I’ve seen with Joe.
He came in with an honest background. He was willing to show it and prove it to me. We’re still building trust, and that’s natural and normal, because no one is going to trust someone 100% after a few months of hanging out on a TV set. But we do need to have a certain level of trust because of what we’re doing, because we are in some dangerous situations. And we do have that. And part of the reason again that we have that is not just because I found Joe to be authentic, but also because I know the experience he has.
He wouldn’t be in his situation unless he’d gone through the ringer – not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and morally. In his line of work, they put you through a battery of tests – you’re dealing with national security. So really, the US government has done a lot of stuff for me in a way, because when they picked him to do his line of work, they ran him through all sorts of tests to see if he could be trusted or not.
Joe: Trust is earned, it’s not given. I think anything you do in life when it comes to trust, whether it’s a relationship or in business or in special operations or in survival situations, trust is something that is earned. It’s something you have to work at, and Cody and I, we’ve done ten episodes now, and I can tell you, from episode one to episode ten, we have built a lot of trust and respect for each other. That’s for sure.
What’s it like working with Joe out in the field?
Cody: He’s good. He’s intense. He’s intense because he should be from his past line of work. But he’s very very fit. There’s very little drama in the field regarding him being in the field because he’s been outside a lot in his past work. We get along well. I mean, there’s definitely conflict, which there’s always going to be, because I have my way of doing things and he has his way of doing things, but at the end of the day, I think we understand that the other person does have a lot of experience in their fortes.
We bend where we need to bend based on who seems to have the most experience in the past for whatever issue is at hand. That’s unusual, because he really does have 20+ years of experience and I really do have 20+ years experience in my profession.
In my opinion, this is how Dual Survival was supposed to be. It was always supposed to be a special forces military guy and a person like me that taught outdoor survival skills. So now, we’re finally getting to a true modus operandi of what this show is all about.
What are Joe’s hopes for the show?
Joe: I have two primary goals for Dual Survival.
1) One is to demonstrate techniques to people that, if they were ever caught in a survival situation, may save their life. I don’t want to be the guy who’s taking extra risks just for the sake of a TV show. I want to show real techniques and procedures and how to think your way out of a survival situation.
2) My other goal is to represent the special operations community as a whole in a very good light. I want people to see what a real special operations guy is all about. We’re not necessarily the people you see on TV. I personally don’t like the way actors or non-special operations personnel represent my community. I don’t feel that it’s represented in a good light and I want to show people what a real special operations guy is really like.
French Horwitz’ final word on Joe: Joe Teti is one of the toughest badasses I’ve ever met.
While you wait for the season premiere and Joseph Teti’s TV debut on Tuesday, January 1 at 9/8c, check out a behind-the-scenes clip showing you everything you have to look forward to in the coming season!
Also, catch French Horwitz live-tweeting on Tuesday night during the premiere @frenchhorwitz.