Meet the Directing Staff: Rudy ReyesCategory: Press Pack Article
Rudy was born in 1971 on Richard’s Gebauer Air Base in Missouri while his father, a US Marine, was fighting in Vietnam. After his parents’ divorce, Rudy and his three brothers were raised by his grandparents, and later by the Omaha Home for Boys.
Aged 26, a decorated martial artist, Rudy joined the United States Marine Corps and, after impressing in the recruitment phase, went on to become an elite Recon Marine. Rudy became a highly decorated Special Forces operator, leading over 50 patrols behind enemy lines. He served one tour in Afghanistan and two tours in Iraq as a Recon Marine Team Leader and Scout Sniper. After leaving the Marines, Rudy worked as a counter-terror contractor for the Department of Defence.
After leaving the military, Rudy spent time in Africa where he trained wildlife preserve rangers in anti-poaching tactics and later went on to found ‘Force Blue’ a Veteran Non Profit which pairs former Special Operators with Marine Scientists to work rebuilding and restoring coral reefs, saving turtles, and working within the conservation community. He also competes and trains people for Adventure Racing and Martial Arts. In 2008, Rudy appeared as himself on the HBO miniseries Generation Kill. He has worked on many survival shows, Apocalypse Man and Ultimate Survivor Alaska. He was also one of the main contributors for multiple BAFTA nominated documentary series Once Upon a Time in Iraq.
This is your second year on SAS: Who Dares Wins, how different are you going to be, now you are an SAS: Who Dares Wins veteran, and what are you looking forward to most?
I continue to take charge in every challenge and lean on the wealth of experience and knowledge of each of the DS. This series is about self-improvement and I am blessed to grow as the series grows. I look forward to many missions in the toughest environments with the best teammates in the world.
What can we expect from the new series?
JUNGLE HELL! The harsh terrain and climate of jungle operations and the toll it takes on the recruits will be brutal.
Are you going to be even tougher on the recruits this year?
I uphold the standards and traditions of the Reconnaissance Community as well as the United States Marine Corps.
How brutal are you planning to make the course?
The first enemy on this course is the jungle itself…. I simply follow Mother Nature’s lead! These recruits are being taken to JUNGLE HELL!
In stark contrast to the previous series, you are filming in the Vietnam jungle. How do you think the recruits will cope with that?
Recruits being from the Northern Hemisphere will suffer in the equatorial environment in ways they cannot prepare for… Welcome to Vietnam!
How does it feel to return to Vietnam to film the series – a place where your own father fought as a US Marine?
Going to Vietnam for the first time was an emotional homecoming for me. My father was a US Marine, who did multiple tours of duty in the Vietnam War, and because of those scars inside and out I never knew him while he was alive. I was born after he came home but he never really came home. I never met him but I was born with his passion and energy to be a Warrior and to go to the edge to find out if I have what it takes. I pursued my father’s heroic ideals - it’s in my blood - and I used my innate love of warrior manhood to change the karma of my father, as well as my own.
It was truly a humble honor to tread the harsh but beautiful jungles and rivers that my father did and in a sense meeting him in a warrior way spiritually.
How will you be adapting the course to create a Vietnam jungle warfare experience?
I will bring combat mindset and extreme action from my own wars to make it real for the recruits.
What will make this course and the jungle more punishing than ever before?
The passion and experience of Billy’s experience as SAS Jungle Chief Instructor will give the recruits the most realistic and dynamic challenge ever on this show.
How will the environment in Vietnam compare to last year’s harsh Jordanian desert?
It is the Alpha and Omega of Combat. Punishing yet completely opposite battlefield environments that are equally dangerous and deadly. This is JUNGLE HELL!
What advice would you give the new recruits?
My advice is to absorb every bit of knowledge from the DS as possible and no matter the pain, misery and suffering, never give up on yourself or give up on your team!
What training do you recommend the recruits do to prepare for your selection course?
I recommend endurance on land, water and harsh terrain. Loaded bergens on hard hikes and runs.
What will you be looking for from the recruits in order for them to pass Selection?
I’m looking for a combination of mental, physical and emotional fortitude and all round passion for success, no matter what!