Rescue warrior battles it out on prime time reality show
By Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice, 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 01, 2017
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- Most people would jump at the chance to be stranded on a tropical island with a beautiful model. But what if it meant living in the jungle; making your own shelter; scavenging for your own food; encountering dangerous creatures, raging rivers, and extreme weather and competing against nine other couples in a physically and mentally draining competition?
For Tech. Sgt. Ben Domian, a survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialist with the 920th Rescue Wing, saying yes turned out to be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Come March 9, 2017, at 9 p.m. EST, television viewers across the nation can follow him and his partner, Juliana Herz, in their quest to win $500,000 on Fox TV’s newest reality show "Kicking and Screaming."
The competition series teams 10 expert survivalists, including Domian, an eight-year Air Force veteran, with pampered partners to face the toughest challenges of their lives, according to the show’s website. The series drops these unlikely pairs into a tropical jungle in Fiji where they try to outlast one another. The team who makes it to the end, wins the cash prize.
When Domian was first approached by the show’s producers, after they saw some of his #SERE Instagram posts, he was a little hesitant. But after some thought, he realized what a fun challenge it would be.
“I try to live a deliberate life with adventure in it and this was a good opportunity to do that and travel to a place I’d never get to visit otherwise -- actually putting my skills to the test in a legitimate jungle,” he said.
The Oveido, Florida, native spent the first year of his military career as an active-duty Airman working toward becoming a SERE specialist. Once he mastered the specialty, he taught Air Force pilots, air crews and special operations Airmen survival skills in the mountainous Washington state terrain.
After separating from active duty, Domian transferred to the Air Force Reserve where he has spent the last four and a half years with the 308th Rescue Squadron specializing in personnel recovery support.
“My Air Force SERE training was invaluable to any successes I may have had in the show,” he said. “Not just in the skills themselves, but in my work as an instructor. I've trained novices. Team survival requires open communication and working together.”
Domian, who was partnered with Herz, a professional model from New York, said he was lucky when it came to pairing in the show.
“There were some interesting people on the show and I’ll just leave it at that,” he said. “Julie is a great girl and we worked well as a team.”
While Domian is not at liberty to discuss what all went on during the show and behind the scenes, he said it was a great experience that he will always remember.
“Life’s full of opportunities; you just have to be willing to go for it,” he said.