Former US Marine goes from ‘Naked and Afraid’ reality show to fighting ISIS in Syria

A former U.S. Marine has traveled from the uniform of the Corps to naked in the jungle to the front lines of the Western World’s latest war with Islamist savagery.

According to the Daily Mail, 28-year-old Joshua Bell, who served a four-year stint with the Marines before being seen nationally on the reality show “Naked and Afraid,” is part of an expatriate force called The Lions of Rojava, fighters from the United States and other Western nations fighting with Kurdish forces in the Syrian border town of Kobane.


Joshua Bell meets fellow “Naked and Afraid” contestant Amanda Leigh in a September episode of the reality show. (Photo credit:

“I ain’t doing it for glory, or praise, or fame, or money,” Bell wrote on a Facebook page set up to raise money to fund his trip to Syria to fight the Islamic State.

“It needs to be done. I am scared shitless. But if you aint scared you are a liability.”

On the same page, Bell wrote why he thinks he’s going to be an asset to America’s Kurdish allies in the region – and he doesn’t sound all that scared.

“I am absolute hell in a gunfight. I learned early on in the Marine Corps that I had extreme combat proficiency. Skills that I quickly honed, and still continue to sharpen regularly,” he wrote.

“I never thought I would use these skills again.

“However, an opportunity to re-enter the fray has presented itself. Within the next few weeks I will be headed downrange to take down ISIS.”

“Naked and Afraid” viewers might remember Bell from his appearance on the show in September when he helped fellow contestant Amanda Leigh fashion a crude bikini out of duct tape in the Nicaraguan jungle.  (Contestants on the show pretty much how the name implies.)

Bell didn’t make the 21 days of survival living “Naked and Afraid” entails. (He’s plagued by sickness in the episode with Leigh. She went the distance, though.)


Joshua Bell (bottom, right) with other Western volunteers fighting the Islamic State in Syria. (Photo credit: Facebook)

Less than two months after the show aired, Bell is on the other side of the world – not battling the elements or sickness this time, but the threat of Islamist expansionism that’s already slaughtered thousands while gaining vast swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq.

And he got there with help from friends and strangers who wanted to help a fighting man take the fight to the enemy of the West.

“I have made it here guys,” Bell wrote on the Facebook page. “Thanks for everything.”

Watch the news for the name Joshua Bell. You might be hearing it again before too long.

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Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].


7 thoughts on “Former US Marine goes from ‘Naked and Afraid’ reality show to fighting ISIS in Syria

  1. John Campbell says:

    I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be cheering on volunteers going abroad on their own in the face of our own government doing nothing in a fight that’s more than justified. My hat is off to these men.

    Annihilate ISIS to the last sub-animal they are. No prisoners. No quarter.

  2. monacall says:

    Should have stayed home…. we will need you here I am afraid….

  3. roblimo says:

    Good man! I’m 62 and in poor health and physical condition, but I’ve thought more than once that I could train others in practicawl combat marksmanship (which is really the art of maintaining situational awareness while still concentrating on your own shooting) and using rudimentary radio DF techniques to locate your enemy’s leaders even if everything they say is encrypted or in a language you don’t understand.

    Ah, well. If I went my biggest worry would be that I’d have another heart attack — or possibly a stroke or kidney failure — and be more of a liability than an asset.

  4. disqus_6npiJ7fVP4 says:

    All them m0r-0nic protesters in Ferguson should be sent there ti fight for a year. Make them appreciate what they really have here…

    1. RMBuck says:

      Those moronic arse wipes would convert to Islam and turn on their country, just for the “freedom” to do what they are doing now, without reprisals….

      1. disqus_6npiJ7fVP4 says:

        You are probably correct, but I’m counting on two things.
        (a) They will turn into crying, whiney bitches, and
        (b) IF they join the other side, we will be able to legally shoot at them…

  5. RetiredTrainman says:

    I’m retired now but if I was younger I would think seriously about going over there to fight or at-least train… I was an expert with more then one weapon and won some awards in the service, but like I said I’m now retired and in my 70’s… My time in the service was Viet Nam, during the Bay Of Pigs, the stand off with Russian ships going to Cuba, and when President Kennedy was shot in the 63…

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