Did you ever wonder where those guys on reality TV shows come from? In the case of Joe Teti, the brawny co-host of the hit Discovery Channel show Dual Survival, his reality might surprise you. As a Marine, a military special operator and a television personality, Teti is a man of genuine faith who views his life as both an adventure and a blessing. Joe Teti believes that attitude and a survivor’s mindset are the most critical aspects of success when the chips are down and life goes sideways.

How do you go from being an operator in a top-secret counterterrorist unit to working for the Discovery Channel?

Literally on a dare from a friend. I answered an email query that was looking for someone with what they called “Tiffany-brand” special operations experience to host a reality TV program. I found myself in competition with 1,800 other current and former military special operations personnel for the spot. After an extensive weed-out process, they invited me and a couple other guys down for some time in front of a camera, and I made the cut.

How did your experience in special operations prepare you for real-world survival challenges?

After a year-long selection process and another intense period of training, I subsequently served with what many describe as the most secretive government counterterrorist unit in the world. We planned and conducted a broad range of special operations missions covering the entire operational continuum. These missions gave the president of the United States an option when overt military and/or diplomatic actions were not viable or politically feasible. Operations of this nature required rapid response, with surgical application of a wide variety of unique skills, while maintaining the lowest possible profile of U.S. involvement. It was here that I had the opportunity to learn how critically important an operator’s mental and psychological mindset was to combat survival.

My military survival training taught me how far I could move and how fast. No matter if it was the jungle, or the desert, or the arctic, I knew the distances I could cover under different circumstances. To thrive at this level, an operator has got to be 100-percent reliable in any environment. No matter the circumstances, personal failure is not an option.

RELATED: Surviving the Elements on “Naked and Afraid”

What changed most when you went from a military operator to a TV personality?

My life just went from black to white. My service in special operations put me in a world that avoided cameras and thrived on anonymity, and now most everything I do is public. The transition from that world to life as a public figure has had its own unique challenges.

How does your background affect the way you approach your responsibilities as a survival expert?

I’m not the survival expert. Matt Graham, my co-host, he’s the survival expert. They brought me onto the show for my military background and operational mindset. My approach to survival is antithetical to Matt’s. Where Matt views an austere environment as an opportunity to put down roots, I want to get off the “X.” I want to move to safety as soon as possible. 

The will to survive will always beat the skills to survive. It was the military that challenged and toughened me. While the specific skill sets I accumulated during my military training are certainly critical, it is the ability to keep going when you are sick, tired, nauseated, dirty and spent that truly make the survivor.

There is a clear distinction between survival and camping. The military calls it SERE (survival, evasion, resistance and escape) and it is by its nature brutal. The shoots for my TV show are grueling and each production cycle requires subsequent downtime for recovery and rest.

RELATED: Tim Ralston: 21st Century Bug-Out Man

What do you do in the off-season to keep yourself ready for the show?

I maintain a strict workout schedule in the off-season to keep myself mentally and physically prepared for the challenges of the program. I am in the gym five days a week, and I shoot at least twice a week to keep sharp. I’m doing something six days out of seven to make sure I am ready.

This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE ™  Spring 2015 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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  • Monique Marie

    Lawsuit: SF members describe TV star as problem soldier
    MILITARY TIMES ARTICLE ON JOSEPH TETI BEING A PROBLEM SOLDIER….’SOCIOPATH’ ….Click the Link for full story.
    http://www.militarytimes.com/story/entertainment/2015/02/20/reality-survival-star-saga-takes-new-twist-joe-teti-mykel-hawke-dual-survival/23662023/

  • Monique Marie

    Lawsuit: SF members describe TV star as problem soldier

    MILITARY TIMES ARTICLE ON JOSEPH TETI BEING A PROBLEM SOLDIER….’SOCIOPATH’…Full story below

    http://www.militarytimes.com/story/entertainment/2015/02/20/reality-survival-star-saga-takes-new-twist-joe-teti-mykel-hawke-dual-survival/23662023/

    The bizarre saga of Discovery Channel reality star Joe Teti took another twist as court documents emerged, from his former National Guard Special Forces teammates, that paint a dark portrait of a man known more for lying, stealing — and worse — than for the combat prowess he professes on his show, “Dual Survival.”

    “I believe Joe is a sociopath [who] could be dangerous to those he believes have injured him,” writes Sgt. 1st Class Daniel McClain, Teti’s former team sergeant, in a letter to the Special Forces Association that is part of a formal response in an ongoing lawsuit.

    “I knew he would always be a problem,” writes Teti’s former executive officer, Lt. Col. William Sharp, in another letter, part of the SFA’s 50-page rebuttal to the lawsuit filed by Teti late last year.

    Sharp, now with U.S. Special Operations Command, writes that he was preparing paperwork to bar Teti from reenlisting, revoke his security clearance and strip him of his Special Forces tab, before Teti left the unit on his own.

    “Teti is far below Special Forces standards, he is an embarrassment to Special Forces and Special Operations,” writes Sharp, listing a litany of allegations.

    Responding to a detailed request for comment, Laurie Goldberg, Discovery Channel’s executive vice president for public relations, declined.

    Teti, through his attorney, declined to comment as well.

    “We intend to try the case to judge and jury,” said David Redding, another former Special Forces soldier who is representing Teti in the lawsuit.

    In reality

    Teti took turns as a one-enlistment Marine, a National Guard Special Forces soldier for about 10 years and, just after 9/11, several years as a government contractor before eventually becoming the co-star of Discovery’s “Dual Survival,” now in its fifth season. In 2013, he replaced another former soldier who was fired from the show for inflating his military resume.

    Allegations soon surfaced that Teti was propping up his own record.

    Leading that charge was another survival show reality star — and one of Teti’s former Special Forces team leaders — Mykel Hawke.

    A retired Special Forces captain and Afghanistan veteran, Hawke accuses Teti of violating Stolen Valor laws for, among other things, claiming he’s a “combat veteran” but never serving in combat while in uniform.

    Teti counters that his combat vet claims are justified because he served in several war zones as a civilian contractor.

    The letters from McClain and Sharp, among others, convinced the SFA to disavow Teti and permanently scrub him from its membership rolls in August.

    And it had nothing to do with his combat claims.

    “He should be publicly disowned by the greater SF community because of the extreme poor quality of his service to SF,” McClain writes. “He has become too public a personality to not address his immoral and unprofessional conduct before it reflects negatively on our community.”

    As news of SFA’s disavowal spread and sponsors began dropping Teti from endorsement deals, he fired back in November with a defamation lawsuit.

    The 20-page complaint states Hawke “is driven by the motive of jealousy to destroy Mr. Teti’s successful television career” and that Hawke “enlisted several co-conspirators … to aid him in his campaign against Mr. Teti.”

    In addition to Hawke and the SFA, Teti’s lawsuit targets the nonprofit association’s president, retired Col. Jack Tobin, and retired Special Forces Sgt. Maj. George Davenport, a longtime SFA member who added Teti to his Special Forces Poser Patrol’s Facebook “Wall of Shame.”

    Also named in Teti’s lawsuit are former Marine Scott Hughes, moderator of the Military Phonies website, and Monique Haina, another vocal online critic.

    Stolen Valor to arson allegations

    On his official website, Teti claims he qualified as a combat scuba diver and a HALO freefall parachutist, coveted qualifications even among the military’s most elite troops.

    In the SFA’s Feb. 10 rebuttal to his lawsuit, the association flatly states that Teti “is not and has never been HALO or SCUBA qualified.”

    The rebuttal includes a statement from the U.S. Army Special Warfare Center and School that Teti was, in fact, relieved from the Combat Diver course in 1983. Although he did apparently graduate from a Navy dive school, the Special Warfare Center states that the school is not considered a combat diver course.

    The Special Warfare Center message goes on to say Teti was later kicked out of a diving supervisor course for cheating on a test.

    It’s a familiar pattern, former teammates attest in their statements. McClain writes that Teti manipulated training scenarios and even boasted of committing arson.

    “I personally have heard him claim to have burned out a competitor to his Las Vegas cleaning business. And, I witnessed him describing threats he made to others. He seemed to brag about this activity,” McClain writes.

    Hot gear and rubber checks

    Teti also had a rep for ripping off gear, according to the court documents.

    “Joe attempted to steal team and unit equipment. I made him take me to his off-post storage shed, where I recovered unit equipment he should not have had,” writes Sharp, Teti’s former XO.

    Sharp lists, by name, 10 other senior officers and NCOs who are prepared to back up 11 specific allegations he makes against Teti.

    In another instance, Teti is described as stealing a medical kit from a CH-47 crew.

    “Our team’s reputation with the air crew was gone; Joe said ‘no big deal,’ ” Sharp writes.

    That rep followed Teti to his gigs as a government contractor, according to Sharp. In a short-lived tour with security company Triple Canopy in Iraq, for example, he writes that Teti was fired almost as soon as he started.

    “Teti came to [Triple Canopy] in Baghdad begging for a job because the company he was working for was ‘screwing him,’ ” writes Sharp, who relates that he also did a tour with Triple Canopy before returning to active duty.

    He says Teti got a pay advance and immediately left for a month. “While on leave, his boss from his old company came to TC and asked if Joe had their MP5 and radio. The team found both the submachine gun and radio in Joe’s gear box.”

    Teti was sent packing the same day he returned from leave, Sharp writes.

    Teti also had a reputation for passing rubber checks. “I’m talking about a lot of bad checks,” writes Teti’s former SF roommate, Staff Sgt. John Phillips, currently serving with 20th Special Forces Group.

    Teti moved in with Philips after being asked to leave the apartment of another roommate for not paying rent and writing bad checks.

    Philips took him in because he wanted to believe the best in his teammate. “I really considered Joe a brother in arms,” Phillips said. “Army Special Forces are a tight-knit community. We look out for one another. Trust is crucial, especially at the team level.”

    But it wasn’t long before that trust started to erode. “It seemed every time he paid for anything, he attempted to pay with a check, and it was bad. It became a running joke amongst those who knew him,” Phillips writes.

    Around the same time, rumors started flying that Teti had stolen a pair of night-vision goggles and other sensitive gear.

    “I’m not saying all he says about himself is false. He certainly has some admirable service. However, there seems to be some truth mixed with a lot of fiction. That is manipulative, dishonest and how a con-artist operates,” Phillips writes.

    Teti was arrested for writing more than 50 bad checks prior to a 1995 deployment to Haiti, according to Sharp, who states in the documents that he paid more than $1,000 out of his own pocket to spring Teti from jail.

    Sharp writes that Teti did repay him — with a bad check.

    ‘Our biggest problem’

    In his own promotional materials, Teti has pointed to that Haiti deployment as one of his military career highlights.

    Again, however, his teammates say he was less than a model soldier.

    “During the deployment SSG Teti was our biggest problem. He avoided going on patrols (claiming sickness.) He did not do his job or help anyone on the team. His roommates came to me and the team Sgt. on a weekly basis wanting us to move him to a different building,” Sharp writes.

    When their team was assigned a mission to go after a local bad actor, Sharp says Teti froze.

    “We got information on a bad guy. During the pre-mission rehearsal Joe was truly scared and did not want to go. He is not ready or willing to take any risk.”

    Hawke isn’t so sure.

    In October, a Texas judge granted Hawke a permanent protective order against Teti, finding reasonable grounds that Hawke “has been the victim of stalking.”

    The judge ordered Teti, who lives in North Carolina, to cease all communication with Hawke and his family, except through lawyers. The order also prohibits Teti from possessing firearms or ammunition.

    “The Iredell County [North Carolina] Sheriff’s Department confirmed to me that Mr. Teti’s concealed carry permit in North Carolina has been suspended pursuant to the lifetime protective order of which he is bound,” writes Hawke’s attorney Chris Gabel.

    “I need to stress that the protective order and the restrictions for Mr. Teti to not possess firearms or ammunition was most urgent due to his history of stalking and violent threats.”

    Iredell officials said that by law they could not confirm the suspension.

    Among Hawke’s concerns, says Gabel, are that “if Mr. Teti is terminated from his show on Discovery Channel due to evidence procured from this North Carolina lawsuit, he might target the Hawke family for some sort of retribution.”

    The fifth season of “Dual Survival” began in January. The show airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m./8 p.m. Central.

  • Monique Marie

    What’s Teti’s Excuse? Where are his DD-214’s & NGB-22’s????

    Dale Comstock has his DD-214 posted too
    and he was really Delta and a CIA contractor

    so, what is teti’s excuse?
    http://www.dalecomstock.com/bio/

  • Monique Marie

    What’s Teti’s Excuse? Where are his DD-214’s & NGB-22’s????

    Captain Mykel Hawke’s CIB album:
    (with DA Photos, CIB in Class A’s, BDU’s and ACU’s)

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152678427716500.1073741871.348188571499&type=3

  • Monique Marie

    What’s Teti’s Excuse? Where are his DD-214’s & NGB-22’s????

    Captain Mykel Hawke’s Army Records:
    (OER for Team Commander, Award as Combat Commander,
    Retired Reserve Indefinite ID card as Captain, SERE School,
    NGB-22 as SFC, 18D, 18E, 18F and DD-214 as 18A, CIB, etc.)

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151540204816500.1073741836.348188571499&type=3

  • Monique Marie

    What’s Teti’s Excuse? Where are his DD-214’s & NGB-22’s????

    Captain Mykel Hawke’s Contractor Files:
    (Letters of Recommendation from SF LTC’s, COL’s and Generals,
    proof of Combat as Contractor in multiple war zones, Proof of Contract Country Manager in multiple countries to include Iraq)

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152680565241500.1073741872.348188571499&type=3

  • Monique Marie

    Captain Hawke’s Links to the PROOF and TRUTH…..All of his records for all to see…What is Joseph Teti’s EXCUSE for not showing his…Dale Comstock’s is further down….Teti has NO EXCUSE………
    Captain Hawke’s Fan Page where all links below are located to view all of his Military and Contracting Records:

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mykel-Hawke-Fan-Page/348188571499

  • Guest

    Lawsuit: SF members describe TV star as problem soldier

    MILITARY TIMES ARTICLE ON JOSEPH TETI BEING A PROBLEM SOLDIER….’SOCIOPATH’…Full story below

    http://www.militarytimes.com/s

    The bizarre saga of Discovery Channel reality star Joe Teti took another twist as court documents emerged, from his former National Guard Special Forces teammates, that paint a dark portrait of a man known more for lying, stealing — and worse — than for the combat prowess he professes on his show, “Dual Survival.”

    “I believe Joe is a sociopath [who] could be dangerous to those he believes have injured him,” writes Sgt. 1st Class Daniel McClain, Teti’s former team sergeant, in a letter to the Special Forces Association that is part of a formal response in an ongoing lawsuit.

    “I knew he would always be a problem,” writes Teti’s former executive officer, Lt. Col. William Sharp, in another letter, part of the SFA’s 50-page rebuttal to the lawsuit filed by Teti late last year.

    Sharp, now with U.S. Special Operations Command, writes that he was preparing paperwork to bar Teti from reenlisting, revoke his security clearance and strip him of his Special Forces tab, before Teti left the unit on his own.

    “Teti is far below Special Forces standards, he is an embarrassment to Special Forces and Special Operations,” writes Sharp, listing a litany of allegations.

    Responding to a detailed request for comment, Laurie Goldberg, Discovery Channel’s executive vice president for public relations, declined.

    Teti, through his attorney, declined to comment as well.

    “We intend to try the case to judge and jury,” said David Redding, another former Special Forces soldier who is representing Teti in the lawsuit.

    In reality

    Teti took turns as a one-enlistment Marine, a National Guard Special Forces soldier for about 10 years and, just after 9/11, several years as a government contractor before eventually becoming the co-star of Discovery’s “Dual Survival,” now in its fifth season. In 2013, he replaced another former soldier who was fired from the show for inflating his military resume.

    Allegations soon surfaced that Teti was propping up his own record.

    Leading that charge was another survival show reality star — and one of Teti’s former Special Forces team leaders — Mykel Hawke.

    A retired Special Forces captain and Afghanistan veteran, Hawke accuses Teti of violating Stolen Valor laws for, among other things, claiming he’s a “combat veteran” but never serving in combat while in uniform.

    Teti counters that his combat vet claims are justified because he served in several war zones as a civilian contractor.

    The letters from McClain and Sharp, among others, convinced the SFA to disavow Teti and permanently scrub him from its membership rolls in August.

    And it had nothing to do with his combat claims.

    “He should be publicly disowned by the greater SF community because of the extreme poor quality of his service to SF,” McClain writes. “He has become too public a personality to not address his immoral and unprofessional conduct before it reflects negatively on our community.”

    As news of SFA’s disavowal spread and sponsors began dropping Teti from endorsement deals, he fired back in November with a defamation lawsuit.

    The 20-page complaint states Hawke “is driven by the motive of jealousy to destroy Mr. Teti’s successful television career” and that Hawke “enlisted several co-conspirators … to aid him in his campaign against Mr. Teti.”

    In addition to Hawke and the SFA, Teti’s lawsuit targets the nonprofit association’s president, retired Col. Jack Tobin, and retired Special Forces Sgt. Maj. George Davenport, a longtime SFA member who added Teti to his Special Forces Poser Patrol’s Facebook “Wall of Shame.”

    Also named in Teti’s lawsuit are former Marine Scott Hughes, moderator of the Military Phonies website, and Monique Haina, another vocal online critic.

    Stolen Valor to arson allegations

    On his official website, Teti claims he qualified as a combat scuba diver and a HALO freefall parachutist, coveted qualifications even among the military’s most elite troops.

    In the SFA’s Feb. 10 rebuttal to his lawsuit, the association flatly states that Teti “is not and has never been HALO or SCUBA qualified.”

    The rebuttal includes a statement from the U.S. Army Special Warfare Center and School that Teti was, in fact, relieved from the Combat Diver course in 1983. Although he did apparently graduate from a Navy dive school, the Special Warfare Center states that the school is not considered a combat diver course.

    The Special Warfare Center message goes on to say Teti was later kicked out of a diving supervisor course for cheating on a test.

    It’s a familiar pattern, former teammates attest in their statements. McClain writes that Teti manipulated training scenarios and even boasted of committing arson.

    “I personally have heard him claim to have burned out a competitor to his Las Vegas cleaning business. And, I witnessed him describing threats he made to others. He seemed to brag about this activity,” McClain writes.

    Hot gear and rubber checks

    Teti also had a rep for ripping off gear, according to the court documents.

    “Joe attempted to steal team and unit equipment. I made him take me to his off-post storage shed, where I recovered unit equipment he should not have had,” writes Sharp, Teti’s former XO.

    Sharp lists, by name, 10 other senior officers and NCOs who are prepared to back up 11 specific allegations he makes against Teti.

    In another instance, Teti is described as stealing a medical kit from a CH-47 crew.

    “Our team’s reputation with the air crew was gone; Joe said ‘no big deal,’ ” Sharp writes.

    That rep followed Teti to his gigs as a government contractor, according to Sharp. In a short-lived tour with security company Triple Canopy in Iraq, for example, he writes that Teti was fired almost as soon as he started.

    “Teti came to [Triple Canopy] in Baghdad begging for a job because the company he was working for was ‘screwing him,’ ” writes Sharp, who relates that he also did a tour with Triple Canopy before returning to active duty.

    He says Teti got a pay advance and immediately left for a month. “While on leave, his boss from his old company came to TC and asked if Joe had their MP5 and radio. The team found both the submachine gun and radio in Joe’s gear box.”

    Teti was sent packing the same day he returned from leave, Sharp writes.

    Teti also had a reputation for passing rubber checks. “I’m talking about a lot of bad checks,” writes Teti’s former SF roommate, Staff Sgt. John Phillips, currently serving with 20th Special Forces Group.

    Teti moved in with Philips after being asked to leave the apartment of another roommate for not paying rent and writing bad checks.

    Philips took him in because he wanted to believe the best in his teammate. “I really considered Joe a brother in arms,” Phillips said. “Army Special Forces are a tight-knit community. We look out for one another. Trust is crucial, especially at the team level.”

    But it wasn’t long before that trust started to erode. “It seemed every time he paid for anything, he attempted to pay with a check, and it was bad. It became a running joke amongst those who knew him,” Phillips writes.

    Around the same time, rumors started flying that Teti had stolen a pair of night-vision goggles and other sensitive gear.

    “I’m not saying all he says about himself is false. He certainly has some admirable service. However, there seems to be some truth mixed with a lot of fiction. That is manipulative, dishonest and how a con-artist operates,” Phillips writes.

    Teti was arrested for writing more than 50 bad checks prior to a 1995 deployment to Haiti, according to Sharp, who states in the documents that he paid more than $1,000 out of his own pocket to spring Teti from jail.

    Sharp writes that Teti did repay him — with a bad check.

    ‘Our biggest problem’

    In his own promotional materials, Teti has pointed to that Haiti deployment as one of his military career highlights.

    Again, however, his teammates say he was less than a model soldier.

    “During the deployment SSG Teti was our biggest problem. He avoided going on patrols (claiming sickness.) He did not do his job or help anyone on the team. His roommates came to me and the team Sgt. on a weekly basis wanting us to move him to a different building,” Sharp writes.

    When their team was assigned a mission to go after a local bad actor, Sharp says Teti froze.

    “We got information on a bad guy. During the pre-mission rehearsal Joe was truly scared and did not want to go. He is not ready or willing to take any risk.”

    Hawke isn’t so sure.

    In October, a Texas judge granted Hawke a permanent protective order against Teti, finding reasonable grounds that Hawke “has been the victim of stalking.”

    The judge ordered Teti, who lives in North Carolina, to cease all communication with Hawke and his family, except through lawyers. The order also prohibits Teti from possessing firearms or ammunition.

    “The Iredell County [North Carolina] Sheriff’s Department confirmed to me that Mr. Teti’s concealed carry permit in North Carolina has been suspended pursuant to the lifetime protective order of which he is bound,” writes Hawke’s attorney Chris Gabel.

    “I need to stress that the protective order and the restrictions for Mr. Teti to not possess firearms or ammunition was most urgent due to his history of stalking and violent threats.”

    Iredell officials said that by law they could not confirm the suspension.

    Among Hawke’s concerns, says Gabel, are that “if Mr. Teti is terminated from his show on Discovery Channel due to evidence procured from this North Carolina lawsuit, he might target the Hawke family for some sort of retribution.”

    The fifth season of “Dual Survival” began in January. The show airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m./8 p.m. Central.

  • Monique Marie

    http://www.militarytimes.com/story/entertainment/2015/02/20/reality-survival-star-saga-takes-new-twist-joe-teti-mykel-hawke-dual-survival/23662023/

    Lawsuit: SF members describe TV star as problem soldier

    MILITARY TIMES ARTICLE ON JOSEPH TETI BEING A PROBLEM SOLDIER….’SOCIOPATH’…Full story below…..

    The bizarre saga of Discovery Channel reality star Joe Teti took another twist as court documents emerged, from his former National Guard Special Forces teammates, that paint a dark portrait of a man known more for lying, stealing — and worse — than for the combat prowess he professes on his show, “Dual Survival.”

    “I believe Joe is a sociopath [who] could be dangerous to those he believes have injured him,” writes Sgt. 1st Class Daniel McClain, Teti’s former team sergeant, in a letter to the Special Forces Association that is part of a formal response in an ongoing lawsuit.

    “I knew he would always be a problem,” writes Teti’s former executive officer, Lt. Col. William Sharp, in another letter, part of the SFA’s 50-page rebuttal to the lawsuit filed by Teti late last year.

    Sharp, now with U.S. Special Operations Command, writes that he was preparing paperwork to bar Teti from reenlisting, revoke his security clearance and strip him of his Special Forces tab, before Teti left the unit on his own.

    “Teti is far below Special Forces standards, he is an embarrassment to Special Forces and Special Operations,” writes Sharp, listing a litany of allegations.

    Responding to a detailed request for comment, Laurie Goldberg, Discovery Channel’s executive vice president for public relations, declined.

    Teti, through his attorney, declined to comment as well.

    “We intend to try the case to judge and jury,” said David Redding, another former Special Forces soldier who is representing Teti in the lawsuit.

    In reality

    Teti took turns as a one-enlistment Marine, a National Guard Special Forces soldier for about 10 years and, just after 9/11, several years as a government contractor before eventually becoming the co-star of Discovery’s “Dual Survival,” now in its fifth season. In 2013, he replaced another former soldier who was fired from the show for inflating his military resume.

    Allegations soon surfaced that Teti was propping up his own record.

    Leading that charge was another survival show reality star — and one of Teti’s former Special Forces team leaders — Mykel Hawke.

    A retired Special Forces captain and Afghanistan veteran, Hawke accuses Teti of violating Stolen Valor laws for, among other things, claiming he’s a “combat veteran” but never serving in combat while in uniform.

    Teti counters that his combat vet claims are justified because he served in several war zones as a civilian contractor.

    The letters from McClain and Sharp, among others, convinced the SFA to disavow Teti and permanently scrub him from its membership rolls in August.

    And it had nothing to do with his combat claims.

    “He should be publicly disowned by the greater SF community because of the extreme poor quality of his service to SF,” McClain writes. “He has become too public a personality to not address his immoral and unprofessional conduct before it reflects negatively on our community.”

    As news of SFA’s disavowal spread and sponsors began dropping Teti from endorsement deals, he fired back in November with a defamation lawsuit.

    The 20-page complaint states Hawke “is driven by the motive of jealousy to destroy Mr. Teti’s successful television career” and that Hawke “enlisted several co-conspirators … to aid him in his campaign against Mr. Teti.”

    In addition to Hawke and the SFA, Teti’s lawsuit targets the nonprofit association’s president, retired Col. Jack Tobin, and retired Special Forces Sgt. Maj. George Davenport, a longtime SFA member who added Teti to his Special Forces Poser Patrol’s Facebook “Wall of Shame.”

    Also named in Teti’s lawsuit are former Marine Scott Hughes, moderator of the Military Phonies website, and Monique Haina, another vocal online critic.

    Stolen Valor to arson allegations

    On his official website, Teti claims he qualified as a combat scuba diver and a HALO freefall parachutist, coveted qualifications even among the military’s most elite troops.

    In the SFA’s Feb. 10 rebuttal to his lawsuit, the association flatly states that Teti “is not and has never been HALO or SCUBA qualified.”

    The rebuttal includes a statement from the U.S. Army Special Warfare Center and School that Teti was, in fact, relieved from the Combat Diver course in 1983. Although he did apparently graduate from a Navy dive school, the Special Warfare Center states that the school is not considered a combat diver course.

    The Special Warfare Center message goes on to say Teti was later kicked out of a diving supervisor course for cheating on a test.

    It’s a familiar pattern, former teammates attest in their statements. McClain writes that Teti manipulated training scenarios and even boasted of committing arson.

    “I personally have heard him claim to have burned out a competitor to his Las Vegas cleaning business. And, I witnessed him describing threats he made to others. He seemed to brag about this activity,” McClain writes.

    Hot gear and rubber checks

    Teti also had a rep for ripping off gear, according to the court documents.

    “Joe attempted to steal team and unit equipment. I made him take me to his off-post storage shed, where I recovered unit equipment he should not have had,” writes Sharp, Teti’s former XO.

    Sharp lists, by name, 10 other senior officers and NCOs who are prepared to back up 11 specific allegations he makes against Teti.

    In another instance, Teti is described as stealing a medical kit from a CH-47 crew.

    “Our team’s reputation with the air crew was gone; Joe said ‘no big deal,’ ” Sharp writes.

    That rep followed Teti to his gigs as a government contractor, according to Sharp. In a short-lived tour with security company Triple Canopy in Iraq, for example, he writes that Teti was fired almost as soon as he started.

    “Teti came to [Triple Canopy] in Baghdad begging for a job because the company he was working for was ‘screwing him,’ ” writes Sharp, who relates that he also did a tour with Triple Canopy before returning to active duty.

    He says Teti got a pay advance and immediately left for a month. “While on leave, his boss from his old company came to TC and asked if Joe had their MP5 and radio. The team found both the submachine gun and radio in Joe’s gear box.”

    Teti was sent packing the same day he returned from leave, Sharp writes.

    Teti also had a reputation for passing rubber checks. “I’m talking about a lot of bad checks,” writes Teti’s former SF roommate, Staff Sgt. John Phillips, currently serving with 20th Special Forces Group.

    Teti moved in with Philips after being asked to leave the apartment of another roommate for not paying rent and writing bad checks.

    Philips took him in because he wanted to believe the best in his teammate. “I really considered Joe a brother in arms,” Phillips said. “Army Special Forces are a tight-knit community. We look out for one another. Trust is crucial, especially at the team level.”

    But it wasn’t long before that trust started to erode. “It seemed every time he paid for anything, he attempted to pay with a check, and it was bad. It became a running joke amongst those who knew him,” Phillips writes.

    Around the same time, rumors started flying that Teti had stolen a pair of night-vision goggles and other sensitive gear.

    “I’m not saying all he says about himself is false. He certainly has some admirable service. However, there seems to be some truth mixed with a lot of fiction. That is manipulative, dishonest and how a con-artist operates,” Phillips writes.

    Teti was arrested for writing more than 50 bad checks prior to a 1995 deployment to Haiti, according to Sharp, who states in the documents that he paid more than $1,000 out of his own pocket to spring Teti from jail.

    Sharp writes that Teti did repay him — with a bad check.

    ‘Our biggest problem’

    In his own promotional materials, Teti has pointed to that Haiti deployment as one of his military career highlights.

    Again, however, his teammates say he was less than a model soldier.

    “During the deployment SSG Teti was our biggest problem. He avoided going on patrols (claiming sickness.) He did not do his job or help anyone on the team. His roommates came to me and the team Sgt. on a weekly basis wanting us to move him to a different building,” Sharp writes.

    When their team was assigned a mission to go after a local bad actor, Sharp says Teti froze.

    “We got information on a bad guy. During the pre-mission rehearsal Joe was truly scared and did not want to go. He is not ready or willing to take any risk.”

    Hawke isn’t so sure.

    In October, a Texas judge granted Hawke a permanent protective order against Teti, finding reasonable grounds that Hawke “has been the victim of stalking.”

    The judge ordered Teti, who lives in North Carolina, to cease all communication with Hawke and his family, except through lawyers. The order also prohibits Teti from possessing firearms or ammunition.

    “The Iredell County [North Carolina] Sheriff’s Department confirmed to me that Mr. Teti’s concealed carry permit in North Carolina has been suspended pursuant to the lifetime protective order of which he is bound,” writes Hawke’s attorney Chris Gabel.

    “I need to stress that the protective order and the restrictions for Mr. Teti to not possess firearms or ammunition was most urgent due to his history of stalking and violent threats.”

    Iredell officials said that by law they could not confirm the suspension.

    Among Hawke’s concerns, says Gabel, are that “if Mr. Teti is terminated from his show on Discovery Channel due to evidence procured from this North Carolina lawsuit, he might target the Hawke family for some sort of retribution.”

    The fifth season of “Dual Survival” began in January. The show airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m./8 p.m. Central.