Who is Wil Willis?

Wil was born on 13 February 1975, in Portugal; he’s an American television personality and former US Army Ranger, probably best known for his work as the host of several military-themed TV shows, including “Special Ops Mission”, “Triggers: Weapons That Changed the World”, and “Forged in Fire.” Before his career in television, Willis served in the US Army, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant, and working as a Pararescueman and Special Operations Technician.

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Early life and education

Wil was born on a military base in Portugal, where his father was stationed at the time. His family moved frequently during his childhood due to his father’s military career, and as a result, Wil grew up with a strong sense of patriotism and an understanding of the sacrifices made by those in uniform.

After completing high school, Wil chose to follow in his father’s footsteps and joined the military, beginning his further education at the New Mexico Military Institute in 1993, where he received training in various military tactics and strategies. He subsequently served with the prestigious 3rd Ranger Battalion, where he quickly gained a reputation for his dedication and skill. After completing his training, Wil was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he served as a squad leader, team leader, and ultimately a platoon sergeant.

In 1998, Wil transferred to the US Air Force, where he trained as a Pararescueman, and became a member of the elite 24th Special Tactics Squadron, which specializes in combat search and rescue, and battlefield trauma care. Wil participated in numerous missions, including Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He retired from active duty in 2008, after having served for 15 years.

Career as a TV host

After ending his military service, Wil pursued a career in television. His experience and knowledge of weapons, combined with his charisma, made him a natural fit for hosting military-related TV shows. In 2009, he made his TV debut as the host of the Military Channel’s “Special Ops Mission” – the show followed Wil as he demonstrated the tactics, weapons and equipment used by special operations forces.

In 2011, Wil began hosting another Military Channel series called “Triggers: Weapons That Changed the World”, which explored the historical and technological aspects of various weapons, highlighting their impact on warfare and society.

Posted by Triggers: Weapons That Changed the World on Thursday, March 7, 2013

In 2013, he took a break from TV and enrolled at the New York Film Academy, where he studied screenwriting. This may come as a surprise, but Wil has revealed that he has always been passionate about storytelling, particularly on film.

This wasn’t his first time dabbling in the world of cinema. Prior to landing his first TV hosting gig, he had minor roles in two movies, the cult classic comedy “Beerfest” (2006) and the Oscar-nominated crime drama “In the Valley of Elah” (2007), which starred Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron.

“Forged in Fire”

In 2015, Wil became the host of “Forged in Fire“, a reality competition series on the History Channel, which features bladesmiths who compete in a series of challenges to create the best historical and modern weapons. Throughout the competition, Wil provided expert commentary, while a panel of judges evaluated the contestants’ work. “Forged in Fire” has been praised for its educational content, as it delves into the history of weaponry, and the art of blacksmithing. As the host, Wil has become a prominent figure in the world of bladesmithing and blacksmithing. Although he admittedly wasn’t an expert on cold weapons going into the show, Wil learned a lot on set, and what he lacked in bladesmithing experience he more than made up with his natural charisma.

Under his guidance, “Forged in Fire” became a hit, with millions of viewers tuning in each week to watch the competition unfold.

Why did he leave “Forged in Fire”?

In 2020, Wil announced that he would be leaving “Forged in Fire” after hosting the show for five years, a decision which came as a surprise to many fans, who had come to associate Wil with the series.

The reason behind his departure was never officially stated, leading to a lot of speculation among the fans. Some sources suggested that he left the show to focus on personal projects, and spend more time with his family, while others believed that he wanted to pursue new career opportunities outside of television.

In his recent interviews, Wil opened up about his time on “Forged in Fire”, revealing that he’d grown tired from working on it, the main reason, he said, was the long filming time, as it can take up to five days to film a single episode of the show. Wil has expressed his appreciation for the show and the people he worked with, but suggested that he’s ready for something new.

Wil’s departure from “Forged in Fire” marked the end of an era for the popular series. The show’s producers eventually announced that Grady Powell, a former Green Beret and survival expert, would take over as the new host.

Although he is no longer the host of “Forged in Fire”, Wil’s impact on the show and its viewers remains significant. As he embarks on new adventures and explores different opportunities, his fans eagerly anticipate what the future holds for this accomplished military veteran and television personality.

Personal life

Wil has always been private about his personal life, but it’s known that he’s married to Krystle Amina, an artist and designer. The couple tied the knot in 2017, and they have a son named Flash Orion Willis, born in 2020.

Wil is also an advocate for military veterans. He’s used his platform to raise awareness about the challenges faced by veterans transitioning to civilian life, and the importance of supporting them. Through his work on television and his personal life, Wil has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to his fellow servicemen and women.

In his spare time, Wil enjoys working on older vehicles. He has a small collection of old times, with his 1967 Ford Mustang GT and 1963 Chevy II Nova SS being two of his most prized possessions.

In his 2021 interview with “Cleared Hot Podcast” Wil revealed that he’s been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. He further opened up about his difficult upbringing, which he believes caused the condition.

Net worth

As of April 2023, Wil’s estimated net worth is close to $1 million, coming from his earnings as a television host, as well as his income from various appearances and endorsements.

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