American Survival Co.

Joel Graves – Jacksonville, FL 

We are combat-tested veterans and certified survival instructors passionate about preparing you to survive emergency situations, creating more self-reliance and increasing your confidence and safety as you adventure. From combat in Fallujah, to the remote mountains of Afghanistan and the jungles of Costa Rica, we have trained for and actively survived in some of the world’s most unforgiving environments. We understand how knowledge, honed skills and mindset will work together to determine your response and success in any emergency. Join our world-class wilderness and tactical survival training available in Jacksonville, Florida with former EOD Naval Special Warfare Joel Graves. With easy access for all of North Florida, Georgia and just 20 minutes from the Jacksonville International airport, our training location is a premiere setting. Located at Eat Your Yard Jax, a privately-owned urban farm with access to nearly 1000 acres of Florida’s hardwood forrest, the site boast an edible nursery and modern conveniences such as running water, electricity and air-conditioned class room perfect for a break from those muggy summers.


JOEL GRAVES – Owner, Certified-Survival Instructor, Former EOD Naval Special Warfare

​Joel brings an extremely extensive military and tactical background. Completing 355 missions as Naval Special Warfare EOD on Seal Team 2 & 4, which is arguably one of the most elite and highly trained bomb squads in the world. He has served tours in Iraq, Bahrain and Afghanistan, personally disarmed improvised explosive devices with minimal tools in some of the most austere environments in the world. He has provided secret service protection in multiple countries for President Bush, President Obama and VP Biden. Today, Joel leverages his tactical and combat experience to prepare civilians, military personnel and organizations for international and domestic threats. Training and consulting opportunities with Joel include: international traveler, SERE, active shooter preparedness, self defense and organizational security.

Joel’s bushcraft and survival skill set is as equally impressive. Following his retirement from special forces, Joel spent six months in a long-term survival program where he slept in the field for 5 months, living off the land and honing his craft.. Since a very young age, Joel has been hunting and fishing all over the country. He currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida and spends much of his time fishing on the coastal waters, gator hunting, building bows, and keeping his self reliance skills sharp. He also put up fierce competition in Discovery Channel’s Bushcraft Build-off and truly has a great love for teaching people of all ages the skills they need to survive!

Highlights: US NAVY EOD NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE OPERATOR, MK16 rebreather and SCUBA diver, static line and military free fall parachutist, diving supervisor, demolition operation supervisor, helicopter rope suspension technique (HRST/CAST) master, the Shaw’s Mid-South Shooting Institute and advanced expeditionary combat graduate, emergency vehicle operators course (EVOC), supported numerous US Secret Service missions for POTUS and VPOTUS, extensive combat medical training and real world experience using them.

Explosive Disposal Team Leader on over 355 missions with SEAL Team 2 and Seal Team 4. 2 Tours in Iraq, 1 Tour Bahrain, & 1 Tour Afghanistan.

Explosive ordinance disposal operator for ten years worked with: army, infantry, rangers, marines, SEAL teams, Green Berets, Secret Service, FBI, and police bomb squad units. Joel personally disarmed improvised explosive devices with minimal tools in some of the most austere environments in the world!

Experience & Training:

  • Seal Team 2 & 4
  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 2, 6, 12
  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment Mayport
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom: Deployments to MNF-N and MNF-W
  • Operation Enduring Freedom: SOTF-Southeast Afghanistan, Village Stability Operations
  • Military Level B SERE School Graduate

EOD Diving Operations:

  • Diving Supervisor
  • Deep Diving operations down to 300 ft

Shooting Schools:

  • Shaws Mid South Institute
  • Advanced Expeditionary Combat School
  • Blackwater USTC training center
  • TAG long range military shooting school
  • Military Medical Certifications
  • Navy Special Warfare Tactical First Responder medical training (Live Tissue)
  • EOD Combat First Responder
  • Army Combat Life Saver

Military Schools:

  • Pack Mule Operations
  • High/Low Angle Rope Rescue
  • Small Technical Rope Rescue
  • Swift Water Rescue
  • High Altitude Navigation
  • Military Free Fall Operations:Unknown-2
  • Static Line Jumps (80 jumps)
  • HALO/HAHO (High Altitude Low Opening/High Opening) 50 Jumps

Wilderness Survival (Entry Level thru Advanced Training)

  • Primitive Trapping & Modern Trapping
  • Fishing Lessons & Trips
  • Primitive & Modern Shelters
  • Primitive Weapons
    • Bow Making Workshops & Archery Training
    • Atlatl Making Workshops & Training
    • Slingshot Making Workshop & Training
  • Water Procurement & Purification
  • Fire Craft

Urban Survival

  • Civilian SERE – Survival * Evasion * Resistance * Escape
  • Natural Disaster Training
  • Active Shooter Response Training & Situational Awareness

We offer a range of custom classes and training for individuals and groups. REQUEST A QUOTE HERE.

Eat Your Yard Jax – 8220 Moncrief Rd WEST, Jacksonville, FL

Airport: Jacksonville Airport – JAX – 20 minutes from training site

Accommodations: Students are welcome to camp on the premises or elect to stay at a hotel. Commonwealth Avenue offers some of the closest, budget friendly hotels. For many of our multi-day classes, we encourage you to camp on-site if possible to get the full experience. We often hear, some of the best part of training are the stories Joel shares around the camp fire in the evenings. But, there is no judgment or obligation to stay on-site, you are welcome to stay at hotel with access to hot showers! Wherever you feel most comfortable during your training.


Am I responsible for my own food and water?
Yes, bring enough food and water for at least one day. At our Florida location you will have access to a primitive outdoor kitchen. There are also restaurants within a 15 minute drive

Will I have cell phone service?
Cell phone service is spotty, but you will have access to electricity to charge phones.

Where will we sleep (overnight classes only)?
Students aren’t required to stay overnight and are welcome to stay in a hotel or home if nearby and come back in the morning. For those wishing to stay on site we have several primitive shelters available (but they are not bug proof), or you are welcome to utilize a hammock with a bug net over it or a tent, which is much better for keeping bugs out.

What is the bathroom situation?
Port-a-potties are available on-site

Is smoking and alcohol allowed?
Smoking is allowed, alcohol is prohibited

Do we need to sign a waiver to participate?
Yes, all students are asked to sign a waiver and anyone under 18 years old will need a parent to sign. You can review the waiver and sign here.

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