Biography Lea "Sarge" Masters was born in Norfolk, Virginia. He attended school at the University of Maryland, City Colleges of Chicago and Central Texas University, where he eventually earned a master's degree in chemical engineering. He also he attended the Savannah Barber Institute in Savannah, Georgia. Masters has previously been employed as a department manager of a wholesale store and a manager at a grocery store. He is a trained EMT, a master barber and a deputy sheriff and has credentials in scuba diving, advanced mountaineering/rapelling and is a nuclear weapons specialist.
Masters enlisted in the US Army in 1986, where he became a cannon crewmember. He then held various jobs ranging from section chief to chief of firing battery (chief of smoke). He is currently a drill sergeant and an officer (NCO). He has traveled all over the world, including Korea, Germany and Greece. He has served in various contingency locations including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and, most recently, Iraq.
He describes himself as an All-American family man who considers his greatest accomplishment to be his son, Kris, 18. He says his hero is his mom because she has been through a lot but still managed to raise three fine children throughout it all. He enjoys fishing, watching NASCAR and professional racer Ricky Rudd and bowling. Masters describes his perfect day as waking up at Charlotte Motor Speedway and getting Ricky Rudd ready for the race by test-driving the #21 car around the track at 185 miles per hour.
Masters says that while he would run throughout Times Square naked to get a $1 million, he wouldn't do anything that involved lethal consequences for the money. If he does win a million, he'd use the money to send his son to college. He describes himself as having a never-quit attitude, adept at getting by on nothing and believes he can be the Sole Survivor because "I never quit, and I feel if you live by values, then everything else will work itself out."
Masters currently lives in Columbia, South Carolina, with his wife of 20 years, Lupe, and their son. They have one dog, Chow Chow, and two cats, Tigger and Fluffy.