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Robert Terkla – military service

Robert Terkla: military service, deployments, and back injuries:


Robert Terkla has gathered some pretty diverse experiences, especially for someone who hasn’t even hit mid-life yet.

The famed YouTuber, who rose to fame with his LunkersTV channel on the video streaming uber-platform, has amassed a staggering 2 million subscribers—and his fans have racked up more than 350 million video views so far.

Not too bad for a guy who just wanted to talk about bass fishing.

What fans didn’t realize until fairly recently was that the man behind LunkersTV had served in the US Army for years before turning to YouTube videos to kill some time, heal his body, and share his passion.

There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to Robert Terkla’s military service, so let’s get started.

But first…

The Early Days


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It’s hard to know where a guy is going if you don’t know where he’s come from.

In Robert Terkla’s case, he came from Fort Worth. Terkla was born in the Lone Star State on September 26, 1989, and he was always into the outdoors.

He fished with his family, he spent time outside, and he discovered a love of shooter games—like SOCOM II, the third-person shooter on PS2. Terkla described himself as a SOCOM II “junkie” in a 2021 interview.

Always a risk taker, Rob was willing to give anything a go.

It was this that took him down a path that would change his life.

As strong as Terkla was when it came to physical pursuits and manual work, he wasn’t strong academically.

He managed to get his GED, but had zero desire to go through another few years of hitting the books—so he decided to enlist in the US Army.


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Rob Terkla: Military service

By his 19th birthday, Terkla had found a home with the 11 Bravo infantry unit. He served the 1st and 30th as an infantryman and was deployed to Iraq early on in his career. After returning home from Kirkuk, Iraq, he discovered another military role that sounded like it suited him to a T—he trained to become a sniper.

Like an ultimate stakes first-person shooter game, Rob loved the challenge and worked to become the best for his team.

Terkla’s tenacity and commitment to his objective made him a success in sniper school and earned him assignments alongside the Navy SEALs.

In fact, Terkla would become a master sniper and serve on multiple high-risk missions with his teams over the next several years.

Robert Terkla was deployed to Afghanistan—several times, in fact. He was sure he would always be a military man, but—as is the case with many military vets—his body quit before his heart.

Despite several injuries—and a doctor’s recommendation for medical discharge—Terkla headed to jump school.

He completed it, but upon his return to base, he received the news that he was being medically discharged.

After 6 years of serving his country, Rob Terkla was out of the United States Army in 2014.

Love & Marriage…and Divorce…and Engagement… and Marriage


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Throughout his military career, Terkla had been dating a girl named Sarah.

The pair had started dating when they were 16, but Sarah left for college when Rob joined the military.

He returned stateside for some R&R in 2011, and Sarah had just graduated from Georgia Southern University with a degree in health education.

The pair got married in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas.

Sarah is the owner of Rose & Thorn, a clothing boutique.

In 2020, Robert and Sarah both uploaded videos to YouTube to announce that they were divorcing.

At that stage, Sarah shared that she did not want the divorce—it was Rob’s choice.

“He was done. I felt like he was tired of me—I don’t really know.”

In Sarah’s video, which she filmed while Avery was with Terkla, she explained that she had spent a long time just doing whatever made him happy.

Robert shared in his video that after 11 years together, the divorce was “from our both decision. It has nothing to do with money.”

Robert and Sarah have a daughter named Avery, who was born in August 2015.

Terkla began dating Colombia-born Cami Mantilla in 2020, and the pair got engaged in March of 2022. The two are currently married.

Cami met Terkla’s daughter, Avery, early on in their relationship.

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YouTube Influencer


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While Robert Terkla’s military service was almost over, he had seen the writing on the wall. And he had a plan.

Before his medical discharge, Terkla and his wife had invested in an eSports company called UMG.

The pair purchased a stake in the company and were able to build a tidy nest egg through that investment.

That risk had paid off, and Terkla was ready to take another one.

He started LunkersTV, launching the YouTube channel the same year his little girl was born.

The former military man knew that he needed to provide for his family and that sitting back on his laurels and living off the UMG investment wasn’t going to cut it.

He started sharing fishing clips and quickly found that he had tapped into a niche market.

As his channel expanded into hunting videos, fishing tips, and a series called Military Monday—in which Terkla talks about his time with the United States Army—his fanbase grew.

At the time of writing, he had more than a thousand videos on the platform and two million subscribers.


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