Alek is a former Oregon National Guardsman. He attended both Air Assault School and Sniper School, achieving the rank of Specialist. He completed a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan. Alek, along with four others stopped an armed terrorist on a Paris-bound train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris in August 2015. His heroism earned him several awards and medals around the world including, the United States' Soldier’s Medal. In addition, he received the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor and the medal of the City of Arras, France. Alek had the privilege of working with legendary director Clint Eastwood on the film 15:17 to Paris that portrayed the harrowing attack in which Alek starred as himself. Alek’s experience stretches beyond the military. With a strong belief in service to his community, Alek stays active by advocating for responsible forest management in Southern Oregon.