'American Grit' Season 2: Get to Know the Cadre

Scott Fishman

John Cena puts another slew of competitors through the ultimate endurance test for the second season of American Grit, premiering Sunday, June 11, on Fox.

This fresh crop of 17 will split into teams captained by a new Cadre, including John Burk, an army infantry drill sergeant; Riki Long, a U.S. Marine; Chloe Mondesir, a U.S. Marine ammunition ion technician; and Grady Powell, a U.S. Army Green Beret. These heroes will lead their men and women through a series of challenges that test physical and mental toughness. In the end, only one will be left standing $250,000 richer after eliminations take place every week as the fallen “ring out” and go home.

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Cena's 'Cadre' of mentors in Season 2 includes an infantry drill sergeant with the U.S. Army, two U.S. Marines and a Green Beret.

Each of the four Cadre members bring their own unique backgrounds, personalities and coaching styles to the table. Powell is no stranger to military-themed, reality-show competitions. He won Stars Earn Stripes with Eve Torres. However, he believes it’s his background as a Green Beret that gives him an edge. “Our mission was to literally embed with foreign soldiers, and train them to be the best they could be. Back then, there was a language barrier, Grit didn't have that barrier to overcome.”

Burk’s no nonsense reputation and drill instructor past may make his team one to watch. “I served 13 years in the infantry which involved training myself, as well as my soldiers.”

Mondesir is familiar with TV and commercial shoots, but calls American Grit very different from anything she has ever done. She was up to the challenge of working without a script. “I was used to knowing everything that’s going to happen, but with this there are rules in place that require us to be completely in the dark and that was both exciting and frustrating, but totally worth it.”

Looking at the field, Long may seem like one who would be underestimated. “The Cadre lived under one roof, so we got to know each other pretty well and quickly. We often argued with each other as to who had the better style of leadership. I think they respected my style, but they surely didn’t agree it’d work.”

Before viewers find out which approach is most effective, get to know the Cadre a little better—and what they think of their WWE champion host—by clicking through the gallery above.

American Grit, Season Premiere, June 11, 9/8c, Fox