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Why Gold Rush's Fred Lewis Thinks Gold Mining Is Like The Military

It's no secret that "Gold Rush" star Fred Lewis has earned a ludicrous amount of online hate since first joining the series back in 2019. Throughout his time on the show, Lewis has endured a swarm of criticism from fans online, condemning his leadership skills, his repeatedly poor gold production, and his less-than-savory crew — so much so that Lewis has even taken to social media to fire back at some of his more persistent critics.

One of the earliest criticisms of Lewis related to his frequent references to the United States military — as it seemed like not a single episode could go by without Lewis somehow bringing up his past service and how it impacted his current work as a gold miner. Although this trend may have aggravated some viewers (many of whom found it heavy-handed and somewhat fake) Lewis has since doubled down on his comparison between military service and gold mining, as he believes his experience with the former helped him achieve success at the latter.

Lewis says that both professions feature similar circumstances

Fred Lewis explained during an interview with The Idaho Press that the circumstances of gold mining and military service are very similar — especially when you consider the work ethic and camaraderie needed for success in these two professions.

"'Parker's Trail' showed me that gold mining is very similar to the military in that you're going into these austere environments working with a small group of individuals, and you all get rewarded for your hard work in the end," explained Lewis. "So having that experience with Parker [Schnabel] gave me the fortitude to think, 'Well, I think I can do this.'" Although this comparison might seem somewhat broad at first glance, it's an idea Lewis repeats constantly throughout his time on "Gold Rush" –- and it's easy to see how his past military experience has influenced his own leadership on the site.

Despite Lewis's belief that military service is extremely similar to the lifestyle of a gold miner, it's unclear whether or not Lewis's military style of leadership has truly made an impact on the production of his mine. In any case, this belief is something that has stuck with Lewis throughout his entire tenure on "Gold Rush" — and fans can likely still expect comparisons between the two professions for the foreseeable future.