Joel graduated from Cony High School in 1990. After high school he attended West Point, where he graduated in 1994 with a degree in operation research. Following West Point, Joel was commissioned as an armor officer serving at Fort Carson, Colorado. In 1999, Joel was honorably discharged at the rank of Captain and began a career in property and casualty insurance. Joel currently resides in Falmouth, Maine with his wife, Jen, and their three daughters.