Paronto was part the CIA annex security team that responded to the terrorist attack on the US Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya, September 11th, 2012, helping to save over 20 lives while fighting off terrorists from the CIA Annex for over 13 hours. Mr. Paronto’s story is told in the book 13 Hours written by Mitchell Zuckoff and his five surviving annex security team members.
Paronto was born in Alamosa, Colorado, and obtained his Associate Degree from Dixie College (now Dixie State University) in St. George, Utah, Bachelor’s Degree from Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colorado and Masters Degree from The University of Nebraska at Omaha. He served 4 years in the US Army and an additional 4 years in the US Army National Guard reaching the rank of Sergeant then becoming a commissioned officer in 2003. He started contracting for Blackwater Security Consulting in 2003 and continued to deploy on various security contracts, to include the Global Response Staff until 2013.
Paronto has been involved in security operations in hostile environments for over 10 years. His team’s involvement with the September 11th, 2012 attack on the US special mission in Benghazi, Libya was paramount in the saving of US lives and assets. He is a proven leader, teammate and friend to those who have deployed with him, and a devout father to three children.
- Leading From the Front
Hero of Benghazi Attack, Kris "Tanto" Paronto, serves as Chairman of Leading from the Front, an advocacy campaign of the American Legacy Center.
Through this project, Paronto will lead a national debate on the importance of defeating radical Islam and clearly define the choice that Americans face in 2016. It will involve aggressive advertising, a series of ongoing policy proposals, and events in target states.
- Lessons For Leadership In A New World
Kris will share how teamwork, preparation and fortitude gave his team the ability to stand strong in the face of adversity. He will provide the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. He will further parse out and share the lessons learned and how these leadership principles apply to professionals working in this new world.
- The Ranger Way
Thousands of people have heard Kris "Tanto" Paronto speak about his experiences in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. But before he was a security contractor, Tanto was a US Army Ranger from 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment. Rangers are trained to lead by being pushed to their physical and mental limits so that they can perform against impossible odds in punishing situations. In THE RANGER WAY, Tanto shares stories from his training experiences that played a role in his team's heroic response in Benghazi as he explains the importance of demanding excellence when you commit to improving your life. He shows you how to define your mission, set goals that are in alignment with your values, and develop a battle plan that will maximize your chances of success. You will learn why you should never quit and why that is different from never failing. Tanto uses his experiences in Basic and Ranger Training to explore how to deal with mistakes and disappointment like a leader, accept responsibility, and turn every obstacle into an opportunity for growth. You will learn why being of service to others, and being willing to sacrifice, will help you succeed, and how the power of humility, strength, faith, and brotherhood will sustain you on the road to accomplishing your mission.
- God and Combat
Battered and beaten under a 13 hour battle Kris had to lean on more than just his own strength to get through the assault in Benghazi. His true power was found in his faith in God, overcoming the doubts and fears in the final hours to make it out alive. This talk will equip you for your own battles as Kris walks through his faith journey, and shares how the power of God brought him through the toughest fight of his life.
- Bottom Up Leadership and How It Saved LIves in Benghazi
In this program Kris uses his experiences in Benghazi that taught him the importance of being able to depend and trust his team, especially in times of major crisis. From combat to business, Kris shares techniques, stories, and lessons he learned from having a strong team under fire.
- 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi
Kris Paronto tells the insider account of the attacks in Benghazi. The 13 hours of assault dramatically impacted the lives of those serving in Benghazi and resulted in the loss of an American diplomat, Ambassador Stevens. Kris shares the details of the moments, decisions and results of the historic day.