Kris Paronto

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Kris Paronto
Kris Paronto on The MacGuffin cropped and retouched.jpg
Paronto in 2016
Kristian Paronto

EducationDixie State University, Mesa State College (undergraduate); University of Nebraska at Omaha (graduate)
OccupationAuthor, businessman
Military career
Allegiance US
Service/branch US Army
Army National Guard
Years of service1995-2003
Unit2nd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
Writing career
Notable works13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi
The Ranger Way: Living the Code On and Off the Battlefield

Kristian "Tanto" Paronto is an American author, businessman, and former U.S. Army Ranger and CIA security contractor.[1] He is known for his heroic actions while part of the CIA annex security team during the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stephens and the CIA compound in Benghazi. He is featured in the book 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi and is credited as a co-author, and is author of the self-help books The Patriot's Creed: Inspiration and Advice for Living a Heroic Life and The Ranger Way: Living the Code On and Off the Battlefield.

Paronto was portrayed by actor Pablo Schreiber in the film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.

Early life and education[edit]

Paronto was born in Alamosa, Colorado. His parents were educators and his mother taught his first-grade class. His father James Paronto was a football coach and athletic director.[2] Paronto played football, baseball and basketball. A football scholarship helped pay for his college degrees which include an associates, bachelor and master degrees.[3]

Military career[edit]

Paronto served four years as an Army Ranger[4] followed by four years in the Army National Guard. He reached the enlisted rank of Sergeant before receiving a commission in 2003.[3]

Benghazi attack[edit]

Paronto was a CIA private security contractor guarding the Benghazi, Libya CIA annex, during the 2012 Benghazi attack.[5][6] CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty were killed in the attack along with the U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Specialist Sean Smith. After Benghazi, Paronto served as a security contractor in Yemen before leaving the CIA.[7]

Writing and speaking career[edit]

Following his exit from the CIA, Kris Paronto became an author and public speaker. After the U.S. captured Ahmed Abu Khatallah for his role in the Benghazi attack and brought him to the U.S., Paronto was critical of the decision made by the Obama Administration to have him tried before a jury in Federal court. In protest of that decision, Paronto refused to testify at his trial.[8] Along with Mitchell Zuckoff and other members of the Annex Security Team stationed in Benghazi, Paronto co-wrote the book 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi.[9][10] The book was the basis for the Michael Bay-directed film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.[11]

In 2017, Paronto released his second book, The Ranger Way: Living the Code On and Off the Battlefield, a self-help book and survival guide based on Paronto's military experiences.

In October 2019 his third book The Patriot's Creed, also a self-help book, was released.

Other media[edit]

Paronto hosted the pilot episode of War Heroes, a documentary series about American military personnel, produced by The 14th Hour Foundation.

Charitable work[edit]

Paronto is co-founder of the 14th Hour Foundation, a non-profit organization "committed to raising and dispersing funds to help the lives and futures of Veterans, Military Contractor Personnel, and First Responders who have served and sacrificed to protect the American Homeland."

Paronto is the owner and lead instructor of Battleline Tactical

Paronto is also a member of the American Legacy Center, a conservative advocacy organization.


  • The Patriot's Creed: Inspiration and Advice for Living a Heroic Life
  • The Ranger Way: Living the Code On and Off the Battlefield, ISBN 1478948205, ISBN 1478948183, 2017
  • 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi, ISBN 1455582271, 2014


  1. ^ "Bio". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  2. ^ Rohman, Katie (June 5, 2015). "Paronto shares stories of Benghazi, life battles". Washington County Enterprise and Pilot Tribune. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Notarianni, Alicia (5 November 2017). "Security contractor Kris Paronto to discuss events of Sept. 11, 2012, at local fundraiser". Herald-Mail Media. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Kris Paronto, Benghazi Hero, Slams Hillary, Targets Radical Islam". Newsmax. June 21, 2016. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  5. ^ "Talk by Benghazi veteran stirs social media protest". Victoria Advocate. September 23, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  6. ^ Brown, Ben (April 5, 2017). "Benghazi Hero Kris 'Tanto' Paronto: Susan Rice is a Pathological Liar". Fox Business. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  7. ^ Inbody, Kristen (6 November 2017). "Former Ranger, survivor of Benghazi siege speaking in Great Falls". Great Falls Tribune. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  8. ^ Charters, Justen (28 November 2017). "After Benghazi Terrorist Is Cleared of Murder — Hero Who Was There Gives Explosive Take on Verdict". IJR. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Omahan in Benghazi in 2012 faults CIA station chief's stand-down order". Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  10. ^ "Omahan on Benghazi team is happy with '13 Hours' film, which is based on book he co-wrote". Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  11. ^ Lesnick, Silas (February 3, 2015). "Michael Bay's 13 Hours Adds Pablo Schreiber". Retrieved 9 August 2015.

External links[edit]