Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Combat Story

Jul 2, 2022

Today’s Combat Story is near and dear to my heart for reasons I can’t share because they’re classified. We hear the firsthand account from one of the men involved in the brutal 13 hours of fighting in Benghazi in 2012, Kris “Tanto” Paronto, who would later co-author the book “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi” and advise Director Michael Bay and the cast who created the movie of the same name.

This is one of my favorite episodes. Time flew by as we touched on so many topics from the learnings Kris shared in two other 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) to insight into what it meant to be a part of the CIA’s GRS or Global Response Staff (read this CIA Career page to hear how interesting this job is and trust me when I say these guys were great: to how it felt the moment he and a handful of selfless other men decided to defy direct orders from above and risk their lives for other Americans in Libya.

There’s ZERO politics in this episode. If you’re looking for that, you won’t find it here. This is all about what happened to the people on the ground at the time, which made me appreciate Kris and his perspective even more.

Since leaving the military and Agency, Kris has become a serial entrepreneur with a clothing line, vodka brand, podcast, shooting and medical training courses, and is now making his tactical programs more of an experience with E3 Firearms which goes beyond just hitting the range and is something that I think many of our listeners will want to be a part of.

I hope you appreciate this wide ranging, hilarious, and selfless Combat Story as much as I did.

Find Kris Online:
- Instagram @real_kris_tanto_paronto
- LinkedIn
- E3 Firearms
- Kris’s website

Find Ryan Online:
- Ryan’s Linktree
- Merch
- Instagram @combatstory
- Facebook @combatstoryofficial
- Send us messages at
- Email
- Learn more about Ryan
- Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes:
0:00 - Intro
0:45 - Guest Introduction (Kris Paronto)
2:25 - Interview begins
2:47 - How he got his call sign “Tanto”
6:30 - Background info on CIA GRS
11:43 - The GRS driving training course
13:20 - The detailed prep work involved in going into country somewhere as GRS
21:15 - Childhood, sports, and adrenaline rushes
26:33 - Why did you choose the military path?
30:10 - Time with the Rangers
36:58 - Getting kicked out of the Army
48:15 - Motivation for writing book “The Ranger Way”
50:51 - Why GRS?
56:47 - Getting a black passport and examples of GRS missions
1:05:13 - Benghazi 2012 and the endurance that you need to make it through a 13 hour gun fight
1:12:22 - Benghazi 2012 Waiting for authorization are deciding to do the QRF (quick reaction force)
1:17:59 - The significance of true sacrifice
1:20:41 - His current projects including Battleline Tactical, podcast, vodka company, and E3 Farms Association
1:26:25 - What did you carry into combat?
1:28:59 - Would you do it again?
1:32:27 - Listener comments and shout outs