In a recently published book, “The Ranger Way,” Kris “Tanto” Paronto provides readers with extensive insight into what was going through his mind as he fought for his life and the lives of those around him on Sept. 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya, and also breaks down those experiences into the lessons learned.
Kris’ resume is very impressive. A former Army Ranger from 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment and a private security contractor, he has been deployed throughout South America, Central America, the Middle East and North Africa. Many might know him as a member of the CIA Annex Security Team that responded to the terrorist attack in Benghazi. Previously he worked with the U.S. government’s Global Response Staff, the U.S. State Department High Threat Protection Program and the Blackwater Security Consulting firm in high-threat environments around the world.
The book describes an important tool to thrive — take responsibility. This mentality should be relatable for any person, except if your name is Hillary Clinton. Kris describes her as “arrogant.”
“I want to be a thorn in her side,” he said. “She sees herself as above the law. Yet, she leaked classified information, used open servers and left people to die in Benghazi. She can rationalize away anything, and puts herself before anyone else. I believe 90 percent of the national security people truly believe she would have made a terrible president.”
Kris also blames the national media. A quote from the book emphasizes how they spun the facts to favor the Obama administration, “If you want to take CNN’s word over a Marine’s, go right ahead. I’ll take the Marine’s word one hundred percent of the time.” This was in response to a question asked about the stand down order given by Bob, the CIA chief in Benghazi.
Another life lesson, do not be afraid to ask a question. Kris believes good leaders “would be happy with questions. Bob should have realized he was out of his element and asked questions of us, the experts. He pretended he knew what he was doing and it cost lives. I truly believe if we were sent out almost initially those at the compound would still be alive, instead of telling us we could not leave.”
He realizes he is fighting a new battle. An important principle: have a battle strategy that strives to reach a goal by defining the mission’s importance.
“We have a new combat area where we must speak out against politicians, TV and news media personalities. Those of us in Benghazi were part of the Special Ops community and needed to be creative thinkers,” he said. “We went through a process of anger, where we watched everything spin out of control, to realizing we must develop a strategy to fix and counter the false narrative. We are done just sitting on the sidelines. Military personnel have integrity, honor, and are patriotic. Maybe the national security agencies should recruit from the military because our love for country is stronger than our political views.”
In reading this book, Americans learn that Kris is definitely not a politically correct kind of guy. He persevered through the Benghazi tragedy and wants others to learn how they can succeed through life. Having integrity, courage and faith in God has allowed him to overcome life’s hardships, and he hopes his own life lessons can be helpful to others.