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Inspiring Hero of the 2012 Benghazi Attack & Subject of the Book and Major Motion Picture,13 Hours


Kris Paronto—“Tanto” as he is affectionately known in security contracting circles—is a former Army Ranger from 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment and private security contractor who has deployed throughout South America, Central America, the Middle East and North Africa. He also worked with the U.S. Government’s Global Response Staff conducting low profile security in high threat environments throughout the world.

Paronto was part of the CIA annex security team that responded to the terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, helping to save over 20 lives while fighting off terrorists for over 13 hours. Paronto’s story is told in the book 13 Hours, written by Mitchell Zuckoff and his five surviving annex security team members, and in the 2016 major motion picture of the same name.

Born in Alamosa, Colorado, Paronto obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colorado and Master’s Degree from The University of Nebraska at Omaha. He served 4 years in the U.S. Army and an additional 4 years in the U.S. 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. He is also the author of the 2017 motivational book The Ranger Way.

For more than 10 years, Paronto has been involved in security operations in hostile environments and his team’s involvement with the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. special mission in Benghazi, Libya was paramount in the saving of U.S. lives and assets. He is a proven leader, teammate and friend to those who have deployed with him, and a devout husband and loving father of two remarkable children.




A world-class professional keynote speaker and author. He is committed to motivating audiences and delivering strategies to help the organization thrive amid adversity and excel to new heights of performance. Matt’s story has been featured in both international magazine and TV shows. He holds a BA in Communication, MLS in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership, and is pursuing his doctorate in Organizational Leadership.

Matt is currently the author of ten books. He is currently working on his next one, which is Happiness is a Marathon: 26.2 Ways to Stay Happy at Work and in Life. They include, Going through Hell? Don’t Stop! How to Survive Your Darkest Days and Create Your Brightest Future, 101 Timeless Truths: Proverbs from Around the World, Life’s a Marathon: 26.2 Winning Strategies for Personal and Professional Success, Sales is a Marathon: 26.2 Winning Strategies to Stay Motivated in Sales, Leadership is a Marathon: 26.2 Winning Strategies to Stay Motivated as a Leader, Cancer is a Marathon: 26.2 Strategies for Conquering Cancer, 189 Victories Secrets, Nursing is a Marathon: 26.2 Ways to Stay Motivated as a Nurse, Meeting Planner is a Marathon: 26.2 Ways to Stay Motivated as a Meeting Planner, Life’s a Marathon: 3 Unique Choices You can use to Overcome Adversity and Achieve Greater Victory in Your Business, Leadership, and Life.

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