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blog Kris Paronto - The Cult of Rec Podcast, Episode 10

Kris Paronto - The Cult of Rec Podcast, Episode 10

Kolby Seemann

12 days ago

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In episode 10 of the "Cult of Recreationalism" podcast, host Sean Lake had the honor of welcoming Kris Paronto, a notable figure whose heroic acts during the 2012 Benghazi attack have captured the admiration of many. Paronto, fondly known as "Tanto," brings a blend of humor, sincerity, and profound insight into his experiences and current endeavors, ranging from tactical training to his venture into the vodka business.

Background and Military Service

Kris Paronto’s background as a former Army Ranger from the 2nd Battalion, 75th Regiment, has profoundly shaped his life and career. As one of the brave responders during the Benghazi terror attacks, his experiences are not just professional milestones but also personal trials that have defined his commitment to service and leadership. Paronto shares:

“I didn’t realize I had so much going on, to be honest with you, because you just kind of do it. You know how it is, you just, entrepreneurship, it just kind of happens and let’s do it for the experience” - Kris Paronto.

This statement encapsulates the spontaneous and resilient spirit that characterizes Paronto’s approach to life and challenges.

Post-Military Ventures: Tactical Training and Tanto Vodka

Transitioning from military service to civilian life, Paronto has not stepped away from the ethos of service and defense; instead, he has redirected these into entrepreneurial ventures. His establishment of Battleline Tactical illustrates his commitment to empowering others through tactical training and preparedness. His entry into the vodka industry with Tanto Vodka is equally intriguing, blending his love for spirited entrepreneurship with a nod to his unique persona. On starting Tanto Vodka, Paronto explains:

"It was actually a cool story. Nothing that I’ve got into all those, and thank you for putting all that out there, man. It was a heck of an experience" - Kris Paronto.

The inception of Tanto Vodka, sparked by a conversation with a Vietnam veteran moonshiner, highlights Paronto's knack for turning casual interactions into serious business, all while keeping a sense of adventure alive.

The Intersection of Personal Passions and Professional Life

A surprising yet captivating aspect of Paronto's story is his deep appreciation for the arts, particularly his love for the ambiance of dark, dingy lounges echoing with the sounds of Sinatra and Dean Martin. This personal passion beautifully contrasts with his professional persona, showcasing a man who values the finer experiences in life beyond his battlefield and tactical prowess. His personal reflections bring a lighter, more human side to the warrior’s image:

"Yeah, dude, I love that. I’m a Sinatra fan, man. The dark dingy lounges. I wish I could sit in a lounge listening to Dean Martin and just, and that’s what I’m like, man, I wish I had a little martini in my hand right now when you’re playing that jingle" - Kris Paronto.

Challenges and Overcoming Adversity

Throughout the podcast, Paronto doesn’t shy away from discussing the numerous challenges he’s faced, from the intense scrutiny following the Benghazi attacks to the daunting task of business management in the competitive spirits industry. His journey through establishing a vodka brand is marked by legal challenges and the complexities of distribution, reflecting the broader struggles many veterans face when transitioning their battlefield skills into business success. Yet, his narrative remains one of resilience and tenacity:

"You’ve got to look at it that way. It’s, well, dang it, I guess I’m not promoting it well enough. But then also, hey, well, I can promote it to you and get it out there. And that’s, but I think that’s how companies become successful" - Kris Paronto.

Give the Episode a Listen!

Kris Paronto’s discussion with Sean Lake on the Cult of Recreationalism podcast provides listeners with a multi-faceted view of a man who has lived through moments that would break many. His stories are a testament to the human spirit’s capacity to adapt and overcome, filled with lessons on leadership, resilience, and the importance of finding one’s passion in life. Whether it’s handling tactical drills or distilling vodka, Paronto embodies a leadership style that is both relatable and profoundly inspiring.