The Patriot’s Creed Cover

The Patriot’s Creed

Inspiration and Advice for Living a Heroic Life

Kris Paronto

Center Street, New York, 2019, 256 pages

Book Review published on: May 1, 2020

In The Patriot’s Creed: Inspiration and Advice for Living a Heroic Life, Kris “Tanto” Paronto, a former Army Ranger and security contractor, brilliantly explains how anyone can live a heroic life by living out the Army Values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. These values are taught and ingrained in soldiers from their initial training. “The Army Values are basic principles that, if followed, can help recruits become good soldiers with honorable careers.” Paronto argues that those values also characterize a good human being. He uses his experience in combat, most notably fighting terrorists during the 2012 U.S. Embassy attack in Benghazi, to inspire hope in everyday people to overcome life’s obstacles. One of the most appreciated aspects of the book is that Paronto not only describes his many accomplishments but also acknowledges his failures. “When I muster the courage to tell people about the ways that I have struggled and failed, I can see that it makes an impression, particularly in a time when many people go to great lengths to curate identities on social media that are perfect, enviable, and false.” The majority of the book consists of personal experiences from people Paronto interviewed. He describes their desire to serve, their training, and even traumatic events that changed their lives forever. He uses their stories to illustrate each of the Army values. Paronto stated, “There are people out there who have done more than I and who have endured more than I, and they have wisdom to share.”

Paronto’s purpose is to acknowledge that life can be tough, but by reflecting on the stories of real heroes and the Army Values they exemplify, anyone can learn how to fight and win personal battles. The Patriot’s Creed is a book that will make readers appreciate the sacrifices of the men and women who chose to serve their country. It is inspiring and encourages people to never quit and to overcome all obstacles no matter how great. It unites people during a period of political polarization by identifying the common values most Americans hold dearly. Paronto’s travels over the last few years have allowed him to engage with people who revealed to him that not everyone is as divided as the media and politicians would have America believe. In fact, Paronto believes that Americans share a lot in common and if everyone would commit to upholding Army Values, perceived differences would seem less severe.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has dealt with or is dealing with adversity and struggling for victory. Reading the stories of the men and women who sacrificed so much for their country will both humble and inspire any reader. I personally enjoyed the book because of its positive message and the author’s personal devotion to his country and fellow man. Anyone can learn a great deal by observing what heroic people have in common and admire their ability to move forward against any obstacle.

Book Review written by: Lt. Col. Robert B. Haines, U.S. Army, Retired, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas