Pantano’s service began at age 17 when he enlisted in the Marine Corps and became an elite scout sniper. After fighting in the Gulf War he left to get his education, work on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs, and start his own business. Witnessing the attacks on 9/11, Pantano returned to the service and led a platoon of infantry Marines in Fallujah through some of the fiercest fighting of the war. During combat operations, Pantano killed two terrorists and was later accused of murder. A military hearing dismissed all charges against him, but after receiving Jihadist death threats to his family, Pantano chose to resign from the Marine Corps. Since 2006 he has protected his local community in North Carolina as a Deputy Sheriff.
After his honorable discharge, Pantano authored a book about his experiences and has been a guest on national news programs including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, CNN, MSNBC, BBC and Fox News. He also produced a documentary – Warriors: In Their Own Words – to raise money for wounded veterans.
He is currently completing a Masters Degree in National Security Policy and he lives Wilmington, North Carolina with his wife, Jill, and their two sons.