In 2012, John “Tig” Tiegen was one of the CIA contractors who charged into the U.S. Embassy compound in Benghazi in a doomed attempt to rescue Ambassador Christopher Stevens. He spent the night crouched with his M4 carbine behind a waist-high wall, fighting off waves of attackers. Together with Mark Geist and Kris Paronto, he coauthored the book that became the movie 13 Hours.
Although his career as a contractor is over, his days as a fighter are not. A former Marine, Tiegen is fiercely patriotic. He’s devoted to his veteran brethren and is a high-level competitor at tactical shooting events. Alarmed by nightly scenes of rioting in U.S. cities (coupled with a movement to defund police), he organized the United American Defense Force to train and equip citizens to save lives and quell violence—50 of whom may or may not have been gathered in a parking lot near downtown the night after the 2020 election…just in case.
If America is divided, Tiegen knows which side he’s on. He’s a sought-after speaker and podcast guest but is frequently banned from Instagram and Twitter. His passion for freedom irks those who believe America is fundamentally flawed. His defense of gun rights sparks backlash from those who think guns are a plague.
In Lynyrd Skynyrd parlance, Tiegen is a simple kind of man: devoted to principle, protective of friends and family, loyal to his country, and self-reliant. He’s also fun to be around, a true guy’s guy. He’s more warrior than orator, less Alex Jones and more John Wayne.
He’s a sheepdog, we’re the sheep, and the wolves are howling in the distance.