Captain John A. Pieno is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, where he attended West Jefferson High School. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in management from Southeastern Louisiana University.
Captain Pieno was commissioned in Pensacola, Florida, through the Aviation Officer Candidate Program in October 1962 and subsequently earned his Naval Flight Officer wings in Corpus Christi, Texas in April 1963. His initial squadron tour was with VR-7 where he accumulated 1,500 hours as a navigator in the C-130 aircraft flying logistic support missions throughout the world.
In October, 1965 he reported to VAH-123 in Whidbey Island, Washington, where he received training as a bombardier/navigator in the A3D Skywarrior aircraft. Reporting to VAH-10 in April 1966 he deployed in VSS AMERICA to the Western Pacific and the Mediterranean. From June 1968 to June 1970 Captain Pieno was assigned to the Naval Aviation Schools Command in Pensacola, Florida where he served as Class Officer and Battalion Officer-in-Charge.
In July 1970 he transferred to VA-42 at NAS Oceana, Virginia, where he transitioned to the A-6A Intruder aircraft and made both Mediterranean and Western Pacific deployments in VSS SARATOGA with VA-75. While in VA-75 he served as Operations, Safety and Administrative Officer. Captain Pieno next attended the Armed Forces Staff College and served on the Staff of Medium Attack Wing One as Weapons and Tactical Officer and also saw instructor duty with VA-42. He joined VA-176 in September 1975 serving as Maintenance and Operations Officer deploying in USS AMERICA to the Mediterranean and South America.
In June, 1978 he reported to Attack Squadron Thirty-Five as Executive Officer while the squadron was deployed in USS Nimitz. As Commanding Officer he deployed to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and North Atlantic in USS Nimitz, including the first operational deployment of the A6E TRAM weapons system. He next served as Special Assistant for Executive Personnel to the Secretary of the Navy during the transition period. He assumed command of the A6 replacement training squadron VA-42 in April 1981 and served in that capacity until July 1982.
Subsequent to reporting aboard the USS JOHN F. KENNEDY as Executive Officer, he attended Surface Warfare Officer PCO School in Newport, Rhode Island. Captain Pieno was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal and numerous other unit and campaign awards. He has accumulated over 5,000 flight to carrier arrested landings.