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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19)

CAPT. John Pienkowski USN

CDR John Pienkowski was born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering and received his commission from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1995.

His sea duty assignments include Division Officer tours as Under Sea Warfare Officer onboard USS CHOSIN (CG 65) and Reactor Electrical Division Officer onboard USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) during its Refueling Complex Overhaul. His Department Head tours include Combat Systems Officer onboard USS REUBEN JAMES (FFG 57) in support of counter-narcotics operations off the coast of Central and South America followed by Reactor Training Assistant onboard USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76) during its maiden Western Pacific deployment in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM and OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.

His shore duty assignments include Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Florida, Nuclear Power Training Unit in Ballston Spa, New York, and earning a Master’s Degree in Space Systems Operations and his Joint Professional Military Education (JPME I) from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He also served as the USS JOHN C STENNIS (CVN 74) Maintenance Coordinator to the Commander, Naval Air Forces Pacific.

CDR Pienkowski’s joint tour to Commander, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina for duty in the Joint Military Exchange Program (JMEP) saw him immediately deploy as part of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. Upon his return, he served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G3 Executive Officer. During this period, he deployed as part of the rapid response force to Haiti in January 2010 for 55 days on the ground as a key element for Joint Task Force-Haiti.

CDR Pienkowski served as the Executive Officer on USS MESA VERDE (LPD-19) and took command June 14, 2012. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal and various unit and service awards.
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