Executive Officer, Marine Aircraft Group 16
Lieutenant Colonel Clayton W. Piersall

Lieutenant Colonel Piersall was born in Fort Worth, TX. He grew up in Texas and attended Keller High School.  He attended the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a Minor in History.  He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps in May of 2007.

Following completion of The Basic School, he was assigned to Marine Air Training Support Group 21 in Pensacola, FL in June of 2008. He completed Aviation Preflight Indoctrination course and then transferred to Training Air Wing 4 in Corpus Christi, TX for primary fixed wing training at Training Squadron 28. Upon completion of fixed wing training in June of 2009, First Lieutenant Piersall transferred to Helicopter Training Squadron 28 to begin advanced rotary training.

Upon completion of advanced rotary training in June of 2010, First Lieutenant Piersall was designated a Naval Aviator and reported to Marine Heavy Helicopter Training Squadron 302 in July of 2010 to complete the Replacement Aircrew syllabus. First Lieutenant Piersall completed training with HMHT-302 in December of 2010 and was assigned to report to Marine Air Group 24 in Kaneohe Bay Hawaii.

Captain Piersall then transitioned to the CH-53D after joining HMH-362. His Operating Force assignments began Ground Training Officer and then deployed to Afghanistan for OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM 12.1.  After return from deployment, Captain Piersall transferred to HMH-463 and transitioned back to the CH-53E while serving as the NATOPS Officer.  In 2014, Captain Piersall deployed as the Assistant Operations Officer and Quality Assurance Officer Marine Rotational Force – Darwin to Darwin, Australia.

Captain Piersall reported to HMHT-302 as a Fleet Replacement Squadron Instructor from 2015-2018 as well as the NATOPS Evaluator for the CH-53E community. Major Piersall then joined NAVAIR at the Naval Training Systems and Ranges program office PMA-205 where he worked with PMA-261 as the MH-53E and CH-53E/K Training Systems Level II Lead from 2018-2021. 

Major Piersall was then assigned to HMH-361 as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer in August 2021 and served in that capacity during the 22.2 Unit Deployment Program to Okinawa, Japan. Upon completion of that deployment Major Piersall assumed the role as Executive Officer of HMH-361 and is now serving as the MAG-16 Executive Officer.  

Lieutenant Colonel Piersall is married and he and his wife have two sons and one daughter. His awards include the Navy Strike Flight Medal with numeral 3, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with one gold star, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.