Commander John Kiefaber is a native of Great Falls, Virginia. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1997, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science. Following his designation as a Naval Aviator in 1999, he reported to Helicopter Squadron Anti-Submarine Light Four Zero (HSL-40) at NS Mayport, Florida for his initial training in the SH-60B Seahawk helicopter.
CDR Kiefaber’s first operational assignment was with HSL-44 at NS Mayport. He deployed in August 2000 aboard the USS KLAKRING (FFG-42) and served as the Detachment Training Officer. Following his return, he qualified as Helicopter Aircraft Commander and deployed in April 2001 aboard the USS JOHN L. HALL (FFG-32) where he served as the Detachment Operations Officer. Upon his return, he served as the squadron Aviation Safety Officer before deploying again in June 2002 aboard the USS CAPE ST GEORGE (CG-71) as the Detachment Maintenance Officer.
In March 2003, CDR Kiefaber reported to HSL-41 in San Diego, California for duty as a Fleet Replacement Squadron Instructor Pilot. In addition to his instructor duties, he served as the Operations Schedule Officer, Aviation and Armament Division Officer, and Squadron NATOPS Officer. While serving at HSL-41 he received his Executive Masters in Business Administration from the Naval Postgraduate School and was chosen as the Instructor Pilot of the Year for 2005.
In February 2006, CDR Kiefaber reported aboard the USS BOXER (LHD-4) and served as the Hangar Officer, Flight Deck Officer and Assistant Air Department Officer.
In February 2008, CDR Kiefaber reported to HSL-45 for his Aviation Department Head tour. There he deployed in April 2009 as the Helicopter Detachment Officer-In-Charge aboard the USS GARY (FFG-51). Additionally, he served as the squadron NATOPS Officer, Safety Officer, and Maintenance Officer. While serving at HSL-45, he completed his JPME Phase I credit from the Air Force Command and Staff College and was chosen as the squadron Officer of the Year, as well as the Commander Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, Pacific Officer of the Year for 2010.
In January 2011, CDR Kiefaber reported to the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Miami, Florida to the Joint Strategy, Policy and Plans Directorate (J-5). From May 2011 to December 2013, he served as the Aide-de-Camp for two SOUTHCOM Commanders.
In January 2013, he reported to HSM-41 to transition to the MH-60R Seahawk.
CDR Kiefaber reported to the world famous “Wolf Pack” of HSM-75 in December 2014 as the Executive Officer.
His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four gold stars), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (one gold star), and various unit commendations and service/campaign medals.