LTC Jesse A. Pena is a native of Del Rio, Texas. He is a graduate of Del Rio High School in 1998. He is a graduate of the University of North Texas in Denton, TX where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Sciences in 2002. LTC Pena was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant through the 4-year Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. LTC Pena is a graduate of Central Michigan University where he earned a Master of Science in Administration (MSA) in 2019.
LTC Pena’s military career began serving as a Platoon Leader in the 52nd Squadron, Spangdahlem AB, Germany (2002-2004). After Germany, LTC Pena was selected for a broadening assignment working with the Rocket System Launch Group at the Detachment-12 Space and Missile System Center (SMC) in Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, as a Flight Commander for Peacekeeper Missiles. Also while in Detachment-12, LTC Pena was assigned to the Space Vehicle Operations Group and served as a Flight Commander for Deployable SATCOM ground systems (2004-2006). During his assignment at Det 12, LTC Pena led a team in 2005 for a deployment to South America in support of the National Reconnaissance Office, B-26 Titan IV Space Launch Vehicle ‘last of the Titans’ mission. After Detachment-12, Space and Missile Systems Center at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, LTC Pena was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade Headquarters, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia. LTC Pena served as the Brigade Support Operations (SPO) Munitions Officer-In-Charge (OIC) ‘formerly known as the Division Ammunition Officer’ (2007-2008). As the Munitions Officer-In-Charge, CPT Pena led a team to COB Q-West, Multi-National Division-North, Iraq for 8 months during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) 07-09 (2007-2008). After his assignment at COB Q-West, Iraq, LTC Pena served as a G-4 Transportation Officer and Brigade Liaison Officer for the 3rd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade for 7-months in support of Task Force Iron, 1st Armored Division in COB Speicher, Multi-National Division-North Headquarters, Iraq during OIF 07-09 (2007-2008). After redeployment, LTC Pena was assigned as the Brigade SPO Maintenance OIC and SPO Transportation OIC for 1 year at the 3rd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade (2008-2009). After Brigade SPO assignments as Maintenance and Transportation OIC, LTC Pena was selected for company command. LTC Pena commanded the 632nd Maintenance Company (Heavy) at 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, GA (2009-2011). LTC Pena deployed his Maintenance Company (Heavy) to COB Adder, Iraq for 12 months as part of the transition from Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-11 to Operations New Dawn (2010-2011). LTC Pena’s company was conducting combat recovery, convoy security missions, base defense and maintenance operations in support of 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division and Multi-National Division – South, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-11 to Operations New Dawn (2010-2011). After redeployment, LTC Pena was selected as the Battalion S-3 Officer-In-Charge for 1 year with the 87th CSSB, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, GA (2011-2012). After Battalion S-3 Officer-In-Charge, LTC Pena was selected to PCS to 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, NC (2012-2015). LTC Pena was assigned as the 2nd IBCT (ABN) S-4 OIC during the Global Response Force Mission while stationed at 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, NC (2012-2013). After IBCT S-4 Officer-In-Charge, LTC Pena was assigned as the Battalion Executive Officer to the 407th Brigade Support Battalion (BSB), 2nd IBCT (ABN) during the Global Response Force Mission while stationed at 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, NC (2013-2015). After Battalion XO in 407th BSB, LTC Pena was selected to PCS to Yongsan USAG, South Korea and serve in a joint position with United States Forces Korea. LTC Pena was assigned to the USFK J-4 Transportation Division as the Joint Transportation Officer (2015-2016). After USFK J-4 Transportation Division, LTC Pena was selected to PCS to Fort Hood, TX and serve in the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC). He was assigned as the SPO Distribution Integrations Branch Chief and also was assigned to the 13th ESC Forward Command Post as the Deputy Team Chief in support of United States Army Africa (USRAF) at Vicenza, Italy and deployed to multiple countries in Africa (2016-2017). After Deputy Team Chief, LTC Pena served as the 13th ESC G-3 Chief of Current Operations (2017-2018). After Chief of Current Operations, LTC Pena served as the 13th ESC G-5 Chief of Plans (2018-2019). After Chief of Plans, LTC Pena was selected to PCS to Fort Campbell, KY and serve with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade as the Support Operations Officer-In-Charge (2019-2020). In 2020, LTC Pena deployed with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade as Task Force Lifeliner to the Northeast Region of the United States in support of COVID19 Response mission.
LTC Pena is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff (CGSC) Officer Course, Captain Career Course, Officer Basic Course, Airborne School, Air Assault School, Aerial Delivery and Materiel Officer Course, Army Combatives Level-1, Operational Contracting Support Course, Acquisitions Program Management Level-1, Acquisitions Logistics Management Level-1 and Acquisitions Test and Evaluation Level-1, Air & Space Basic Course, Space Operations Course, Combat Ammunition and Planning Course, Conventional and Nuclear Munitions Course.
CPT Pena’s awards and decorations include the 2 x Bronze Star Medals, 1 x Defense Meritorious Service Medal, 4 x Meritorious Service Medals, 1 x Army Commendation Medal, 1 x Air Force Commendation Medal, 1 x Joint Service Achievement Medal, 2 x Achievement Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism-Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Outstanding Unit Award, Combat Action Badge, Space & Missile Operations Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Rigger Badge.