He attended elementary school with series protagonist Dirk Pitt, Sr, and the two have been friends ever since the two opposed each other in a kindergarten fight. Giordino played tackle on his high school football team, quarterbacked by Pitt. Giordino and Pitt both attended the United States Air Force Academy and served in the last days of the Vietnam War together. After Vietnam, he joined NUMA with Pitt at the request of its founder and Director, Admiral James Sandecker, on a temporary loan from the Air Force, but this has lasted over the full course of the books. His current title is "Assistant Special Projects Director," yet he retains his rank of Captain from the Air Force.
His only enduring hobby is teasing Sandecker by pretending to steal his custom made cigars. Sandecker is always confused as to how Giordino can have identical custom cigars, yet none of the Admiral's cigars are ever missing. In the first few books it stated that only he and an old air force buddy knew, but new information points out that Giordino actually buys them from the same person.Giordino never married, only once considering it with a woman named Pat O'Connell, at the end of Atlantis Found. He realized that he travels most of the year and cannot expect a woman to put up with his busy workload. O'Connell was far too similar to Giordino, as she too became devoted to her study and cataloging of the Amenes artifacts found in Antarctica. Giordino lives in a condominium in Alexandria, Virginia where none of the decor or furniture in the residence actually matches. In one book it is mentioned that he drives an old Corvette.
A running gag occurs in many novels where another character (usually the villain) calls Al "Mr. Giordano."
In The Mediterranean Caper, one of the first Dirk Pitt books, the circumstances of Giordino's death are foreshadowed. An evil double-agent is discovered, and given a gun to commit suicide. While Giordino is observing the double-agent walk into the distance to carry out this task, it is stated that until the time of Giordino's death he could not understand how someone could give up their life so unquestioningly. In Trojan Odyssey Giordino reveals the epitaph he wishes inscribed on his tombstone: "It was a great party while it lasted. I trust it will continue elsewhere." In the Movie "Sahara" (2005) he is portrayed by Steve Zahn, his backround is changed; in the novel he attended the United States Air Force with Dirk Pitt and served in the last few days in the Vietnam war and after joining NUMA he still reatains he rank as captain in the Air Force. In the film, it changed from Air Force to CIA and Navy as said when Dr. Hopper asked how long Al and Dirk had been together. Dirk and Al still served the last few days in the Vietnam war in the film version of "Sahara".
While rescuing Eva Rojas from Kazim's men, Al used a Romanian WASR-3 to take down Kazim's forces until it runs out of bullets; but then he requires L1A1.