June 16, 1998
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. --
Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that there are currently five Samoan service members of the U.S. Army attending the Command Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Faleomavaega said, "I would like to offer my congratulations to these soldiers and commend them for their work ethic which has earned them this opportunity to compete for the highest enlisted rank in the Army."
Faleomavaega continued by saying,"It goes without saying that I am very proud of them and I am confident that the skills and training they have learned over their many years of service to our country will assist them in their pursuits at the academy." The five military service members are:
Sergeant Talitonu Sevaaetasi, the son of the late Tago and Siuila Sevaaetasi of Pago Pago, American Samoa;
Master Sergeant Fealofani Vaita, the son of Vaita and Lele Utu of Amouli, American Samoa.
Master Sergeant Lafaele Ese, the son of Manu and Kalameli Ese of Fasito'otai, the Independent State of Samoa;
Sergeant Major Iuko Sam Folau, the son of Reverend Samuelu Folau Taoa and Finau Tuioti (Mariner) of Savai'i, the Independent State of Samoa; and
Sergeant Major Mati Arona Ioapo, the son of Fa'ifa'i Fia Ioapo of Tuana'i, the Independent State of Samoa.
Faleomavaega added, "Given that on a per capita basis, American Samoa contributes more military personnel than any other state in the union, it does not surprise me to see more and more of our people making significant strides in all branches of the armed services. Nevertheless, this is the first time that I am aware of, that five Samoans have been selected to such an academy at one time."
Faleomavaega concluded, "Again, I congratulate each of these Samoan soldiers and wish them much success at the academy. Having served in the Army, I know the sacrifices their families have also had to make, and for this reason I would like to extend my congratulations to them too."
Upon graduating from the academy each soldier will be promoted to Sergeant Major (E-9), which is the highest enlisted rank that can be attained in the U.S. Army.