Congressman Faleomavaega announced that President Bush signed into law today the National Defense Authorization Act for FY04 which included language Faleomavaega offered to increase the number of military academy appointments from American Samoa.
“On May 7, 2003, the House Subcommittee on Total Force unanimously voted in favor of my amendment to increase the number of military academy appointments from America Samoa to the U.S. Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, and the United States Air Force Academy,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “On May 9, 2003, the Armed Services Committee also agreed to include this language in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2004.”
“This legislation passed the House on May 22, 2003 and the Senate and the House agreed to the conference report as of November 12, 2004. I am now pleased that President Bush has signed this historic legislation into law. As a result of this new law, American Samoa will be able to send two students to each service academy. Prior to this law being passed, American Samoa was only able to send one student to each academy.”
“This also means that I will be able to nominate up to twenty students per academy. Each academy scholarship is worth approximately $250,000 and each service academy is ranked among the top rated educational institutions in the U.S. Given that American Samoa has a population of about 60,000, a per capita income of less than $4,500 and almost 5,000 men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Services, I am pleased that we may be able to offer more students the opportunity to attend one of our nation’s prestigious military academies.”
“At this time, I want to thank my colleagues, both Democratic and Republican, for supporting my initiative to increase American Samoa’s academy appointments and, again, I commend President Bush for signing this important legislation into law,” the Congressman concluded.