Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he has been invited by General David D. McKiernan, Commanding General of the United States Army Europe and 7th Army with headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany, to attend the welcoming and assumption of responsibility ceremony for Command Sergeant Major Iuniasolua Savusa on May 5, 2006. On March 3, 2006, General McKiernan announced his selection of Command Sgt. Maj. Savusa as the next USAREUR command sergeant major and Faleomavaega expressed his congratulations in a press release dated March 24, 2006.
Currently, USAREUR has jurisdiction over 234 Army installations throughout Europe that includes approximately 158,000 military and civilian personnel and their families. Prior to his new assignment, CSM Iuniasolua Savusa served as Command Sergeant Major for the Southern European Task Force (SETAF) in Vicenza, Italy. Previously, he was the Post Command Sergeant Major at Fort Polk and the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
CSM Savusa served two tours during the Afghanistan conflict. In 2001, he served as Command Sergeant Major for the Task Force Rakkasan, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2005, he deployed again to Afghanistan for a year to serve as Command Sergeant Major for the Combined Joint Task Force-76 in Bagram Airfield also in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
CSM Savusa also served during the Iraq war. In 2003, he deployed to Iraq with the 3rd Brigade, 187th Infantry Regiment (Rakkasan), 101st Airborne Division in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was highly commended by his superiors and fellow soldiers for his leadership and bravery during the initial attack on Iraq and march into Bagdad. Eyewitness media reporters that were embedded with the U.S. infantry troops wrote that when their convoy was ambushed by enemy fighters outside of Baghdad, Savusa walked within 30 yards of the enemy’s position and tossed a grenade that effectively killed two Iraqi fighters.
“I am very pleased and feel honored to be invited by General McKiernan to attend Savusa’s assumption of responsibility ceremony in Germany,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “This is the first time a four-star general has selected a Samoan to be his Command Sergeant Major and I am honored to represent the people of American Samoa at this momentous event.”
“As Command Sergeant Major for the United States Army Europe and the 7th Army, Savusa will, on behalf of the Commanding General, assume responsibility over all matters pertaining to enlisted soldiers under the USAREUR command. Also, because of its close proximity to Iraq and many other hot spots in Europe and Asia as well as Afghanistan, the role of USAREUR in the war against terrorism is extremely critical.”
“This will be a huge responsibility and a major challenge for Iuni, but I am confident he is up for the job,” Faleomavaega said. “Obviously, the U.S. Army leadership, especially General McKiernan, agrees. When announcing his selection of Iuni Savusa as Command Sergeant Major for the U.S. Army Europe and the Seventh Army, General McKiernan said of Savusa, ‘he is an outstanding senior non-commissioned officer, warrior and leader, who has all the right skill sets our troopers and families deserve.’”
“To the best of my knowledge, Iuni Savusa was the first Samoan to attain the level of Post Command Sergeant Major when he took over as Installation Command Sergeant Major at Fort Polk, Louisiana in 2003. Less than two years later, he was given greater responsibilities when he became Command Sergeant Major for the U.S. Army Southern European Task Force in Italy.”
Command Sergeant Major Iuni Savusa began his military career over 30 years ago upon graduating from high school in American Samoa. He holds an Associate of Arts degree from Kemper Military School and College and is a graduate of the United States Army Sergeant Major Academy.
Command Sergeant Major Iuni Savusa is married to the former Mareta Siatini Iese of Fagatogo, American Samoa. They have four children: Alexis Salainaoloa, Alexandrya Falegaui, Alexander Lototasi-Chester, and Alexandrite Maima. He is the son of the late Savusa Tului of Nu’uuli and Talaitupu Savusa of Fagasa.
“I am very proud of Command Sergeant Major Iuni Savusa and his accomplishments. As Samoans, he has made us all proud. He is an inspiration and a great role model for our youth and other Samoans currently serving in the military. I congratulate him and wish him and his family all the best in their new assignment at USAREUR,” Faleomavaega concluded.