Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he has accepted the invitation by the Commanding General of United States Army Europe and Seventh Army to attend the farewell ceremony on June 18, 2008 in honor of Command Sergeant Major Iuniasolua Savusa. CSM Savusa will be leaving USAREUR and Seventh Army where he has been command sergeant major since May, 2006 to become the new command sergeant major for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Currently, Lieutenant General Gary D. Speer is Acting Commanding General of USAREUR and Seventh Army, headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany.
With his new assignment, Savusa will take over as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader (CSEL) of NATO forces in Afghanistan. There, he will rejoin his former boss, General David D. McKiernan who recently took over as commander of NATO’s ISAF in Afghanistan.
As command sergeant major for ISAF, CSM Savusa will advise General McKiernan on a wide range of issues including providing insight and perspective on integration and implementation of overall activities; providing assessment, recommendations and feedback to the Commander and other top ISAF leaders on Coalition NCO and Enlisted Force Development/Warfighting capabilities and initiatives; and providing tactical and operational level assessments, recommendations, and feedback of service and functional components and subordinated units, to name a few.
CSM Savusa has held other major leadership assignments previously including Command Sergeant Major for the United States Army Southern European Task Force (Airborne) in Vicenza, Italy, Post Command Sergeant Major in Fort Polk, Louisiana.
In 2002, Iuni Savusa deployed to Afghanistan in support of the War on Terrorism and served as Command Sergeant Major for the Task Force Rakkasan, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). In 2005, he again deployed to Afghanistan with the Southern European Task Force (Airborne) as Command Sergeant Major for the Combined Joint Task Force – 76. He also deployed in 2003 as the Command Sergeant Major for the 3rd Brigade, 187th Infantry Regiment (Rakkasan), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom I.
CSM Iuni Savusa is the son of the late Savusa Tului of Nu’uuli and Talaitupu Savusa of Fagasa, American Samoa. He 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.
“I am very pleased to have been invited to join Acting Commanding General Gary Speer in this farewell ceremony in honor of Command Sergeant Major Iuni Savusa,” Faleomavaega said. “I am very proud of this son of Samoa and am honored for the opportunity to be part of his ceremony.”
“Obviously, Command Sergeant Major Iuni Savusa’s exceptional leadership has gained the confidence of the Army leaders. I was so proud to read in a military newspaper article General McKiernan saying about Savusa, ‘the finest soldier on the field.’ Iuni has set a great example for soldiers in the Army, but especially for our Samoan young men and women in the military.”
“In his new assignment, Iuni will be the top non-commissioned officer over an international force of close to 60,000 troops and growing from 40 different countries under NATO in Afghanistan. I am sure Iuni’s more than 30 years of experience in the U.S. Army and several deployments as command sergeant major in combat situations, twice in Afghanistan and once in Iraq, suits him well in providing the needed leadership to NATO forces in Afghanistan.”
“While in Germany, I will also be meeting with many of our Samoan soldiers and their families who are stationed in and around Heidelberg area. This will be an excellent opportunity for me to hear directly from the soldiers about issues of interest to them as well as any concerns they may have so I can determine how to better assist them.”
“At this time, I want to again offer my congratulations to Iuni Savusa on his new assignment and thank him for his outstanding service to our country. I also want to acknowledge and thank Iuni’s lovely wife Mareta for her service and tremendous support not only in taking care of their family but also in her leadership capacity as the command sergeant major’s spouse. Iuni and Mareta are such great models for our many Samoan soldiers with families in the military. As a Vietnam veteran and former soldier, I understand how valuable it is to a soldier’s morale knowing that you have the strong support and love of your family.”
“I also want to take this opportunity to thank all our Samoan sons and daughters currently serving in the military and their families for the sacrifices they make so that we may continue to live in a peaceful and free country. For those serving abroad, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan, I join the rest of our Samoan community in praying for your safe return home to your families and loved ones,” Faleomavaega concluded.