Congressman Faleomavaega today offered his congratulations to Lieutenant Colonel Leafaina Olive Tavai-Yahn upon her selection to the Senior Service College. The Senior Service College program prepares military officers and civilians for senior leadership responsibilities. LTC Tavai-Yahn was originally selected to the Senior Service College in 2008 and will be attending the summer program in 2010.
LTC Tavai-Yahn is the Battalion Commander for the 589th Brigade Support Battalion and the 41st Fires Brigade from Fort Hood, Texas that is currently deployed to Iraq since February 2007. LTC Tavai-Yahn was originally selected to the Senior Service College in 2008 and will be attending the summer program in 2010.
LTC Tavai-Yahn was born and raised in America Samoa and graduated from Samoana High School. Upon graduating from Samoana, she became the first Samoan to graduate from West Point Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science Degree and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army Ordnance Corps in May of 1989. She is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and also holds an Executive Masters in Business Administration (EMBA) from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.
LTC Tavai-Yahn is the daughter of late High Chief Atiumaletavai Kaleopa and Lauolive Tavai from the village of Gataivai. She is married to Chief Warrant Officer Four Rocky D. Yahn.
“I am proud of LTC Tavai-Yahn’s efforts and determination to achieve this difficult feat,” Faleomavaega said. “I commend her for her outstanding service and leadership in our military in such a historical time in our Nation’s history.”
“I am pleased to know that the U.S. Army has acknowledged Leafaina’s hard work and vigorous training for the past many years which has allowed her to be nominated and accepted to the Senior Service College that will broaden her career in the military. It is my understanding that upon completion of her Senior Service program she would qualify to be considered for promotion to Colonel.”
“Her willfulness to achieve such accomplishments has given her an opportunity to become a great leader amongst her peers. She has continued to show great strides of becoming a notable individual when she became the first American Samoan to graduate from the prestigious West Point Military Academy. She has set an excellent example for the young women of Samoa and remains an inspiration to our Samoan youth that continue her legacy of graduating from our military academies and becoming great leaders.”
“Again, I want to recognize Leafaina and her achievements and look forward to her contributions to our military. I also want to commend her husband and family for the invaluable support and encouragement. I pray for her continued success and I wish her the very best,” concluded Faleomavaega.