Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the U.S. House of Representatives on July 28, 2009 passed by voice vote House Joint Resolution 44, legislation that would recognize the valiant efforts and heroism of the noncommissioned officers of the United States Army.
“I want to commend Chairman Skelton for his leadership and sponsorship of this bill. This bill, H.J Res 44, is a token of appreciation for those who serve to protect our Nation and our ideals of freedom,” Faleomavaega said.
“The noncommissioned officer rank has a long and rich history in the United States Army, originating with the Continental Army in 1775. The most visible leaders of the service, the noncommissioned officers have been the backbone of the Army for more than 230 years. Often referred to as the “eyes and ears'' of a commander, noncommissioned officers are not only sought after for their advice and guidance, but they are the standard keepers of the service, dedicated to the upholding of the Army's and our country's values. Responsible for the training of the Army's future leaders, the noncommissioned officer is integral in executing any given mission of the service,” Faleomavaega said.
“I am very proud that we have so many noncommissioned officers in the U.S. Army from our own Territory of American Samoa but due to limited space, only a few are listed here.”
“In an earlier press release, I noted that Command Sergeant Major Iuniasolua Savusa, a ranger in the 101st Airborne, was recently selected by Admiral Timothy Keating as the Senior Enlisted Leader of the U.S. Army Pacific Command, or PACOM. In other words, the Command Sergeant Major of all U.S. forces – not just Army, but the entire unified military command under PACOM in Hawaii and led by Admiral Keating. Command Sergeant Major Savusa is an example of the Toa o Samoa, or many of the Samoan military men and women who are enlisted and have served in the many branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.”
“At this time, I would like to recognize the services of several Samoans who have reached the top of the noncommissioned ranks in the U.S. Army – Command Sergeant Major Tuileama Nua, Command Sergeant Major Isaia “Ace” Vimoto, Command Sergeant Major Charles Tobin, Command Sergeant Major Panapa Willis, Command Sergeant Major Frank Leota, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Kokolua Yandall; Command Sergeant Major (ret) Ioakimo Falaniko; and Chief Warrant Officer 5 (ret) Save Liuato Tuitele, for their contributions to our military.”
“I also want to pay a special tribute to Command Sergeants Major Falaniko and Vimoto for they both had sons who enlisted in the U.S. Army and have given the ultimate sacrifice to our country. The son of Command Sergeant Major Falaniko, Private First Class Jonathan Falaniko, was killed in Iraq; while the son of Command Sergeant Major Vimoto, Private First Class Timothy Ray Vimoto, was killed in Afghanistan. We must honor these fathers and sons for their selfless sacrifice and the sacrifice they have made in the protection of our freedoms.”
“I cannot express the immense pride I have in those who persevere daily to protect the freedom and integrity of the United States. Noncommissioned officers of the United States Army are perhaps the most visible embodiment of the moral character and strength of the U.S. Army,” Faleomavaega added.
“This recognition by Congress is the least that can be done to express a deserved gratitude to those who have served and those who continue to serve in our Army today,” Faleomavaega concluded.