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Archived Military Profile Highlights



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Please contact the OIA to share pictures of sons and daughters serving in the War on Terror who are from the Insular Areas and the Freely Associated States!  Please include your contact so that we may contact you for the details.

U.S. Military Veterans Honored in Micronesia – FSM citizens and other Pacific Islanders Serve in U.S. military at higher per-capita rate than U.S. citizens

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FSM President Mori lays a wreath in honor of U.S. Military Veterans at the U.S. Embassy in Pohnpei on November 11, 2010.

(Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM) On November 11, 2010, the United States Embassy in Pohnpei hosted a ceremony in honor of Veterans of Foreign Wars Day. U.S. Ambassador Prahar, in his remarks, noted that “the sons and daughters of the FSM who have served and today serve in the U.S. Armed Forces side by side with young men and women from Wisconsin, California, and elsewhere in the U.S. demonstrate that our two peoples share a commitment to the values of democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights – a commitment that goes far beyond formal treaty commitments.” Speaking of the eight FSM citizens who have given the ultimate sacrifice while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, Prahar said “It has been my honor as Ambassador to visit the graves of those soldiers…and to stand in their silent, honored presence…It has been my honor to thank their families and to assure them that the sacrifice of their loved one will not be forgotten.” More

 

 

 


U.S. Army Sgt. Harris-Sheck Re-Enlists in Afghanistan

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U.S. Army Sgt. Harris-Sheck Re-Enlists in Afghanistan. 

(October 2010)  U.S. Army Sgt. Silvia Harris-Sheck of Majuro was recognized by US Army General David Petraeus, the US Commander of Forces in Afghanistan at her re-enlistment ceremony while in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Sheck has been in the US Army for 13 years as a health care specialist. She re-enlisted in the Army for another four years and according to Kaneko, Sgt. Sheck plans to stay in the Army until she retires.  She is currently deployed in Afghanistan but her permanent duty station is Ft. Drum, New York. 

U.S. Army Sgt. Sheck she is the granddaughter of Ruth Harris of Majuro and the late Salvador Harris of Pohnpei.

 

 

 

 


Governor Honors Lt. Bryan Fa'avae - American Samoa

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Lt. Bryan Fa’avae receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in a commissioning ceremony at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC). 

(UTULEI) December 28, 2009 – Governor Togiola Tulafono today honored Lieutenant Bryan Fa’avae --a recent graduate of the University of Hawaii (UH) at Manoa, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science-- in a commissioning ceremony at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC).

Joined by Lieutenant Colonel Evelyn Vaitautolu Langford, Governor Togiola expressed the gratitude of the people and government of American Samoa.  More

 

 

 

 

 

 


U.S. Embassy In Micronesia Honors All U.S. Military Veterans

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First Sergeant (U.S. Army-ret) Frank Semens of Pohnpei, Micronesia salutes the American flag after laying a wreath in remembrance of all deceased veterans. 

Pohnpei, Micronesia (November 13, 2009) – On Wednesday, November 11, Veterans of Foreign Wars Day, the U.S. Embassy in Kolonia hosted ceremonies honoring all Micronesians and Americans who have served in the U.S. armed forces.

Attendees at the ceremony included FSM President Emanuel Mori, FSM Vice Speaker Frederico Primo, Pohnpei State Governor John Ehsa, Pohnpei State Legislature Speaker Nelson Pelep, members of the Diplomatic Corps, and other FSM and State Government Officials, as well as local veterans and their families, including family members of soldiers who perished in combat.  More

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fourteen Marshallese Youth join US Army

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Marshallese youth at Tuesday’s swearing in ceremony on board the Richard E. Byrd.
Photo: Douglas Henry, Marshall Islands Journal 9.25.09.

(MIJ, September 25, 2009) - A group of 14 Marshall Islanders and one American were sworn in aboard the USNS Richard E. Byrd last week in a ceremony attended by US Ambassador Martha Campbell and parents and relatives of the group. Navy Commodore Andrew Cully spoke to the group, telling the Marshallese that they were being sworn in to defend a nation “that is not fully theirs,” and to endure the same sacrifices as their American comrades even though they are not yet US citizens. But, if the new recruits decide they want to become US citizens, the way is paved because of their swearing in on the US Navy vessel, which is sovereign American territory, he said. “You will be making the world safer for your children,” Cully told the group. “Freedom comes at a high cost.” Cully said it was impossible to adequately compensate the new members of the US Army for “being the custodians of American freedom.” Speaking to the parents and relatives of the new recruits, Cully said they are joining a new family that will “be the rock when you can’t be there.” Cully’s comments were followed by the official swearing in, where the 15 agreed to defend the United States. Those recruited from Majuro were: Carmela Bokan, Leviticus Cain, Jason Cenicola, Nanie Harold, Yoann Lokboj, Joseph Marau, and Franklin Naisher. Those recruited from Kwajalein were: Clanson Clanton, Tommy Joseph, Wallace Keju, Gordon Laidren, Dickson Lemari, T J Michael, and Thompson Shrew.

 

 


Airman First Class Fritz Bruce Tuatoo – American Samoa

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Courtesy photo: AFC Tuatoo (right) pictured with (from left to right) AFC Lambert and AFC Viluan.

Airman Fritz Bruce Tuatoo (E3), aged 24, joined the U.S. Airforce from his home town of Pago Pago, American Samoa. Airman Tuatoo is currently assigned to Security Forces in Aviano, Italy. He has been in the service for 11 months.

Airman Tuatoo joined the U.S. Air Force to better himself as an individual, to serve his country, and to serve the people of American Samoa. He has enjoyed being exposed to different cultures and being able to share his American Samoan culture as well. He is also enjoying learning about being a DEFENDER in the US Air Force.

The Office of Insular Affairs is proud to recognize the men and women of the U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States who serve in all branches of the United States Armed Forces.

 

 


2nd Lieutenant Grace Tapuni Lafitaga – American Samoa

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Grace Tapuni Lafitaga pictured here in front of her church (Kanana Fou Congregational Christian Church - Hawaii) during her commissioning ceremony as a 2nd Lieutenant on August 14, 2009. She is the daughter of Rev. Falelua Lafitaga and Ieta Lafitaga of Fagasa Village, currently living in Kunia, Hawaii.

Lt. Lafitaga graduated from Hawaii Pacific University after completing her masters in Nursing and was commissioned on the same day. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in biology from UH Manoa and is a graduate of Pearl City High School class of 2000.

The Office of Insular Affairs is proud to recognize the men and women of the U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States who serve in all branches of the United States Armed Forces.

 


Dennis James Babauta Lujan - Guam

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Dennis James Babauta Lujan hails from the village of Agat on the beautiful island of Guam. He is a 1988 graduate of Oceanview High School and a 1992 graduate of the University of Guam. In 1996 he completed a Master's in Criminal Administration from Oklahoma City University in Oklahoma City. In May 1992, he was commissioned a 2LT of Field Artillery in May 1992. He has served as Platoon Leader, Battery Commander, and Operations Officer.

Mr. Babauta visited the Office of Insular Affairs in August 2009. The Office of Insular Affairs is proud to recognize the men and women of the U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States who serve in all branches of the United States Armed Forces.

 

 


U.S. Army Major Tau Laupola - American Samoa

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August 18, 2009 After retiring from the U.S. Army, Major Tau Laupola made a stop at the Office of Insular Affairs where he met with staff and Office Director Nikolao I. Pula.

Tau Laupola first entered the U.S. Army on 12 December 1985 as a Private First Class in the Infantry and later received his direct appointment officer commission as an Infantry Officer.

From 1989 to 1994, Major Laupola served as the Platoon Leader, the Executive Officer, and finally as the Company Commander of Bravo Company (-) 100th BN, 442nd Infantry at Pago Pago, American Samoa.   More

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thirty-two Palauans and FSMers join US Army

usarmy

(Reported by Palau Horizon News Staff writer Villahermosa)

Koror, Palau (July 22, 2009) – Thirty-two young men and women from Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia enlisted in the US Army and were sworn in on Wednesday in Palau by Captain Michael Smiley, Operations Officer for the Honolulu Military Entrance Processing Station.  More

 


Promoted to Army Captain in Iraq – American Samoa

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Capt. Aja Ioana Tuiasosopo-Nansen (middle), Lt. Col. Simerly and Capt. Shaw 

Capt. Aja Ioana Tuiasosopo-Nansen (middle), pictured here with Lt. Col. Simerly and Capt. Shaw, was recently promoted to US Army Captain during a pinning ceremony in Iraq.

Captain Tuiasosopo-Nansen is the daughter of Faausu, Jr. and Rose Tuiasosopo of Vaitogi and Faleniu Villages. She is a graduate of Wentworth Military Academy where she was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and earned an Associated Degree in Sociology. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Central Missouri State University and was commissioned First Lieutenant. She is a graduate of Leone High School class of 2001.

Capt. Tuiasosopo-Nansen is married to Joseph Nansen and they have an eight-month old son, Ali’itoa. Congratulations Capt. Tuiasosopo-Nansen!
The Office of Insular Affairs is proud to recognize the men and women of the U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States who serve in all branches of the United States Armed Forces.
Story and photo courtesy of SamoaNews.com



Green Beret Leama – American Samoa

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SGT Lafoga Leama with his wife Anja and their son Leonidas after the donning of the “Green Beret” ceremony. SGT Leama and his peers successfully completed the Special Forces Qualification course July 9, 2009 at Ft Bragg, North Carolina. The sergeant dedicates his green beret to his grandmother, Fenumia’i Vagatai. Courtesy photo: SamoaNewsOnline

Sgt. Lafoga Leama, the newest Samoan Green Beret graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course on July 10, 2009, dedicated the donning of his “Green Beret” to his grandmother, Fenumia’i Vagatai of Ofu, Manu’a who passed away December 29, 2008.

Now a member of the Army’s most specialized experts in Unconventional Warfare — the Army’s Special Forces (SF), Sgt. Leama will be assigned to the First Special Forces Group, Ft Lewis, Washington.   More

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


SSG Nikolao – American Samoa

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Heidelberg, Germany (July 23, 2009) – U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Konrad Nikolao recently returned home after a 15-month deployment to Iraq. He sends his LOVE and FA’AFETAI TELE to everyone for their love and support and also to his families in Utulei, Nu’uuli and Aunu’u. SSG Nikolao is stationed in Hiedelberg, Germany with the HHC-18th EN BDE.

SSG Nikolao is welcomed home here in picture by wife January Sagale-Nikolao and children. The picture is provided through the courtesy of Samoa News Online. SSG is the son of Nikolao Pula, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Insular Affairs in the Department of the Interior.

The Office of Insular Affairs is proud to recognize all islanders and those with roots in the islands who have served and currently serve in all branches of the United States Armed Forces.

 

 


Command Sergeant Major of USPACOM

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Command Sergeant Major Iuniasolua Savusa (right) with Congressman Faleomavaega
(American Samoa)

(July 1, 2009) It was announced by the office of Congressman Eni Faleomavaega that Command Sergeant Major Iuniasolua Savusa was selected as the Command Sergeant Major for the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) headquartered at Camp Smith in Honolulu, Hawaii. CSM Savusa will be leaving his post as the Command Sergeant Major of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force and United States Forces in Kabul, Afghanistan. CSM Savusa will be under the command of Admiral Timothy J. Keating, USN, Commander of USPACOM. He will replace Chief Master Sergeant James A. Roy of the U.S. Air Force.More

 

 

 

 

 

 


2nd Lieutenant Fusiuta Leroy Lutu – American Samoa

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2nd Lieutenant Fusiuta Leroy Lutu being pinned by his father Leroy Lutu.

Fusiuta Leroy Lutu, 22, is the only son of Leroy Lutu from Fagatogo, American Samoa. He was recently commissioned and pinned (see picture of father pinning son), as a Second Lieutenant in the Army after participating for 4 years in the ROTC program. Second Lieutenant Lutu began his first two years in the ROTC program at the American Samoa Community College and later transferred to the University of Hawaii at Manoa where he completed his last two years there after graduating with his Bachelors degree in Political Science. Lutu joined for opportunities to a guaranteed paid college education and a better future.

He states that the greatest part of being in the military is “being disciplined and responsible, for these characteristics are enforced, practiced and performed in everything we do.”

The Office of Insular Affairs is proud to honor and recognize all the islanders who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

 

 

 


Lieutenant Colonel Leafaina Olive Tavai-Yahn – American Samoa

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Tavai-Yahn pictured on right (front)

Lieutenant Colonel Leafaina Olive Tavai-Yahn has been selected to the Senior Service College. The Senior Service College program prepares military officers and civilians for senior leadership responsibilities.

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.


Second Lieutenant Richie Amisone – American Samoa

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Flanking 2LT Amisone are his proud parents. Mother Lydia (left) and Father Li’atama (right).

Second Lt. Richie Amisone graduated from the United States Air Force (USAF) Academy on May 27, 2009. Son of proud parents, Mr. and Mrs. Li’atama and Lydia Amisone, Richie is the third oldest of their eight children.

According to Richie’s mom, Richie gets involved with many Samoan culture activities. Richie is very well versed in the Samoan language but continues to hunger for more as he enjoys reading and understanding books like the Fa’alupega. Richie wants to be a great Samoan leader and to achieve that, he realizes that he must be fluent in both English and Samoan.” Finally she added, “It is very important to him that he maintains his Samoan identity wherever life takes him.”

 

 

 

 


Guam native receives national award

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Pangelinan

(Excerpt Marianas Variety News, March 23, 2009) – This month, medical officer Lt. Colonel Susan Pangelinan received the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math award from the Department of Defense based on her accomplishments with the California National Guard. She was among 10 women in the military to receive the prestigious award from the Department of Defense, this month in Arlington at the Memorial for Women in Military Service for America.

Pangelinan, 48, is based in Vacaville, California, where she is assigned to the 129th Rescue Wing of the California Air National Guard. Pangelinan is the daughter of Artemio Pangelinan, a retired Air Force serviceman, and Chilang Pangelinan, former residents of Agana Heights, Guam. Her uncle, Pedro, currently resides in Dededo, Guam. More

 




Specialist Iapesa Fanolua – American Samoa

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U.S. Army Specialist
Iapesa Fanolua  

(OIA, March 18, 2009) - U.S. Army Specialist Iapesa Fanolua, 24, hails from Taputimu, American Samoa. He joined the Army two years ago from American Samoa and is currently posted in Kuwait where he is a 63B light-wheeled mechanic. Specialist Fanolua joined the military to expand his options. He stated that the greatest experience he’s had is being part of the front line as infantry personnel.

The Office of Insular Affairs is proud to recognize the men and women of the U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States who serve in all branches of the United States Armed Forces.

 

 

 

 

 


American Samoan Awarded Bronze Star For Extraordinary Bravery

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SSG Joey Vaifanua

(SamoaNews.Com – March 2009) – On February 2, 2009, Staff Sergeant Joey Vaifanua of American Samoa, was awarded the Bronze Star for extraordinary bravery. During his deployment in Iraq from Oct. 2007 - Jan. 2009, SSG Vaifanua’s mission was to recover disabled and destroyed vehicles and to ensure all trucks were ready at all times before a mission was called and to make all plans for procedures depending on the mission.

All ninety-three of his Recovery Missions were completed in an expedient and safe fashion. The SSG was the Convoy Commander for the day shift crew, totaling 22 soldiers.

This was SSG Vaifanua’s second deployment in Iraq from his duty station at Fort Stewart, Georgia. He has served in the military for 14 years and is the son of the late Tupuivao Mekiafa Vaifanua and Maria Tipeni Vaifanua of Alao, American Samoa.

The Office of Insular Affairs is proud to recognize the men and women of the U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States who serve in all branches of the United States Armed Forces.



U.S. Army Private First Class Antoine Allen - American Samoa

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PFC Allen (left) with his Captain Ray Metzger. 

PFC Antoine Zerae Allen (E3), 24, grew up an Air Force Brat but for the past four years has been, himself, serving in the U.S. Army. He is a Signal Support Systems Specialist (25U) and is at Fort Drum, New York but will be moving to Fort Lewis, Washington in March 2009. PFC Allen enlisted from Pago Pago, American Samoa to better himself and serve his country. His greatest experience since in the military has been working with communications overseas while on two tours in Baghdad Iraq and Kirkuk, Iraq that helped save lives of fellow soldiers and helped enable missions to be completed accurately and efficiently.

The Office of Insular Affairs is proud to recognize the men and women of the U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States who serve in all branches of the United States Armed Forces.

 




U.S. Army Specialist Roger Sagaga - American Samoa

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SPC Sagaga (left) and SPC Clement Bongham
(originally of Cameroon)
 

U.S. Army Specialist (E4) Roger Sagaga, 24, who hails from the village of Petania Fou in American Samoa has been in the Army for the past 2+ years. He is currently posted at Camp Stryker Iraq with an OIF 08-09. Specialist Sagaga joined the U.S. military for benefits related to furthering his education and to help his family. He appreciates the discipline that he has learned while in the military.

The Office of Insular Affairs is proud to recognize the men and women from the U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States who serve in the United States military.

 

 




U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ieremia Masaga – American Samoa

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U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ieremia Masaga – American Samoa  

(January 2009) U.S. Army Staff Sergeant (E-6) Ieremia Masaga, 27, hails from his hometown of Fagasa in American Samoa. His normal post is in Baumholder, Germany; however, he is currently on deployment in Iraq, Southwest of Baghdad, COP CARVER (Infantry). SSG Masaga enlisted in the United States Army from the “Little Rock” otherwise known as American Samoa. He has served for 4 years and 9 months and joined the military “for a better life”. SSG Masaga states that he has learned to accept things that come his way and not to judge people by who they appear to be but by what they can become. The Office of Insular Affairs is pleased to highlight the service of men and women from all the U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States who serve in the United States Armed Forces.







U.S. Army Specialist Magnus K. Henry

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U.S. Army Specialist Magnus K. Henry, 23, hails from Afao, American Samoa and is a UH-60 Blackhawk Maintainer/Crewchief assigned to OIF 2008-2009 with 2-10 Aviation Regiment Fort Drum, New York. He has been serving for four years. Specialist Henry states that he joined to experience life away from home and he very much enjoys being able to travel and help people.






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BU3 (AW) Lowe, Roy Lee

Pictured: BU1 (SCW) OYLER and BU3 (AW) LOWE of NAVAL MOBILE CONSTRUCTION BATALLION (NMCB) 7 DET KV getting frocked by the Secretary of the Navy (SecNav), Donald C. Winter, in Korean village, Iraq. (Pinned or frocked=promoted).

Roy Lee Lowe, II, (center, holding red folder) hails from Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia.





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U.S. Army Sgt. Andolin Lucios

U.S. Army Sgt. Andolin Lucios

Sergeant Andolin Lucios hails originally from Metipw, Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. He joined the United States Army in 2004 and is currently stationed in Alaska. Sgt. Lucios has since acclimated to the cold weather and enjoys living in Alaska. More

 








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Palau Vice President
Elias Camsek Chin

Palau Vice President Elias Camsek Chin

Vice President Elias Camsek Chin is a career military man with 23 years of distinguished service achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army before retiring. During his tour of duty, he was an Army officer serving in the Armor Corps and Aviation Corps, where he spent over 20 years as a U.S. Army combat aviator. Lieutenant Colonel Chin is rated in both fixed wing aircrafts and rotor wing (helicopter) aircrafts with over 3,000 flight hours. More








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Command Sgt. Maj. Ioakimo Falaniko retires after 32 years; Last 5 years dedicated to Son, Fallen in Operation Iraqi Freedom

Excerpted from SamoaNews.Com (By Major Laupola)

SamoaNews.com (September 26, 2008) – Thirty-two years of distinguished served in the United States Army was feted and celebrated when Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Ioakimo Falaniko, originally of American Samoa, retired on September 19, 2008.  His service was recognized at a retirement/change of responsibility ceremony at Gammon Field, Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, in a ceremony presided by Major General William McCoy, Commanding General US Army Maneuver Support Center & Fort Leonard Wood. More


Maj. Gen. William McCoy, Commanding General US Army Maneuver Support and Ft. Leonard Wood presented one of the many awards that Command Sgt. maj. Ioakimo Falaniko and wife Maliana received during the retirement ceremony at Gammon Field, September 19, 2008. CSM Falaniko retires after 32 years of dedicated services to the US Army. CSM Falaniko is described by his commander as a master of his profession, passion of soldiers and embodied all the values and attributes of a soldiers creed.


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New recruits from Pohnpei shown with family members and U.S. Ambassador to FSM

Twenty-nine Recruits from FSM Join the U.S. Army

Kolonia, Pohnpei (June 27, 2008) - On June 24 and 26, twenty-nine young Micronesians took their oath of enlistment in the U.S. Army during ceremonies at Oceanview Plaza in Pohnpei. All were sworn in by U.S. Army Captain Elizabeth Powers, Commander of the Military Entrance Processing Station in Honolulu.  More







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Local Samoan Boy Playing Key Role in Military Communications in Baghdad

Local boy U.S. Army Specialist Benjamin Taai of American Samoa is playing a key role in a complex system of military communications that includes information sharing for more than 12,000 soldiers, civilians, and foreign military forces as Multi-National Division Baghdad (MND-B) Webmaster. More






Sergeant Paul M. Murphy

30Office of Insular Affairs (August 19, 2008): Sgt. Murphy, 26, from Saipan, served in the US Army for four years starting in 2003. He was at Fort Benning, GA and was with the 3rd Ranger Battalion. Serving in the US Armed Forces was Murphy's childhood dream and he cherishes the most the friendships he made while in the military.


OIA Intern Earns Commission into the United States Army

31Washington D.C. (August 18, 2008): Former OIA Intern, Randy P. Mendoza of the CNMI, was recently commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. 2LT Mendoza also completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics at George Mason University. OIA Staffer Randy Beffrey, a Reserve Army Officer, had the honor of administering the oath of office.

32Mendoza was assisted by his sisters Raquel and Rhonda at his ROTC commissioning ceremony at George Mason University. Originally from Saipan, he is the son of Elizabeth & Alfredo Mendoza. His brother Ryan is currently serving in the Army in Iraq.






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(August 2008): Sergeant Scott E. Cruz from Guam has deployed with the Guam National Guard to Afghanistan.
A group of about 180 Guam National Guardsmen have been deployed in Afghanistan since February 2008. They are the Alpha Company, 1-294th Infantry. Sgt. Cruz is married and has three children with his wife and an older son.

SGT. Cruz (standing), SPC. Quinata, SSG Barcinas and SPC Flores. Four Guam National Guardsmen pictured here in Afghanistan on a short break during construction work.



34(May 2008): U.S. Army Sergeant Renster B. Joel, a human resources sergeant with 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR – Nightstalkers) in Fort Campbell, Kentucky was named NCO of the Year in a special competition held at Fort Campbell on May 8, 2008. He and a fellow Nightstalker will be representing the 160th SOAR in the 2008 U.S. Army Special Operations Command NCO and Soldier of the Year Competition at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Sergeant Joel hails from the island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. More


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Forward Operations Base (FOB) Chapman, Afghanistan 2005 -
Major Tim Ohno, U.S. Army Special Forces.
Name: Eutemio (Tim) R. Ohno
Age: 45
Hometown: Kolonia, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
Rank: Major (Retired), U.S. Army Special Forces
Assignment: Assistant Professor of Military Science, Seattle University
Years in service: 1984-2005
Why did you join the U.S. Armed Forces? For the challenge and opportunity.
What is your greatest experience being in the U.S. Armed Forces? Traveling, making friends from all over the world, doing special missions.

Major (retired) Ohno intends to return to the FSM to continue encouraging the younger generation to always pursue their dreams and never stop learning. The future of all the islands and FSMers lie in the hands of the new generation. He says “we must always strive to set good examples and to show that even if you’re from a very small island, the limits of your accomplishments rest on your imagination and the effort you put in to make those dreams a reality.”


Specialist Stevick A. Edwin

usa-fsm Office of Insular Affairs (May 21, 2008): Specialist Edwin, 37, from Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, enlisted in the U.S. Army to help pay for college and to see the world. He was in the military from 1988-1992. Edwin attended basic training at Fort Jackson, SC and was stationed in Nuremberg, Germany and later in Utah. Mr. Edwin is an elected legislator in the Pohnpei State Legislature.


Master Chief Petty Officer Brandt S. Weilbacher

36 Office of Insular Affairs (May 13, 2008): MCPO Weilbacher, 41, from Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, has served in the U.S. Navy since 1985. Weilbacher is currently onboard the Theodore Roosevelt CVN-71, out of Norfolk, VA. He is the Command Master Chief for the Commander Carrier Strike Group Two. Weilbacher first joined the U.S. Navy as a young man to travel and see the world. Among the many experiences he has had in the U.S. Navy, Weilbacher finds his most important experience to be mentoring young sailors. Weilbacher also met his wife, Maria, through the Navy.






Seaman Jesse Xavier Haglelfeg

37Office of Insular Affairs (May 12, 2008) - SN Haglelfeg, 51, from Eauripik Island, Yap State, in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) was among the first FSM citizens (then the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands) to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. He was Active Duty from 1981 – 1985 and in the Reserves from 1985 –1987. Mr. Haglelfeg, a member of the Who’s Who among Junior College Students in America and Phi Theta Kappa, graduated from Navarro College in Corsicana, TX. He moved to Sonoma State University in California to continue his pre-med studies but was not able to pay for his education without the scholarship he was expecting from his home government. He decided then to serve in the military then use the educational benefits after his discharge to complete his degree in medicine. Mr. Haglelfeg is now the Chief Pharmacist in Yap State Hospital.

38When he was in the military, Mr. Haglelfeg was stationed at the Keyport Torpedo Station in the State of Washington; Cherry Point Marine Air Station Hospital, North Carolina; and aboard the USS Forrestal CV- 59. He served as a Hospital Corpsman, Senior Seaman, and a Pharmacy Technician. The greatest values Mr. Haglelfeg got from serving in the military are discipline and the camaraderie he developed with friends in the military.



Specialist Patterson K. Shed

usa-fsm Office of Insular Affairs (May 6, 2008) - Specialist Shed, 38, born and raised in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, served in the U.S. Army for 8 years. He served an 8 month tour of both Operation Desert Shield and Storm in 1991 with the 5th Battalion 16th Infantry Regiment out of Fort Riley Kansas of the 1st Infantry Mechanized Division "Big Red One" fighting colors. Mr. Shed is the first son in his family to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. His grandfather was a Japanese national who served in the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces during the occupation of the Micronesian Islands.

Mr. Shed is married to Adleen Shed who was always supportive throughout his military career. They have three children. Their eldest son was born two weeks prior to Desert Storm and the second son was born while he was also away on duty.

Mr. Shed is now in Pohnpei where his military experience and discipline continues to be vital to his success in civilian life. He was elected Councilman to the Madolenihmw 7th Legislature and became the second Executive Director of the Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP) in 2006. CSP is the premiere grassroots NGO founded by Pohnpeians to help preserve the natural heritage of Pohnpei for sustainable livelihood of Pohnpeians. The organization started with one staff in 1998 and has grown significantly to a staff of 20 outstanding young Pohnpeians and operating at over $500,000 annually. Some of CSP’s funding support comes from U.S. Federal agencies such as DOI, NOAA, US Fish and Wildlife, and non-profit and private foundations like National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.


Second Class Petty Officer Ronald Jack

39 Office of Insular Affairs (May 6, 2008) - PO2 Jack has served both in the U.S. Army and Navy. He was in the Army from 1989 to 1993. After the Army, he returned to his home island of Pohnpei and served in the Federated States of Micronesia National Police for three and half years then another three years as a teacher before joining the U.S. Navy in the year 2000. Jack is Personnel Specialist currently stationed in Bahrain. Through the U.S. Navy, he has traveled to Alaska, Canada, Mexico, all the Hawaiian Islands, Saipan, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, and several vacation areas in the Middle East. Once he returns to the states, Jack plans to finish up his degree in accounting.






Sergeant James Vance Babauta

40Office of Insular Affairs (May 5, 2008) - Sgt. Babauta, 30, from Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia joined the U.S. Armed Forces to find his true potential and what he is capable of doing. He enlisted from Pearl Harbor MEPS in Honolulu, Hawaii. His post is Fort Bragg, NC and he is assigned to Charlie Company, 4-73 RECON, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. Sgt. Babauta earned a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Chaminade University.







Saipan Woman Graduates from Air Force Basic Military Training at Lackland

41Saipan Tribune (April 10, 2008) - On April 10, AB Nicole I. Cepeda joined the ranks of the world's greatest air, space and cyberspace force. Cepeda graduated from Air Force Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

Cepeda, the daughter of David B. Cepeda and Janet Iglesias of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) , successfully completed the U.S. Air Force's rigorous and demanding training process.

Officially sworn in as an Airman in the Air Force, Cepeda joins hundreds of fellow soldiers, sailors, Marines, and Coast Guard from the CNMI who enlist or currently serve at home and abroad in the nation's Armed Forces.  Following graduation, Cepeda will continue on to technical training at Lackland and upon graduating will be deployed.

“I am very proud of AB Cepeda's strength and determination in successfully completing Air Force training. I have no doubt that she will continue to prove to be successful in her future military career,” said CNMI Resident Representative Pete A. Tenorio. “We honor AB Cepeda's sense of patriotism and loyalty in helping to ensure the protection of our American values, principles, and way of life.”

She follows in the footsteps of her older brother, Senior Airman David I. Cepeda, Jr., who graduated in 2006 from BMT at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.  He is now stationed at McCord Air Force Base in Washington State.

“I congratulate Mr. David Cepeda, Sr. and Janet Iglesias and all those parents who, over the years, are making great sacrifices in defense of freedom and democracy on behalf of our great country, the United States of America,” said Tenorio. (PR)


Captain Leuila S. Alaimaleata

42Office of Insular Affairs (April 22, 2008) – Cpt. Alaimaleata, 37, is from Alofau, American Samoa. He is deployed to Q-West, Iraq from Fort Carson, Colorado. Cpt. Alaimaleata enlisted from Pago Pago and has served for 12 years. Cpt. Alaimaleata joined the U.S. Armed Forces to serve his country as well as to honor and provide a better life for his parents. Once enlisted, most Samoans have an allotment sent to take care of their parents, he said. Cpt. Alaimaleata's greatest experience in the military is leading the finest group of young men and women during war. It is seeing them grow up from being young boys and girls to mature men and women. It is seeing them at their worst and at their best.







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Major Jason Palepoi Mauga

Office of Insular Affairs (April 17, 2008) – Major Mauga, 37, from Nu’uli, American Samoa, is part of the Counterdrug Task Force / 40th IBCT Fire Support Coordinator in California. He has served in the U.S. Armed Forces for 19 years. Mauga joined to fulfill his patriotic duties and to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the military. He was deployed to Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf. Describing the experience, he writes, "It is not easy being a soldier. We do what less than one percent of our nation’s population dares to do. We serve our country out of a sense of patriotism, selfless service and sacrifice. Deployments challenge the very core of our character, virtue and moral fiber. We serve in honor of all those Samoan brothers and sisters who served before us."


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Captain Vince Guerrero

Office of Insular Affairs (April 15, 2008) – Cpt. Guerrero, 31, from Dededo, Guam is the Commander for F Co 29th BSB, 29th IBCT. Guerrero saw the educational benefits provided by the U.S. Armed Forces and enlisted from Guam in 1999. Some of Guerrero’s memorable experiences in the military include jumping out of an airplane and fastroping.






First Sergeant Fitimalo Siaosi

45 Office of Insular Affairs (April 14, 2008) – 1SG Siaosi, 42, from Vaitogi, American Samoa has been in the U.S. Army for 18 years. She enlisted to fulfill a life-long dream of becoming a soldier. Her greatest experience in the military is having the ability to help, mentor, and make a difference in the lives of others.

In December of 2007, Siaosi won the Army's First Sergeant of the Year award. According to The Pacific Daily News, she is only the third USAREC First Sergeant of the Year from Portland Battalion since the command began giving out the award in 1988. Siaosi is currently the Detachment Commander for the Guam Recruiting Detachment.







Iuniasolua T. Savusa
Command Sergeant Major
United States Army Europe & 7th Army
http://www.hqusareur.army.mil/CSMSavusa.asp

46 United States Army Europe (April 11, 2008) - Command Sergeant Major Iuniasolua T. Savusa is a native of American Samoa. He assumed duties as Command Sergeant Major, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army on 5 May 2006. CSM Savusa began his military career over 30 years ago on 17 June 1975. An Infantryman, he spent the majority of his career in infantry, ranger, air assault and airborne assignments.  more






more


Airman First Class Aaron Peter

usa-fsmOffice of Insular Affairs (April 9, 2008): A1C Aaron Peter, 29, from Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia has served in the U.S. Air Force since 2006. He is a Material Management Apprentice at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. Peter joined the U.S. Armed Forces for the educational and career opportunity.


Congressman Eni F.H. Faleomavaega

47Office of Insular Affairs (April 9, 2008) - Congressman Faleomavaega, 64, from Vailoatai Village in American Samoa is a Vietnam Veteran who served in 1966 - 1969. In 1982 - 1989, he served in the U.S. Army Reserve as a Captain and a member of the of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Congressman Faleomavaega was assigned to the 100 Battalion, 442nd Infantry Reserve Unity in Ft. DeRussy, Hawaii. Congressman Faleomavaega was the Deputy Attorney General of American Samoa from1981 - 1984 and the Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa from 1985 - 1988. He has served as the American Samoa Representative to the U.S. Congress from 1989 to the present.






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(May 2008) — Navy Adm. Timothy J. Keating, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, presents a pen set as a token of appreciation to Hilario Bermanis II, during the admiral’s visit to Micronesia April 8, 2008. Bermanis, a Micronesian, lost two legs and an arm while serving with the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq. Photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Elisia Gonzales
For full article – please visit this website http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=49497

Col Leo A Falcam

49 Marine Corps Air Station, Futenma, Okinawa (April 8, 2008) - Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, raised in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. Graduated 1981 from Parks College of St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Science. Commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, August 1981. Designated a Naval Aviator in August, 1983, and assigned to fly Marine Corps KC-130 aircraft.  more







Sergeant First Class Ringo J. Wilson

usa-as Office of Insular Affairs (April 8, 2008): SFC Ringo J. Wilson, 38, from Pago Pago, American Samoa decided he wanted to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces after listening to veterans from American Samoa talk about the Vietnam and Korean Wars. The highlight of his career thus far is receiving the Bronze Star as an SSG and his greatest experience is leading a platoon into combat and returning home with every one of his men. Wilson enlisted from American Samoa in 1991. He was excited about the training opportunity and the camaraderie he would develop with fellow soldiers.

Wilson is currently at Camp Ederle in Vicenza, Italy. His assignments have included: 2 AD (-) Carlstadt, Germany; 201st MMC Camp Darby, Italy; FSC BDE, Vicenza, Italy; 3/27 MLRS, Ft Bragg, N.C; 98th Maint Co, Ft Richardson, AK; 44th Eng BDE, Korea; 227th Supply Co, Ft Campbell, KY; G4 SETAF (Plans and OPS) Vicenza, Italy.


Major Ruse Meleisea Wiley

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Office of Insular Affairs (April 3, 2008) – Major Ruse Meleisea Wiley, 40, from Leloaloa, American Samoa, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1987. Wiley joined the U.S. Army for the educational benefits and career opportunities. The leadership skills learned in the Army have been critical to her career advancement. Wiley stated however, that the professional opportunities afforded by the Army have not come without a cost. “I had to make personal and family sacrifices as a result of serving in the Army, but it’s all worth it,” she said.

Wiley is now at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. She serves as the Chief, Detainee Operations for USARCENT/CFLCC Provost Marshal Office. Among other things, she is responsible for the administrative processing, welfare, custody and control of approximately 20,000 detainees from the point of capture until released.










Master Sergeant Galu Paueli Satele

51 Office of Insular Affairs (April 2, 2008) – Master Sergeant Galu Paueli Satele, 39, originally from Vailoatai, American Samoa, has proudly served for nearly 21 years. Satele has been through numerous deployments including Operation Iraqi Freedom I and III, Operations Desert Fox, Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Panama. As a Senior Mechanic Supervisor, he worked on Attack Helicopters (AH-64). Satele enlisted from Pago Pago, American Samoa and is now stationed at Ft. Bliss, TX. Satele is a First Sergeant Course Instructor at the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA).

52The U.S. Armed Forces has provided Satele a great career and taught him the values to strive for the best in everything he does. It has equipped him with the technical skills to prepare for a second career after the military. The military has also provided opportunities to see the world during peacekeeping missions or other times where he has to fight for the country.


Fuala’au Rosie Tago Lancaster

usa-as Office of Insular Affairs (April 2, 2008) – Ms. Lancaster is a decorated military personnel officer with 23 years of active duty as a human resources specialist. She was a Director of Military Personnel in three theaters of operation. Ms. Lancaster is currently the Veterans Affairs/Student Employment Coordinator at American Samoa Community College. On April 2, 2008, she announced her candidacy for the American Samoa Congressional Delegate seat currently held by Congressman Eni Faleomavaega. Ms. Lancaster has a daughter, Marlena L. Morgan, who is a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.


Corporal Ben Jesse

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Corporal Ben Jesse

Office of Insular Affairs (April 1, 2008) – Cpl. Ben Jesse is a veteran from Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1976-1982, with the first 4 years on Active Duty. Jesse served with the 2nd Battalion, 43rd Marine Division, Okinawa; 2nd Battalion, 62nd Marine Division, Camp Lejune; 1st Battalion, 82nd Marine Division, Camp Gieger; and the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Marine Division, Camp Lejune. Jesse completed The Basic School, Enlisted Instructor Co. MCDEC in Quantico, VA and participated in two tours West Pac and Mediterranean.

Jesse joined the U.S. Armed Forces for the educational benefits, which he used to obtain his Masters in Public Health from the University of Hawaii. He presently works for the FSM National Government, Department of Health and Social Affairs, as a Health Planner. Mr. Jesse is a proud father of three sons in the U.S. Army. They are all currently deployed to Iraq from Ft. Hood, Texas. His three sons are:

54 55 56
Sgt. Chadwick Jesse SSgt. Jesse Jesse (right). Pvt. Austin Jesse.

Fourth Class Specialist Masachiro Christlib

usa-fsm Office of Insular Affairs (March 26, 2008) - Fourth Class Specialist Masachiro Christlib, 67, from Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia, served for four months in Vietnam as a Machine Gunner on the helicopter. He was assigned to the First Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, Fourteenth Infantry, 25th Division in Hawaii. Mr. Christlib joined the U.S. Armed Forces to fight for freedom. He was in the service for two years (1963 – 1965) and his greatest experience was serving in Vietnam.


Petty Officer 3rd Class Kenneth Welles

57Office of Insular Affairs (March 16, 2008) - Petty Officer 3rd Class Kenneth Welles, 38, from Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, joined the U.S. Armed Forces for adventure and financial assistance for education. PO Welles served from 1989 – 1995 on the USCGC Jarvis (WHEC 725) in Honolulu, Hawaii. He completed the Army National Guard Candidate School but was denied commission since he is a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia. Mr. Welles taught Foundation of Corporate Finance, Marketing Strategy, Introduction to Business, and Fundamentals of Management and Leadership at the College of Micronesia (COM). He completed his thesis for his MBA from National University in San Diego, California on May 3, 2008. He currently lives in Puyallup, Washington State with his family.


Sgt. Paul Jendrikdrik

usa-rmi_small Office of Insular Affairs (March 14, 2008) - Sgt. Paul Jendrikdrik, 26, from Ebeye in the Marshall Islands enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces to develop his leadership skills and be part of a great organization. Sgt. Jendrikdrik enlisted from Honolulu, Hawaii and has served for six years. His post is Ft. Hood, Texas.


Cpl. Alfred Olter

58Office of Insular Affairs (March 11, 2008) - Cpl. Alfred Olter, 36, from Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, served in Operation Desert Storm. Cpl. Olter enlisted from Pohnpei and was assigned to the Infantry Unit, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, based at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Cpl. Olter joined the U.S. Armed Forces to seek educational assistance and gain valuable experience. He values the camaraderie and discipline of the U.S. Marine Corps which recreated him to be the man he is today. “I went in as a teenager and came out a more responsible adult…I met and created a lifetime bond of friendship with men I am proud to call my brothers.” Cpl. Olter served from 1990 – 1994. Mr. Olter is now the Project Manager for the system wide College of Micronesia-FSM, managing the overall construction of college facilities.


Proud Military Family

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From left to right: Jarrett, Setefano (father), and Justin Talalotu.

Inspired by his father and younger brother Justin Talalotu, Jarrett Talalotu decided to also enlist the U.S. Armed Forces. Jarrett joined the Infantry in 2007 and wants to become and Airborne Ranger. Earlier last year, his brother Justin and cousin Adrienne Ahloo were both sworn in to the U.S. Army.

This younger generation of island soldiers is following in the footsteps of their proud father and uncle, Setefano Talalotu. Setefano Talalotu is a retired Army NCO and battalion awards coordinator.

"I spent 20 years on active duty, most of it as an Airborne Ranger, so I can understand him [Jarrett] wanting to do that, too, although he wants to go one step further and eventually join Army Special Forces," he explained. "We are very proud of him."

The Office of Insular Affairs is also very proud to recognize the men and women of the insular areas who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.





Samoan Cousins Enlist in Army Together

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Justin Talalotu and Adrienne Ahloo, first cousins with roots in American Samoa, were both sworn in to the U.S. Army during the month of July 2007 at the Military Entrance Processing Center in Portland, Oregon. Justin Talalotu has chosen to enter the field of Dentistry and Adrienne Ahloo has chosen the field of Finance. Talalotu and Ahloo who graduated from Evergreen High School in Vancouver, Washington will train at Fort Jackson, South Carolina before moving on.

Cousins Talalotu and Ahloo were both encouraged by Setefano "Fano" Talalotu (father and uncle), Battalion Operations staff member, U.S. Army 6th Recruiting Brigade in Portland, Oregon.

The Office of Insular Affairs is proud to recognize the men and women of the insular areas who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.



CNMI Soldier Recognized Promoted

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Staff Sergeant Connie C. Williams flanked by Neal Shelley, Information Technology Agency Director and SFC Brian Ransom ESS-P NCOIC at her promotion ceremony.

Washington, D.C. February 4, 2008 - Another CNMI soldier in the U.S. Army currently stationed at the Pentagon who also received recognition and was promoted was Sergeant Connie C. Williams. Her promotion follows in the footsteps of CNMI national Castro who was promoted to U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel. Williams was promoted to U.S. Army Staff Sergeant on Feb. 4, 2008.

Williams is the daughter of Joseph Juan Cruz and Begonia Deleon Guerrero Cruz of Chalan Kiya, Saipan. She was born and raised in Saipan and graduated from Marianas High School. She is married to Sgt. Terrance Williams and they are the proud parents of a 3-year-old boy, Terrance Williams Jr. or “TJ”. In addition to her military duties, Williams is currently pursuing a degree in Computer Information Systems Management from Park University. Her promotion ceremony was attended by colleagues, family, friends and staff of the Resident Representative's Office.

“This is truly a great day for the Northern Marianas. It is quite an honor to witness our bright, young men and women ascend through the military chain of command and get recognized for all their determination, hard work, untiring commitment and patriotism. Lieutenant Colonel Castro (see previous article) and Staff Sergeant Williams exemplify the ideals necessary for defending the freedom, liberty and democracy of our great Nation especially during this period of unprecedented challenge for our country and extraordinary changes for the armed forces,” Tenorio said.  “I extend congratulations and best wishes to you both on your accomplishments.”





CNMI's Castro is a "First" in being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel

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Tenorio with newly promoted Lieutenant Colonel Edwin A. Castro and his wife Pili

Washington D.C., February 1, 2008 – In a promotion ceremony at the Pentagon presided over by Brigadier General Randy E. Manner, U.S. Army Major Edwin A. Castro of the Northern Mariana Islands was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on Friday, February 1, 2008.  Castro is the first person from the Northern Mariana Islands to achieve the rank of colonel.

Lt. Colonel Castro is the son of Daniel Pangelinan Castro and Ruth Albert Castro of San Antonio, Texas.  He was born and raised on Saipan and enlisted in the U.S. Army shortly after graduating from Marianas High School in 1981. He later received a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Columbia College in Missouri and a master's degree in Human Resources from Webster University. He and his wife Pili have three children, Edwin Jr., Miguel and Pauline.

Castro was commissioned into the Signal Corps in 1991 through the Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA. His first assignment was as Signal Officer for the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment at Hofenfels, Germany. In 2004, he deployed with the 72nd Signal Battalion in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. He is currently an action officer in the Army Asymetric Warfare Office, Electronic Warfare Division.


Palau Senator Alfonso Diaz

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Washington, D.C. (August 2007) – Palau Senator Alfonso Diaz, a current member of the Obiil Era Kelulau (OEK), The Senate, in Palau, is recognized for serving twenty-four (24) years in the United States Army.  He retired as 1st Sergeant in the Summer of 1991.  While in the U.S. Army, Senator Diaz specialized in tactical communications.  He served two tours of duty in Vietnam and three tours of duty in Korea.  Although his home base was in Fort Gordon, Georgia, he was also stationed in Japan and Germany.

Senator Diaz is a proud father of three.  His father, is a Chamorro from Guam and his mother is from Koror, Palau.  In the Senate, he is Chair of the Committee on Resources, Commerce, Trade and Development.  He is also Vice Chair of the Committee on Youth Affairs and Social Welfare and is a member of the Ways & Means and Financial Matters, Judiciary and Governmental Affairs.

The Office of Insular Affairs is proud to recognize the men and women of the insular areas who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.


First FSM Citizen Appointed to the U.S. Air Force Academy and Second FSM Citizen Appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy (Summer 2007)

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Trisha Johnson, who graduated on May 21, 2006 from the Pohnpei SDA School, has been selected for an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado beginning this Fall. Trisha is the oldest daughter of Dr. Okai Johnson, Anesthesiologist at Chuuk State Hospital, and Mrs. Emihner Johnson, Financial Specialist for FSM Department of Health Services, both of Pohnpei.

Byron Silbanuz, who graduated on May 21st of this year also from Pohnpei SDA School, has been selected for an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland also beginning this Fall. Byron is the oldest son of Bernard Mendis, Information System Manager for FSM Telecommunications Corporation, and Phyllis Silbanuz, IT Division Chairperson and Assistant Professor at the COM-FSM Pohnpei Campus. Read the entire Media Release

U.S. Ambassador Hale with Annapolis Midshipman (2011) Amor and Air Force Cadet (2011) Johnson.








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Washington, D.C. (August 10, 2007) - The Office of Insular Affairs is proud to honor and recognize Jayson Kumar ABHC of Pohnpei, Micronesia who courageously serves in the U.S. Navy as an Aviation Boatswain's Mate, Chief Petty Officer stationed at NAS, Key West, Florida.

Part of Kumar's duties includes aircraft handling related to the operation of launching and recovery of equipment. Aviation Boatswain's Mates prepare aircraft and perform organizational maintenance. They also fuel planes prior to take-off and landing, making sure that the aircraft is safe and working properly for flight.

Although it is difficult to identify the exact number of nationals and citizens of the U.S. territories and freely associated states (FAS) who are serving in the War on Terror, it is estimated that there are thousands from U.S. Territories and FAS, including those with roots from these areas who serve in all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces including Guards and Reserve. The Office of Insular Affairs is proud of these men and women who serve in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

Jayson Kumar ABHC (left) and Chief Holsclaw at Chief Holsclaw's Retirement Ceremony Chief Holsclaw asked Jayson Kumar ABHC to present his retirement Shadow Box, which contains the flag of the United States and all of Chief Holsclaw's medals and ribbons.



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COL Stevenson Reed, USAKA Commander, Jefferson Bobo, U.S. Ambassador Clyde Bishop.

June 22, 2007 (Washington, D.C.) – For the first time in the history of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, a Marshallese citizen, Mr. Jefferson Bobo, will enroll in the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. Bobo is a life-long resident of Ebeye Island on Kwajalein Atoll and was a 'Ri-katak' (guest program) student and 2007 graduate of Kwajalein High School at the United States Army facility on Kwajalein Island.

During the summer of 2006, Jefferson participated in the Coast Guard Academy's Introduction Mission (AIM) program. He was one of only 30 students to be offered a guaranteed acceptance to the AIM program. Jefferson then applied for Academy admission, was accepted and was granted a full scholarship.

The Coast Guard Academy is widely regarded as one of the most difficult U.S. college-level institutions in which to gain entrance. Each year some 400 students are selected from an applicant pool about eight times that size, for appointments to the Academy. About 280 of those 400 students accept the appointment and report to the USCGA in early July for "swab summer," a basic military training program designed to prepare them for the rigors of their Fourth Class year.

Each cadet takes two semesters of classes during the school year and then spends the majority of the summer in military training. After four years of study and training, Bobo will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree.


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Jon Christopher Pangelinan Abraham.

June 18, 2007 — The Office of Insular Affairs is proud to honor and recognize Jon Christopher Pangelinan Abraham, E2, who is currently serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq.  He serves on the Military Transition Team, which is responsible for training Iraqi soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Division of the Iraqi Army. Serve as a gunner/driver/RTO with Able Company, 1st Platoon, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, AKA the Manchus. Motto: "Keep Up the Fire".  He was detached from 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division AKA "Indianhead Division".  Motto: "Second to None".

Abraham is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Isamu Abraham.  Dr. Isamu Abraham hails from Kosrae/Pohnpei and Mrs. Tee Abraham hails from Saipan.  He attended the Calvary Christian Academy (Pohnpei), Grace Christian Academy and Northern Marianas Academy (Saipan), Northern Marianas College and University of Nevada-Las Vegas.  He completed boot camp at Fort Benning, GA and has been in the U.S. Army a little under 4 years.

Although it is difficult to identify the exact number of islanders from the U.S. territories and freely associated states (FAS) who are serving in the War on Terror, it is estimated that there are thousands from U.S. Territories and FAS, including those with roots from these areas who serve in all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces including Guards and Reserves.  The Office of Insular Affairs is proud of the men and women from the insular areas who serve in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.





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Roy Carius on the USS Stennis.

June 15, 2007 — Washington, D.C.  The Office of Insular Affairs is proud to honor and recognize Roy Carius MM1 (SW/AW) of Pohnpei, Micronesia who proudly serves in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS John C. Stennis in the Engineering Department, Auxiliaries Division as a Leading Petty Officer. 

Part of Carius’s duties includes repairs on the 363 Ton York A/C Plant.  There are 10 on board the USS Stennis.  These A/C Plants keep the navigational radars, weapons system, food and personnel cool. 

The USS Stennis (CVN-74), as part of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, has two nuclear reactors on board, which gives the Stennis unlimited range and a top speed in excess of 30 knots.  The USS Stennis carries approximately three million gallons of fuel on board for its aircraft, and carries enough weapons for extended operations without replenishment.  The USS Stennis is currently conducting operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and participating in the Expeditionary Strike Force Exercise in the North Arabian Sea.

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USS Stennis Aircraft Carrier.

The Expeditionary Strike Force Exercise consists of three Strike Groups: the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, and the Bonhomme Richards Expeditionary Strike Group.

The USS Stennis is a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and it is on regularly scheduled deployments in support of Maritime Security Operations (MSO).  MSO help set the conditions for security and stability, as well as aid counter-terrorism and security efforts to regional nations.






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Stennis Striker Group:
USS Stennis
at the top left.

Although it is difficult to identify the exact number of nationals and citizens of the U.S. territories and freely associated states (FAS) who are serving in the War on Terror, it is estimated that there are thousands from U.S. Territories and FAS, including those with roots from these areas who serve in all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces including Guards and Reserve.  The Office of Insular Affairs is proud of the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.








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June 7, 2007 - Washington, D.C. The U.S. Army has a newly commissioned officer from Guam. Second Lieutenant Dianna Le graduated from the U.S. Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree on Saturday, May 27, 2007.

"Dianna is a motivated young woman who now joins the thousands of dedicated sons and daughters from Guam serving in our Armed Forces around the world. We thank all of those who wear the uniform for their service to our nation." Congresswoman Bordallo said.

2ndLt. Dianna Le, a graduate of St. John's School in Tumon, is the daughter of Phat V. Le and Lylan T. Nguyen of Mangilao, Guam. She is scheduled to attend a six-week Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC) in Fort Benning, Georgia, followed by additional training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri before reporting for duty with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Bamberg, Germany.

During her four years at West Point, Le was recognized for her military skill, athleticism, and her academic achievement by earning the Recondo badge for military proficiency, the Army Physical Fitness Badge, the Indoor Obstacle Course Badge, and the Master of the Sword Badge.


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June 7, 2007 - Washington, D.C. The United States Navy now has a newly commissioned officer from Guam, as Ensign Jonathan Duenas recently graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. Ensign Duenas was nominated in 2003 to attend the Naval Academy.

"As a newly commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, Jonathan has great opportunities ahead of him. He completed a very demanding program at the Naval Academy, and I believe he will excel as Naval officer," Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo said. "He will be serving alongside many men and women from Guam who serve our nation with dedication, and we thank all of those who wear the uniform for their service."

Jonathan is the youngest of eight children born to Ricardo Camacho Duenas and the late Ruth Aguon Duenas of Tamuning. He is a graduate of Father Duenas Memorial School in Mangilao.

He entered the Naval Academy in 2003, and graduated on Friday, May 26, 2007. Jonathan was only one of 36 midshipmen chosen to participate in the rigorous Nuclear Surface Warfare Officer Program, and will report aboard the destroyer, U.S.S. Curtis Wilbur, home-ported in Yokosuka, Japan later this summer. After his first tour, he will report to Nuclear Power School in South Carolina.


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(Washington, D.C. March 16)  Lieutenant Governor of Guam, Michael W. Cruz, M.D., is “one of the real patriots”.  So said Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, when they met again today at the U.S. Department of Interior. The Secretary first met Colonel Michael W. Cruz, M.D. in 2004 when then-Governor Kempthorne presented Dr. Cruz with the National Governor’s Association award for his service in Iraq.  In 2005, Governor Felix P. Camacho also presented the Lt. Governor with the Bronze Star, on behalf of President Bush, for his bravery and heroism.  The Lieutenant Governor was then a colonel in the Guam Army National Guard and also a senator in the 28th Guam Legislature.

Lieutenant Governor Cruz is currently the commanding officer of the Guam National Guard, which lost two guardsmen in Ethiopia earlier this month.  Lieutenant Governor Cruz is certified by the American Board of Surgery, is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is a member of the Guam Medical Society.  He is a former director of the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority.

Lieutenant Governor Cruz was a Guam senator in 2003, when he volunteered for active duty service in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and served in various medical roles which included assuming command of an elite Rapid Advanced Medical Team in Baghdad.  The Team conducted high risk missions for coalition casualties.  He is a veteran of both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Although it is difficult to identify the exact number of residents of the U.S. territories and freely associated states (FAS) who are serving in the War on Terror, it is estimated that there are hundreds of Americans from the insular areas as well as hundreds of nationals of the Freely Associated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau who serve in all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.  The Office of Insular Affairs is proud of all these sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, who serve in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.


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U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Lymman Langijota serves with the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.  SSG Langijota is stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina and prepares for his third deployment to Iraq in the War on Terror.  SSG Langijota hails from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, one of the three freely associated states (FAS) in the Pacific.

Although it is difficult to identify the exact number of residents of the U.S. territories and freely associated states (FAS) who are serving in the War on Terror, it is estimated that there are thousands from the insular areas and the FAS and those with roots from these areas who serve in all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.  The Office of Insular Affairs is proud of these sons and daughters who serve in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.








PFC Stein from Saipan Receives Bronze Medal and Purple Heart

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PFC Joshua Stein Receives Purple Heart and Bronze Star with Valor.
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Among the present at the ceremony were his wife Nicole, his two daughters Rachel Marie (3years old) and Jasmine Selina (5 months).

The Office of Insular Affairs is proud to feature U.S. Army Private First Class Joshua P. Stein of the Northern Mariana Islands who received a Bronze Star Medal with Valor and the Purple Heart on February 9, at Fort Hood, Texas.  PFC Stein received the medals for exceptional and valorous achievement during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

PFC Stein hails from Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands.  After graduating from Kagman High School on Saipan, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2005.  In hostilities faced on Easter morning 2006, PFC Stein lost both legs and received many other injuries.  Despite being badly injured, his actions that morning prevented further injury to his fellow soldiers. 

PFC Stein is still in rehabilitation at Brooke Army Medical Center and is in the company of his wife Nicole and two daughters Rachel, 3, and Jasmine, 5 months. 

The Office of Insular Affairs is proud of the sons and daughters of the insular areas who serve in the United States Armed Forces, particularly during these difficult and challenging times.







Island Participation in the Military

2007

2006

2005