Washington, D.C. (July 6, 2007) — In Pohnpei on the morning of June 29th, twenty-one young Micronesians took their oath of enlistment in the U.S. Army in a ceremony aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia, moored at Kolonia Harbor in Pohnpei. Eight of the new soldiers are Pohnpeian: Starchell Alten, Ocie Daley, Semenster Hadley, Eugene Kohler, Ronald Orozco, Sam Osteen and David Ueno. The remaining thirteen enlistees hail from Kosrae: Lany Alik, Hanson Charley, Thomas Charley, Robson George, Joshua Isaac, Darnell Jonas, Moses Lonno, John Nena, Thomas Nena, Amato Palsis, Madao Robert, Petrose Suwei, Jason Tara and Mitcher Tolenoa. All were sworn in by U.S. Army Captain Elizabeth Powers, Executive Officer of the Military Entrance Processing Station in Honolulu.
The Compact of Free Association allows FSM citizens to serve in the U.S. military. The U.S. Army provides a wide range of education, employment, income, insurance, medical, skills training and travel benefits, but the new recruits first needed to pass the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery test in order to qualify for military service. They will depart their home islands over the next three months to report for basic training at Fort Benning in Georgia, Fort Jackson in South Carolina, Fort Knox in Kentucky, or Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, where they will specialize in aviation, infantry, logistics, maintenance, security, supply, and vehicle operation.
Assisting in the ceremony were Staff Sgt. Nelson Jack (of Pohnpei), Staff Sgt. Neemia Vaiagae, SFC Joseph Moxley, and First Sgt. Fitimalo Siaosi, who currently serve as U.S. Army Recruiters in Guam. Delivering remarks at the ceremony on behalf of the U.S. Embassy, Ambassador Suzanne Hale congratulated the new recruits and noted the invaluable contributions made by Micronesian veterans. She also stressed the importance of strong relations between the United States and FSM as a factor in the promotion of international security.
FSM Citizens interested in learning more about opportunities for service in the U.S. Armed Forces can contact the FSM Department of Foreign Affairs or the U.S. Embassy for additional information at (691) 320-2187 or firstname.lastname@example.org.