Native of Ta'u retires from US Army
One of American Samoa’s very own retired from the United States Army this past March after serving his country for over 30 years. Chief Warrant Officer Four (CW4) Nicholas Luga Punimata of Ta’u, Manu’a entered the military service as an 11B Infantryman in October of 1982 and retired from active duty this past March 29, 2013.
His military education included the Special Forces Warrant Officer Basic Course, Warrant Officer Advanced Course, Warrant Officer Staff Course, US Army Combat Developers Course and the US Army Forces Management Course.
Among the many awards and decorations he received during his 30 years of military service was one in March of 2001 when, according to the awarding ceremony, which was held at the Pentagon, he was the first Warrant Officer to be selected and awarded the General Douglas McArthur Leadership Award for his outstanding leadership skill.
Other awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (w/ ‘V’ Device), the Special Forces and Ranger Tabs, the Combat Infantryman Badge (2nd Award), Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Master Parachutist Badge (w/Bronze Star) and the Military Free-fall Jump Master Badge.
CW4 Punimata is married to the former Sharon Marie Traxler of Nampa, Idaho. They have three children: son Nu’uese who is also in the Army and is assigned to the 19th SFG Utah National Guard. They have two daughters, Eki, who is also assigned to the 19th SFG Utah National Guard and Samalaulua who is attending college. He has a Bachelors of Science in Human Resources Management from Hamilton College.
His father Nu’uese Punimata of Utulei and mother Matamulisesula of Ta’u, Manu’a told Samoa News that are very proud of their son’s accomplishments in the United States Army. His mother is a former director of nursing in ASG's Public Health Department and his father served under two American Samoa administrations as the governor's Financial Assistant.