US Navy Officer, Lieutenant Commander (LCD) Ubina, Commander of the Honolulu MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) administered the Oath of Enlistment last Friday for 35 local men and women who have sworn in to be “Army Strong”. [photo: BC]

A total of 35 local young men and women (19 females and 16 males) took the Oath of Enlistment last Friday to become members of the United States Army.
Of that number, 28 have committed to going on active duty while the remaining seven will join the Army Reserve. Eleven of the new recruits are high school seniors — five from Faga’itua, two from Tafuna and four from Samoana.
There was also a brother/sister team, Jayne and Jarred Tuvale. Jayne is a 2013 graduate of Marist Fa’asao High School and her brother Jarred is currently a senior at Faga’itua. The two are the children of Patrick and Lolenese Vaina Tuvale of Laulii.
The swearing-in ceremony was held at the SFC Konelio Pele Army Reserve Center in Tafuna, in the presence of family, friends, and supporters of the future soldiers.
US Navy Officer, Lieutenant Commander (LCD) Ubina, Commander of the Honolulu MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) administered the Oath of Enlistment. Other off island dignitaries who were in attendance included First Sergeant (1SG) Borne (Honolulu MEPS First Sergeant), Master Sergeant (MSG) Delancey and Sergeant First Class (SFC) Bracero, Guidance Counselors for the US Army.
All of the enlistees are on the Delayed Entry Program (DEP), meaning they will not depart for basic training right away but they are still required to fulfill certain responsibilities and duties prior to leaving for boot camp — things like passing the physical fitness assessment, maintaining the right weight, upholding moral qualifications, refraining from any violations of the law, and participating in training programs which are held once a week, in addition to physical training (PT) twice a week.
The DEP allows recruits to sign up, but delays their actual entry date for up to 365 days (one year).
The first soldier from the group is set to fly out in two weeks. The new recruits will be dispersed and attending one of four boot camps held at Ft. Benning, Georgia; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Fort Jackson, South Carolina, or Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri.
After the Oath of Enlistment was administered last week, parents and guardians had to sit through a Future Soldiers’ Orientation session, which provided an overview of what to expect during basic training and what is expected from the recruits from now until they fly out for boot camp.
Local recruiter SSG Lauie Laban-Ilalio said the orientation gave parents and attendees the chance to ask questions and discuss the status of their sons and daughters.
The new recruits will be working in different MOS (Military Occupational Specialties) including Information Technology, Paralegal, Aircraft Pneudralics Repair, Radar Repair Specialist, Automated Logistics Specialist, and Mortuary Affairs Specialist.
The next test dates for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), which is the initial step of recruitment into any branch of the US military, will be Feb. 19, and March 5, 12, and 19.
Those who attain ASVAB scores of 31 or higher (total score for the ASVAB is 99) may be eligible to fly to Hawai’i to carry out the physical enlistment process at the Honolulu MEPS. The next physical enlistment process for the US Army in the territory is set for the first week of May.
Pre-screening for the ASVAB takes place every day at the Army Recruiting Station on the second floor of the Laufou Shopping Center from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Thursday, and 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Friday.
The US Army offers 150 jobs and the cut off age for enlistment is 34.
More information on how to become “Army Strong” can be obtained by visiting their Nu’uuli location or calling 699-3116 or 258-5040.
The following  are the names of our future soldiers who took the Oath of Enlistment last week:
NAME           VILLAGE
Atualevao, Ronellah           Nua & Seetaga
Aumoeualogo, Fa’aalo           Tula (FHS senior)
Aumua, Nive           Pava’ia’i (THS senior)
Choo, Roger           Aua
Fa’alata, Babe           Fagatogo (SHS senior)
Fagota, Alipa           Aua & Vaitogi
Falealili, Taylor           Aua (FHS senior)
Iuvale, Nonoi           Aunuu
Levaula, Saiafua           Vailoa
Mageo, Jeremiah           Aua
Maluia, LBJ           Nu’uuli
Mauga, Palepoi           Amouli & Fatu ma Futi (FHS senior)
Mavaega, Taufaiula           Ili’ili
Meredith, Joseph           Nu’uuli
Patau, John           Tafuna
Pesamino, Fouvale           Aua
Pua, Angel           Fagali’i (THS senior)
Salipopo, John           Amouli
Samuelu, Rhine           Pago Pago
So’oaemalelagi, Apelu           Nu’uuli
Ta’aga, Lilivau           Laulii
Taise, Malaesa           Fagatogo (SHS senior)
Taylor, Queen Victoria           Laulii (FHS senior)
Tinoga, Asofiafia           Pagai
Talolo, Georgina           Amanave
Tupuola, Keniseli           Pago Pago
Va’aiga, Lusia           Matuu (SHS senior)
Vaitele, Anasitasia           Fagasa (SHS senior)
Burgess, Julia           Aoa & Nu’uuli
I’atala, Teleaitala           Amouli
Luamanu, Phoenix           Tafuna
Saufoi, Daniel           Pago Pago
Sauni, ArieL           Laulii
Tuvale, Jayne           Laulii
Vaina-Tuvale, Jarred           Laulii (FHS senior)


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