35 LOCAL YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN COMMIT TO BECOME “ARMY STRONG”
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:
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)