Our Troops

Six local soldiers graduate from basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C.

U.S. Army Pvts. Steffany Tavanuu, Gloria T. Tualaulelei, Brandon A. Foleni, Felila Palesoo, Agnes N. Paletaleo, and Jamille T. Pereira have graduated from basic infantry training at Fort Jackson, S.C.

Four soldiers with ties to American Samoa graduate from basic training

U.S. Army Pvts. Lee Liu Jr, Abelene V. Leama, Dennyboy Lillomaiava and U.S. Army National Guard Pfc. Usufono L. Tunupopo have graduated from basic infantry training at Fort Jackson, S.C.


US Army Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, US Army Pacific Commander, at Ft. Shafter, Hawai’i, was on island early this week with his wife Dr. S. Brooks, accompanied by military personnel, for a short visit while their airplane was refueling en route for meetings with some South Pacific island-countries and countries in South East Asia, according to Capt. Puletasi Wong-Mageo of the local US Army Reserve, which hosted them during the visit.

Our Men and Women in the Military

compiled by Samoa News staff

Army Pfc. Larson E. Pulu, a Cannon Crew Member with the 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan., will be deploying with the “Dagger” Brigade for nine months to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The unit’s mission is to support trusted regional partners with bilateral and multilateral military exercises and theater security cooperation activities in the Central Command area of responsibility.

SSgt Sopo Toilolo graduates from DI school

USMC Staff Sergeant Sopo Toilolo (pictured with San Diego family) is currently serving as a Drill Instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA.

He is one of only 21 Marines to make it through his DI training class. The Fagaitua High School graduate is the son of Fanolua and Ula Toilolo of Auto.

He sends his love and Happy Holidays to his families in American Samoa and Samoa. Ooh Rah and Happy New Year to you from all of us here at home.

Toa Samoa US Army - Fort Jackson, South Carolina

Mai le nofoaga o le US Army o lo’o a’otauina ai le fanau talavou a Amerika Samoa o latou Toa i le militeri, ua fa’ailoa mai ai le to’a 21 o i latou ua fa’ai’u ma le manuia latou koleniga fa’apitoa mo le Army, BCT Training.

O Faiva e Tapua’ia, e Manuia

E to’alima alo o Amerika Samoa o lo’o tauto i le US Army sa fa’atautaia le latou fa’au’uga i le aso Faraile na te’a nei, ua mae’a lelei ai le latou BCT po’o Koleniga fa’apitoa fa’amiliteri.
O i latou nei o Pvt. 2 Neru,Jennifer; Pvt. 2 Maiava,Shaleen; Pvt. Sanerivi, Souvenir; Private2 Papu,Ruthford; Private2 Silao,Apolonia; ma Private2 Solaita,Tolia.

Schofield soldier describes firefight that nearly killed him

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS (HawaiiNewsNow) - Four years after Schofield Barracks Sgt. Joseph McKenzie took a bullet to his helmet, he's getting the equipment that saved his life back.
McKenzie said the military took the helmet in 2011 to analyze it, and he's now getting it back, on a plaque, with the bullet still inside.
Dramatic video shows the firefight with Taliban soliders in Afghanistan in which McKenzie was shot in the head. At the time, McKenzie was a member of the 101st Airborne Division.


The Defense Logistics Agency’s top enlisted leader visited with the senior enlisted advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff this week as part of an effort to increase the relationship between the agency and the military services.

Army Command Sgt. Major Charles Tobin met with Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia, the principal military advisor to the Chairman and the Secretary of Defense, during an Oct. 20 visit to the Pentagon.

SPC Aasa-Ioane in Army 10 mile run

This undated photo shows Army SPC Leilua Lipine Aasa-Ioane, is the first Samoan female from American Samoa to participate in the Army Ten-Miler run, which gets underway Sunday, Oct. 11 this year in Washington D.C.

This is the run’s 31st anniversary and is organized by the Military District of Washington (MDW), which serves as the Army Forces Component and core staff element of the Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region, according to the Army Ten-Miler website.

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