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Petty Officer FC Poyer Samuelu II one of six USCG officers to receive Navy League Service Award

American Samoa native Petty Officer First Class Poyer Samuelu II is among six U.S. Coast Guard officers who are recipients of the 2011 Navy League Sea Service Award and the recipients will be honored during a Dec. 9 luncheon award ceremony at the Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu.

Coast Guard officials say there were a great number of highly competitive candidates this year but unfortunately they could only select six officers and four enlisted members of the Coast Guard.

Samuelu, the son of Virginia and Poyer Samuelu Jr,  is "elated and honored" to have been selected for this award. "I am very surprised and honor to be a recipient," said Samuelu via e-mail Honolulu from Hawai'i yesterday. Asked what this award means to him, Samuelu said, "hard work does pay off."

By working hard and being given this award Samuelu hopes to be a role model for other Samoans who are  serving in the U.S. Armed Forces as well as young Samoans who have not quite decided on their career path. He suggests that youngsters not yet decided on which military branch to join look at the Coast Guard or those who have not made any career decision- think about the Coast Guard.

"The Coast Guard offers the same benefits as any other Military branch. Although we are the smallest branch in the military we have just as big a job as the other branches," said Samuelu. "It is an excellent career path."

A graduate of Samoana High School, Samuelu has been with the Coast Guard for 11 years; he  joined the Coast Guard right after high school graduation. He has been stationed in Hilo, Hawai'i for a year and half and plans to retire from the Coast Guard and return to the territory with his wife Antonia and the couple's four sons.

Samuelu, who was previously stationed in IIwaco, Washington state and Astoria, Oregon, was on the Coast Guard Cutter Kiska and the vessel was included in a Honolulu TV station news segment where the Kiska participated in the search and rescue of a fisherman lost at sea off the Hawaiian islands. Samuelu was seen on the vessel during the news segment.

The U.S. Coast Guard operates the Marine Safety Detachment unit in Pago Pago where one Samoan, Frank Thomsen, is among three local personnel.

For information about joining the Coast Guard, check with: