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Tafuna High School JROTC cadet awarded prestigious 3-Year Army ROTC Scholarship

Tafuna High School JROTC Cadet Colonel Olefa Fepuleai
Tafuna High School JROTC program

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A Tafuna High School JROTC cadet has earned a 3-year Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarship and is the first American Samoan to receive the scholarship directly from the 8th Brigade Commander.

Cadet Colonel Olefa Fepuleai, the THS JROTC Task Force Commander, received the scholarship from 8th Brigade Commander, Colonel James H. Scott III, of Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington State  — bypassing the conventional application process which can take up to 6-8 months. This unprecedented achievement speaks volumes about Fepuleai's exceptional dedication, skills, and commitment to service.

A press release from the school’s JROTC Program details the journey that led to this recognition, which began when Tafuna High School's JROTC Program submitted Olefa Fepuleai for recognition at the Brigade level for his demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication at the Pacific Games where he secured the Bronze medal at the age of 17 in the 80kg and under bodybuilding event held at the Solomon Islands in November 2023. The Pacific Games, held every four years has participants from 22 countries and territories in the Pacific region, making Fepuleai's achievement all the more commendable.

Fepuleai's scholarship includes full tuition and fees payment for three years at the university of his choice currently offering a Senior ROTC program under the 8th Brigade which encompasses 30 universities across Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Guam. Gonzaga University, University of California,

Berkeley and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) are a few notable universities included in his choices. In addition to covering tuition and fees, Fepuleai will receive a monthly stipend of $420 and book expenses totaling $1200 per year.

Tafuna High School Principal Tutuila Togilau, and the THS JROTC Department SFC Lei Solaita, MSG Acania Puletasi and MAJ Siimoa Galoia extend their heartfelt congratulations to Task Force Commander c/Colonel Fepuleai for this monumental honor and accomplishment.

He is the son of proud parents Maea and Lyllah Fepuleai from the village of Tafuna.