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THS Army JROTC shatters records, sweeps all categories in Drill Competition

Source: THS press release

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — On March 31, 2023, the Tafuna High School (THS) Army JROTC program made history by sweeping the competition, earning first place in all categories at the American Samoa Multiple School Unit (ASMSU) annual drill competition.

This marks the first time in eight years that Tafuna has claimed the first-place title in a Drill Competition and comes after the school’s JROTC program was awarded Honor Unit with Gold Star Distinction during the JROTC Program for Accreditation (JPA) on March 17. (Read story in April 10 issue of Samoa News.)

The THS Army JROTC achieved a perfect combined score in the Drill Competition of 4,000 out of a total of 4,000 points across Color Guard, Inspection, Regulation, and Exhibition events. The competition showcased the exceptional skills and discipline of 39 dedicated Cadets, who made up the four competing teams.

Tafuna High School Army JROTC’s first place trophy after sweeping all categories in the Drill Competition last month. [courtesy photo]

The Cadets committed themselves to months of tireless practice, often training outdoors under the sun. Despite limited access to gym floor practice time, the Cadets juggled their training schedules around other school sports activities, making their victory even more remarkable.

The teams’ successes would not have been possible without the unwavering support of their parents, THS Principal Tutuila Togilau, and the dedicated efforts of their instructors SFC Lei Solaita, MSG Acania Puletasi, and MAJ Siimoa Galoia. Additionally, former Task Force Commander and THS Alumni William Spitzenberg II assisted SFC Lei Solaita in the Exhibition Drill team's practices, contributing immensely to the team's win.

 The Tafuna High School Army JROTC Exhibition team with volunteer alumni William Spitzenberg. [courtesy photo]

The competition was judged by a panel of experienced professionals, including the Head Judge for all events, MSG (Retired) Fitimalo Tautolo, and three Army Reserve personnel, 1LT Naomi Pomele, SSG Togiimoana Niusulu, and SSG Leilua Tuitele.

Task Force Commander Cadet Colonel Tauva Launiu expressed her gratitude, saying, "We thank God for the strength given to THS JROTC Cadets and the Cadets from the other JROTC programs in American Samoa to compete at the event, and we give all glory to God for the win." Her words underscore the importance of faith and perseverance in achieving their goals.

The Tafuna High School community is proud of the THS Army JROTC program's achievements. This monumental victory serves as an inspiration for future generations of Cadets. It highlights the importance of discipline, teamwork, perseverance, and the crucial role played by supportive communities, parents, alumni volunteers, and engaged instructors.

The THS Army JROTC's outstanding performance, sweeping all categories in first place, is a testament to their hard work, dedication, and exceptional leadership. As they celebrate this historic win, the program and its Cadets demonstrate the power of determination, community support, and a commitment to excellence.