• Col. Leafaina Yahn, commander, 404th Army Field Support Brigade, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, visits with Leon High School students March 21, 2012, in American Samoa. Yahn's brigade is helping Samoan Junior ROTC and ROTC personnel acquire Army Combat Uniforms through a donation drive. (Photo by Greg Alderete, 404th AFSB Public Affairs)

    Col. Leafaina Yahn, commander, 404th Army Field...

    Col. Leafaina Yahn, commander, 404th Army Field Support Brigade, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, visits with Leon High School students March 21, 2012, in American Samoa. Yahn's brigade is helping Samoan Junior ROTC and ROTC personnel acquire Army Combat...

  • Col. Leafaina Yahn, commander, 404th Army Field Support Brigade, addresses ROTC cadets at American Samoa Community College March 20, 2012. During her visit, Yahn learned of the need for Army Combat Uniforms regarding Junior ROTC and ROTC. (Photo by Greg Alderete, 404th AFSB Public Affairs)

    Col. Leafaina Yahn, commander, 404th Army Field...

    Col. Leafaina Yahn, commander, 404th Army Field Support Brigade, addresses ROTC cadets at American Samoa Community College March 20, 2012. During her visit, Yahn learned of the need for Army Combat Uniforms regarding Junior ROTC and ROTC. (Photo by...

  • Col. Leafaina Yahn, commander, 404th Army Field Support Brigade, proudly stands with then Samoan Gov. Togiola Tulafono March 19, 2012. Tulafono invited Yahn to speak as part of a Women's History Month ceremony. (Photo by Greg Alderete, 404th AFSB Public Affairs)

    Col. Leafaina Yahn, commander, 404th Army Field...

    Col. Leafaina Yahn, commander, 404th Army Field Support Brigade, proudly stands with then Samoan Gov. Togiola Tulafono March 19, 2012. Tulafono invited Yahn to speak as part of a Women's History Month ceremony. (Photo by Greg Alderete, 404th AFSB...

  • Col. Leafaina Yahn, commander, 404th Army Field Support Brigade, signs her featured page in former Samoan Gov. Togiola Tulafono's copy of the book "The 100 Women of American Samoa." Yahn is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and the first for Samoa. (Photo by Greg Alderete, 404th AFSB Public Affairs)

    Col. Leafaina Yahn, commander, 404th Army Field...

    Col. Leafaina Yahn, commander, 404th Army Field Support Brigade, signs her featured page in former Samoan Gov. Togiola Tulafono's copy of the book "The 100 Women of American Samoa." Yahn is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and the first for...

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- The World War II 6-inch naval gun at Blunts Point Battery at Pago Pago Harbor is a proud reminder of American Samoa's patriotic support.

Nearly seven decades later, that same pride is evident in the American Samoa Community College ROTC Program. It is a program that provides leadership training to young men and women who are looking for a future in the United States Army.

In March 2012, Col. Leafaina Yahn, commander, 404th Army Field Support Brigade, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, was invited by then Samoan Gov. Togiola Tulafono to serve as the keynote speaker for Women's History Month at the lush South Pacific island.

Yahn addressed more than 900 women. As the island's first U.S. Military Academy (West Point) graduate, she holds iconic "rock star" status when visiting the island's community college ROTC and Leone High School Junior ROTC programs.

The military recruits more service members, per capita, from American Samoa, than any other state or territory, Tulafono has stated in ceremonies.

Yahn gave every class a short presentation about serving in the Army, shared her Facebook address, and conducted a question and answer session.

At the conclusion of her visit, Yahn asked the ROTC program noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Sgt. 1st Class Kit Moliga, a full-time Army Reservist, if there was anything she could do for him, and he replied with "YES MA'AM, we could use a few more ACUs."

ACUs stands for Army Combat Uniform and is the current combat uniform worn by the Army. It is the successor of the Battle Dress Uniform and Desert Camouflage Uniform worn from the 1980s through the early 2000s.

Yahn said she would explore the possibilities upon returning to the mainland.

"Resources are rapidly going to become scarce and we need to look for ways to be better stewards of the taxpayers money," Yahn said. "Clearly one possibility is to recapitalize ACUs destined for the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office and get them into the hands of the ROTC Cadets."

Discussions are now underway with the region's Central Issue Facilities to make this a reality.

Additionally, the Cadet Leadership Training Program is also requesting slightly used to new ACU donations which may include boots.

The program asks that all ASC donations be shipped at the expense of the donor to:

American Samoa Community
ROTC Department
PO Box 2609, Pago Pago,
American Samoa 96799

For additional information, contact Moliga at k.moliga@amsamoa.edu or Capt. Saipale Vaouli at saipale.l.vaouli.mil@mail.mil or telephone (684) 733-8710 or (684) 770-0174.

Page last updated Fri January 25th, 2013 at 13:05