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THS JROTC cadet places third in Army JROTC essay competition

Cadet CPT Tristan Tufele
This marks a first for American Samoa
Source: THS Army JROTC press release

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Tafuna High School Army JROTC Cadet Tristan Tufele has made his school and the American Samoa Multiple School Unit (ASMSU) proud by placing third in the highly competitive United States Army Cadet Command essay competition. This marks the first time ASMSU has received a placement at the Brigade level for this annual Essay Competition, making it a significant achievement not only for c/CPT Tristan Tufele, but also for Tafuna High School and the JROTC program in American Samoa as a whole.

Cadet Tufele took this year’s theme “Continuous Improvement: If you were the Commanding General, U.S. Army Cadet Command, what initiative(s) would you implement to improve JROTC?” as an opportunity to focus on inclusivity and motivation for plus-size cadets.

Tufele's essay highlighted the need for providing plus-size uniforms for cadets like himself, ensuring that all students feel welcome and accommodated in the program. He emphasized the importance of making JROTC more inclusive for cadets of all sizes and shapes in order to encourage their participation and help them reach their full potential.

In addition to addressing the uniform issue, his essay proposed initiatives to motivate plus-size cadets, inspiring them to become better citizens, which aligns with the mission of the US Army JROTC. His thoughtful ideas and well-articulated vision for an improved JROTC resonated with the competition's judges, earning him a well-deserved third place in the 8th Brigade.

The recognition of Cadet Tufele's essay not only showcases his writing talent and commitment to the JROTC program but also highlights the potential for positive change within the organization. By focusing on inclusivity and motivation, Tufele's vision has the potential to make a lasting impact on the lives of many future cadets, helping them reach their full potential as citizens and leaders.

Cadet Tristan Tufele extends his gratitude to his JROTC instructors MAJ Galoia, MSG Puletasi and SFC Solaita for encouraging him to submit his essay and for his parents, So’ofa’atasi and Maureen Tufele for their love and support throughout his academic career.

The essay was selected by the ASMSU’s Director of Army Instructions MAJ Malauulu, as the #1 essay in American Samoa. It was then forwarded to the US Army 8th Brigade, the ASMSU’s higher headquarters where Tufele's essay outshined submissions from 101 different schools across Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Nevada, Hawaii, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Japan and South Korea, earning a top-three placement in the entire unit.

The JROTC Essay Contest is an annual competition designed to give Cadets an opportunity to assimilate lessons learned from JROTC curriculum and communicate their knowledge in writing. Participating in the essay contest exposes Cadets to a key component of 21st Century Education: writing. Writing in accordance with national standards outlined in the Common Core State Standards helps Cadets prepare for college and careers.