First female Chief Master Sergeant in the USAF retires
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — United States Chief Master Sergeant Loretta Washington has retired after 28 years of service.
She is first generation Samoan born in New Zealand and has roots in Salelologa in Savaii, and Faleasiu and Satitoa in Upolu.
“My parents moved to the USA to spread our Heavenly Father’s word and provided an opportunity for me to live the American Dream,” Matamua told the Samoa Observer. Her parents are Reverend Ulufotu Matamua Fraser and Peka Tuiala of the Ekalesia Metotisi Samoa.
“One of my proudest moments is being a Samoan and being promoted to Chief Master Sergeant in the USAF in February 2020,” she said.
“I am proud to have grown up between Hawaii and South Auckland.”
The retirement ceremony was held at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor and it was unique.
“It was an American ceremony laced with my traditional Samoan decorations and hymns, and the whole Polynesian vibe.”
At the ceremony her American peers saw the culture that drove her leadership style, with faith and love for family from the lowest rank in the enlisted Air Force Airman Basic (E1) to the highest rank Chief Master Sergeant (E9).
“It was never about being the first Samoan female US Air Force Chief Master Sergeant for me, from an Airman Basic I drove to my best version of an Airman first and foremost because that is what my father taught me,” CMSgt Washington said.
“Pea fai fai faalelei! Pau na? Would always be in my mind. Is it good enough? Toe fai. His words would run in my mind at each phase.I've been so blessed for this opportunity not often provided to those from overseas.
“I am proud to represent my parents native land Samoa and forever thankful for family and friends who have prayed for my family and taken care of my parents while have been away from them.”
She is married to Senior Master Sergeant Mark Washington, and they have three children, Tyson, Mason, and Makaylah.