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First Samoan promoted to the rank of Command Master Chief in the US Navy on-island

Command Master Chief Josephine Tauoa (right) with Captain Tommy Edgeworth  and Navy Recruiter Nofo Alesana
Part of the Navy’s Executive Engagement Visit and Navy Talent and Acquisition Group Pacific

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Josephine Tauoa, who has etched her name in the history books of the United States Navy as the first Samoan to be promoted to the rank of Command Master Chief, is currently on-island as part of the Navy’s Executive Engagement Visit program.

The program aims to bring senior leaders back to their hometowns to talk about their career and opportunities, engage with community leaders, and raise the profile of the Navy.

Command Master Chief Tauoa will also be participating in recruiting centered activities as part of an effort by Navy Talent and Acquisition Group Pacific which will be ongoing until February 8th.

Women’s coalition of Am. Samoa is holding a meet and greet today, February 01, 2024 at Paradise Pizza. Meet Commander Master chief Josie Tauoa, the first Samoan woman in her role as third-in-command on the Navy vessel USS Chung-Hoon. Sponsored by DYWA.  RSVP at [courtesy photo]

On Tuesday evening, CMDMC Tauoa was the guest speaker at a special Athletes Dinner hosted by the American Samoa National Olympics Committee (ASNOC) at the Good Vibes Restaurant in Tafuna, where she shared her inspiring journey of hard work and perseverance that led her to her current position.

The event was attended by ASNOC executives, presidents and officials of various local sports organizations, coaches, athletes and parents.

CMDMC Tauoa highlighted three attributes which she said will help anyone who pursues a goal in the military, sports and life in general.

“Accountability, a sense of belonging and commitment,” she revealed. “Accountability we kind of shy away from sometimes because we don’t want to be responsible for the members of your team. But you have to stop and think what would happen to your team if you are not well prepared for whatever you’re training for.

“So you have to make sure you go the extra mile to prepare yourself to help your team, as they are no doubt preparing. In other words, you are accountable not only to yourself but to the whole team whether you’re a leader or a team member.

“Secondly, a sense of belonging is very important for all of us to understand that you want to be a part of that team, and you want to make everyone in that team feel like they belong and they’re a part of you.

“And thirdly, if you’re going to make a commitment to be a part of this team, you have to understand that everything that you give is going to contribute to the success of the team.

“So these three things put together constitute the mindset that I had as I worked my way up the ranks in the military. It can also work for you if you’re in sports or in everyday life.”

Hailing from the village of Faga’itua, she began her education at Alofau Elementary School and continued at Faga’itua High School where she graduated in 1996.

After graduation, she enlisted into the Navy that same year and graduated from her “A” school as a Machinist Mate.

She has served on numerous surface ships including USS Coronado, USS Emory S. Land, USS Ronald Reagan, USS Bonhomme Richard, USS Halsey, and most recently as the Command Master Chief of USS Chung Hoon.

She currently serves as the Command Master Chief for the Pacific Fleet Commander in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

She stated that her 27-year career had been a long and sometimes lonely journey where she had to overcome obstacles and challenges.

“My initial job as a mechanic was very challenging having to work in a male dominated environment,” she recalled. “There was obviously no one who looked like me, both female and Samoan. But I pushed myself with the belief that I can do whatever those other sailors were doing and with God’s guidance, I prevailed.”

CMDMC Tauoa stated that she strives to be the best she can be so that the younger generations of Samoan females who join the Navy have someone to look up to and hopefully emulate.

She also expressed her gratitude for the support and prayers of families and friends for the sons and daughters of American Samoa in the military.

While on-island, CMDMC Tauoa will be assisting another daughter of American Samoa Navy Recruiter Nofo Alesana in her recruiting efforts.

Alesana is a member of Manumalo High School Class of 2012 and she told Samoa News that she hopes to recruit more females from the Territory.

The recruitment drive will conclude on February 8th.