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Oregon National Guard visiting American Samoa - departing Thurs

(l-r) SFC Steve Mann, Fotuatua Afioae, Tauaitala Leasiolagi, and MSG Sheri Hoddle.
Goal is to open doors and provide another option for local students

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — And they’re here…..The Oregon Army National Guard is back on island, proudly helping American Samoans find avenues to a brighter future—specifically furthering their education at Southern Oregon University.

MSG Sheri Hoddle told Samoa News over the weekend that a team of 4 National Guard soldiers met with potential applicants and their families this past Saturday, Feb. 1st and the meetings were conducted in a two-part effort to prepare students for future enlistment into the Oregon National Guard, and to show Sergeant First Class Steven Mann the ropes of the program.

(SFC Mann will be taking over for Master Sergeant Sheri Hoddle as she has recently been promoted and assigned a new set of responsibilities).

MSG Hoddle is mentoring SFC Mann and will be handing over American Samoa after this trip. SFC Mann has been an Oregon National Guard recruiter since 2012 under the supervision of MSG Hoddle.

Specialist Hannah Hawkins, MSG Hoddle’s assistant over the past 18 months, will continue to aid American Samoan students in filling out applications, enlisting in the Oregon National Guard, and guiding them towards SOU opportunities during this transition.

SFC Mann, MSG Hoddle, and SPC Hawkins will be working with Sergeant First Class Ryan Allen, an Oregon National Guard guidance counselor in, to enlist students today, Monday, Feb. 3rd on island during the Honolulu Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) visit.

According to MSG Hoddle, these students will finish high school (or community college for certain students) in American Samoa, ship to basic training after high school graduation, then begin college at SOU upon completing Initial Entry Training.

“By successfully graduating basic and advanced individual training, students will be eligible for 100% State Tuition Assistance in Oregon while serving in the Oregon National Guard one weekend per month,” MSG Hoddle shared, adding that the students currently enlisting, showed interest during the SOU and National Guard visit in November. “These students will have the opportunity to earn a college degree debt-free, as well as participate in ROTC if they desire to become an officer in the Army.”

Any high school seniors or students at the American Samoa Community College interested in joining the Oregon National Guard and attending SOU are encouraged to drop by Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday afternoon between 3-5pm at the Goat Island Café (Sadie’s by the Sea) to meet with SFC Mann and SPC Hawkins to fill out a National Guard application.

Students and parents can also email SFC Mann at <> with any questions and/or request a National Guard application electronically.