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THS cadet CPT Apelu Mann represents territory in the JROTC Essay Contest

Cadet Captain Mann Apelu
Source: Tafuna High School- JROTC Senior Army Instructor

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A Tafuna High School JROTC cadet captain’s essay on "Service" has been selected to represent the territory at the brigade level in the prestigious annual JROTC Essay Contest, organized by the US Army Cadet Command.  A press release from the THS JROTC program said, “In an impressive display of talent and dedication, Cadet Captain Apelu Mann from Tafuna High School's JROTC has proudly represented American Samoa with distinction.”

This achievement marks the fourth consecutive year that a cadet from Tafuna High School has represented American Samoa in this competition, “underscoring the exceptional caliber of the JROTC program under the leadership of Principal Tutuila Togilau and the Army JROTC Instructors in THS, MAJ(R) Siimoa Galoia, MSG(R) Acania Puletasi and SFC(R) Lei Solaita.”

This year, the essay contest invited JROTC cadets to write about the value of service, a cornerstone of the JROTC curriculum designed to foster citizenship, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment among young people. The contest is part of a broader effort to prepare cadets for future success in college and careers, aligning with national standards, including the Common Core State Standards.

c/CPT Mann's essay looks into the origins and contemporary significance of service — advocating for a broader recognition of the military's role in society beyond its combat duties. He eloquently discusses the military's contributions to community development, disaster relief, and public engineering projects, arguing for reevaluating public perceptions of the military. His writing reflects a deep understanding of the military's humanitarian efforts and its potential to foster community unity and prosperity, the release said.

Apelu's essay was evaluated and graded by the Teacher Quality Division of the American Samoa Department of Education, highlighting the collaborative effort between the JROTC program, specifically the American Samoa Multiple School Unit (ASMSU) led by Director of Army Instruction, COL(R) John Tulifua and educational leaders to recognize and nurture the talents of American Samoa's youth. This partnership confirms the community's commitment to educational excellence and the development of future leaders.

The success of c/CPT Mann and the Tafuna High School JROTC program highlights the importance of the JROTC Essay Contest in encouraging young people to voice their understanding of crucial societal values. It clearly indicates American Samoa's ongoing contribution to nurturing responsible, well-informed citizens ready to serve their country and community with honor and distinction.

Special thanks are extended to the Teacher Quality Division for their role in grading the essays that were submitted to ASMSU, further emphasizing the community's support for its young leaders. This award is not just a personal victory for C/CPT Apelu but a source of pride for Tafuna High School, the JROTC program, and the entire American Samoa community.