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Toa o Samoa who served with pride, retires with honor!

 SFC Samasoni Lele’a with the American Samoa flag

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — SFC Samasoni Lele’a is a native of American Samoa, from the far eastern village of Onenoa. He enlisted in the US Army in August 1988 and went through basic training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Bliss, in El Paso, Texas, graduating as a Man Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) Stinger, missile systems (16S).

In 1995, SFC Lele’a joined the Army Reserve Unit in American Samoa - the 442nd INF, 100BN for 11 years, as an Infantryman (11B). He re-joined the active Army in September 2006, stationed at Ft Hood, TX.

During his many years in military service, SFC Lele’a has held many leadership positions, including Team Chief, Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, and Plans and Operations NCOIC.

His numerous assignments included: 3/3 ADA Ft Hood, TX; 2/5 ADA Camp Stanton, Korea; 3/1 ADA Fort Carson CO; C Co 442nd, 100BN American Samoa; HHC III Corps Fort Hood TX; ALPHA Group MTCP Fort Leavenworth, KS; and 1-5 IN 1 SBCT AK.

SFC Lele’a served not one, not two, but three tours in Iraq. His military and civilian education include courses in Primary Leadership Development; Hazardous Materials; Combat Lifesaver; Combative Level 1; Basic Noncommissioned Officer; Advanced Noncommissioned Officer; Senior Leader; Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention; SHARP Foundation; Battle Staff; Digital Master Gunner; and Aircraft Load Planner.

His numerous military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal; 2 Purple Heart; the Meritorious Service Medal; Joint Service Commendation Medal; Army Commendation Medal (4th OLC); Joint Service Achievement Medal; the Army Achievement Medal (4h OLC); Joint Meritorious Unit Award; Army Superior Unit Award; Good Conduct Medal (4h award); National Defense Service Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Korea Defense Service Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal; NCO Professional Development Ribbon (with numeral 3); Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon (with numeral 3); Reserve Components Overscas Training Ribbon; Republic of Korea Presidential  Unit Citation, Combat Infantry Badge and Action Badge.

The highly decorated, long time US military man has been married to Anovale loramo Lele’a of Alao, American Samoa for 21 years, and they have seven children: Rosslynn, Breann, Xaiver, Alexis, Noel, Lupe, and Adonis.

Malo lava le tautua matavela.Thank you for your service!