A son of Samoa, U.S. Army Captain Jerrod Talavou Avegalio, has assumed command of Detachment 1 Alpha Company 3rd of the 140th Aviation (S&S) from outgoing commander captain, Jayson Yang.
The ceremony was held last month, in Hilo, Hawaii.
Capt. Avegalio is the grandson of the late Ema Toomalatai Avegalio of Matautu, Samoa.
The son of Papali’i Dr. Failautusi Avegalio and Linda Spear Avegalio of Leone,
Capt. Avegalio is a Black Hawk Pilot.
“Avegalio had recently returned from a mission in the Middle East and now assumes his new command of an aviation unit comprised primarily of the Lakota helicopter,” his father told the Samoa Observer.
“The 3rd Battalion, 140th Aviation Regiment, was constituted on 31 July 1987 in the California Army National Guard as the 140th Aviation, a parent regiment under the United States Army Regimental System.
“The 3rd of the 140th Aviation Regiment and its units have responded to a wide array of emergencies to include, wildfires, floods, search and rescues, overseas deployments, and combat rotations in the global war on terror,” said Papali’i.
He is a graduate of Kahuku High School and former captain of the track and field team that won the 2003 State Championship where he also set the Hawaii State record that stands until today.
“That year he was named the Gatorade Track & Field Athlete of the Year for Hawaii,” said his father.
Capt. Avegalio is a scholar athlete, and a graduate of the University of Hawaii Shidler College of Business Administration and U.H. R.O.T.C. program with a bachelor’s degree in management information systems.
“Talavou was raised on his grandfather’s farm in Pavaiai, and my son has never forgotten his Samoan roots,” Papali’i told the Samoa Observer.
“Our family calls him, a bee keeper and raises a variety of ginger flowers with his wife Shelly when he is not flying.
“His love of growing flowers comes from his late grandmother, Ema Toomalatai Avegalio, of Matautu Tai and his recently deceased aunt, Ve’a Enesi of Leone.
“His dream is to visit Ofu, Manu’a where his grandfather is a descendent from,” said Papali’i.
“I am a proud Samoan parent and admire the fact that Samoans are known not just in the Pacific but all over the world,” he said.