History maker honours Sala’ilua, Savai’i

Sala’ilua village in Savai’i can boast that it has connections to a Command Master Chief in the United States Navy in Josephine T. Tauoa, 42, the first Samoan woman to earn the rank.

In an interview with the Samoa Observer, Command Master Chief Tauoa, a 1996 graduate of Fagaitua High School in American Samoa said she joined the U.S. Navy to figure out what she wanted to do in life and to support her family.  

She thanked Samoa for the prayers and returned all glory for her accomplishments in the U.S. military to the Almighty God.

“I am truly grateful for the prayers and support of my family and our Samoan islands.  All the glory to God for these blessings.  It’s absolutely surreal and a humbling feeling to be able to achieve such a milestone,” Tauoa told the Observer.

She is the daughter of Sosefina Tauoa from Sala’ilua Savai’i and her father is a lawmaker in American Samoa’s legislative assembly or Fono, the Senator Muagututi’a Tauoa from Fagaitua. He represents Sua County.

Command Master Chief Tauoa is third-in-charge on the USS Chung-Hoon, a member of one of the U.S. Navy's most powerful fleets.

As a Command Master Chief, she is in charge of all sailors onboard the ship and liaises between sailors and officers. 

“I am responsible for all enlisted Sailors assigned to my Command.  I am known as the Senior Enlisted Leader.  I am third in Command and I also serve as a liaison between the enlisted Sailors and the Officers. I am there to assist in matters concerning all Sailors and ultimately support my Commanding Officer” she said.

Command Master Chief Tauoa is a graduate of Ashford University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Organizational Management. She earned a Masters of Science degree in Management from Excelsior College. 

Joining the Navy was a quest to figure out what to do in life.

She hopes to inspire the younger generation to conquer through service.

“I joined the Navy to be able to figure out exactly what I wanted to do in life and be a support for my family.  Doing something bigger than myself and ultimately protecting the freedom of this country.  I was not quite ready to go to college and wanted to do something different and essentially pursue a career.  I knew it would be a challenge and I was ready for it,” Tauoa said.

“Thank you so much for this opportunity and I hope that I could be off some sort of an inspiration for our younger generation of islanders to never give up on your dreams. I always say: Never allow someone to determine your willingness to accomplish what you set your mind to do! There will be challenges but there always ways to overcome those challenges. O le ala i le pule o le tautua.  Faafetai tele Samoa le nofo tatalo ua manuia ai le faamoemoe.”

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