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Media Release

U.S. Army Welcomes 29 New Micronesian Soldiers

June 18, 2010

On June 17, twenty-nine F.S.M. citizens (22 from Pohnpei, seven from Kosrae) took the oath of enlistment into the United States Army at the U.S. Embassy in Pohnpei.

Following an invocation by First Sergeant Frank Semens (Retired), Guam Detachment Recruiting Commander First Sergeant Yong Fox and Portland Battalion Command Sergeant Major Kenneth Crow provided opening remarks. In his own remarks, U.S. Ambassador to the F.S.M. Peter A. Prahar, himself a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, said, “When we put on the uniform, we come to realize that we have joined something greater than ourselves: an organization with a mission and an ethic that will embrace you, give you purpose and direction, and keep you going in good times and bad.” F.S.M. Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Lorin Robert then told the enlistees that “… [t]his is your day. This is your day of personal victory, celebrating your achievement, well deserved, as a source of pride for you and your family.”

Master of Ceremonies Sergeant Nelson Jack introduced the individual inductees and Honolulu Military Enlistment Processing Station (MEPS) First Lieutenant Christine Leimbach administered the oath, assisted by Future Soldier Non-Commissioned Officer-in-Charge Staff Sergeant Walter Asher of Kosrae.

The enlistees from Pohnpei include: Private Harvey Allen, Pvt. Nadine Anson, Pvt. Tasha Anson, Pvt. Castro George, Pvt. Lloyd Daniel, Pvt. Raynardsen Dannis, Pvt. Jordan Ehpel, Pvt. Leason Hedson, Pvt. Jay Joseph, Pvt. Jeffrey Kleespie, Pvt. Danston Ladore, Pvt. Diamondra Lemiel, Pvt. Mackson Neth, Pvt. Marvin Obispo, Private 1st Class Lory Ohry, Pvt. Marson Robert, Pvt. Xner Rodriquez, Pvt. Kevin Samuel, Pvt. Melissa Santos, Pvt. Francis Sohl Jr., and Pvt. Marisa Stallings.

The enlistees from Kosrae include: Pvt. John Alokoa, Pvt. Larry Asher, Pvt. Chuck George, Pvt. Sisado Olter, Pfc. Alokoa Palik, Pvt. Robert Talley, and Pvt. Hedges Tilfas.

The Compact of Free Association enables Micronesians to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, which they have done honorably since World War II. While serving their three to four year commitment, enlistees will have the opportunity to acquire technical and career-related expertise. Under the G.I. Bill, Micronesian enlistees are also eligible for U.S. higher education tuition assistance.

The new soldiers will depart for basic training at one of five Stateside training centers in October and November.