***image1***The new U.S. Army, Europe and Seventh Army command sergeant major,
Command Sgt. Maj. Iuniasolua Tului Savusa, officially assumed his
duties during a May 5 ceremony at Heidelberg’s Campbell Barracks.
Savusa’s new position was last held by Command Sgt. Maj. Michael L.
Gravens, whose Army career concluded with a farewell ceremony at Campbell Barracks March 5.
A native of American Samoa, Sergeant Major Savusa entered the Army in
1975. He served on tours around the world from the demilitarized zone
in Korea to the Sinai desert in Egypt, Forts Bliss, Campbell and
Polk in the United States, and his previous assignment as command
sergeant major of the Southern European Task Force (Airborne), Vicenza,
Italy. He has deployed to Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan.
USAREUR commanding general, Gen. David D. McKiernan, welcomed Sergeant
Major Savusa and his family in a speech during the ceremony.
“Today is a very important day for the U.S. Army, Europe and Seventh
Army. We welcome a truly great trooper, his lady and fine Army family,”
Commenting on Sergeant Major Savusa’s most recent assignment as SETAF’s
command sergeant major, General McKiernan said, “He created an
atmosphere that valued drive, teamwork and balance. He brought out the
best in leaders and Soldiers, living by his personal motto of ‘pride
and professionalism.’ His inspirational and enthusiastic leadership
were crucial in the planning and training effort prior to the
deployment to Operation Enduring Freedom. And his inspirational
leadership in combat was simply invaluable to the command throughout
General McKiernan also praised Sergeant Major Savusa’s wife, Mareta,
whom he called a ‘first round draft pick’ for her work at SETAF in Army
Family Team Building, the Family Readiness Group, church and youth
activities and in coaching the high school volleyball team.
After the general’s remarks, Sergeant Major Savusa took the microphone.
He spoke briefly in the Samoan language, delivering what he described
as thanks to his elders, a Samoan tradition for important occasions.
Sergeant Major Savusa then switched to English, and said, “I will start
by thanking my wife Mareta, and our four wonderful children – I
wouldn’t be here today without you.”
He also thanked his parents, who were unable to attend the ceremony.
He also discussed the Soldiers of USAREUR. “They are here because
of the promise America made to Europe, to uphold freedom, democracy and
the rule of law,” he said. “Because of the sacrifice of ordinary
Soldiers, America has kept its commitment. Today, Soldiers in Europe
are also committed in other areas of the world, fighting the war on
“I have had the privilege and honor to serve side-by-side with these
Soldiers – in both Afghanistan and Iraq,” he continued. “But,
while our commitment has not wavered here in Europe, we certainly
recognize that the nature of our mission has changed. We are part of
the greatest force transformation in the history of our service. We are
transforming an army. This transformation requires rebasing,
repositioning, reassignment. But this also requires great leadership on
the part of every leader at every level. And during my tenure here in
Europe, noncommissioned officers are going to hear a lot about this.”
(Courtesy of USAREUR Public Affairs)