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Daughter of American Samoa is living her dream

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — While American Samoa was celebrating graduation season and the achievements of so many local students completing their secondary education, Warrant Officer Tausala Kimberly Morris Mansfield of Aua was also reveling in her accomplishments in the U.S. Army.

She is the daughter of Salamasina Apineru Morris from the village of Aua and Kim Ray Morris from the village of Futiga, and was raised in Aua her entire life.

A graduate of Kanana Fou High School in 2011, Tausala enlisted in the Army in 2014 where she later met her husband, James Mansfield in 2019, when they were stationed together in Germany.

Morris Mansfield served 7 years before she joined the Warrant Officer Cohort and in 2021 became a Warrant Officer in the United States Army where she was appointed Warrant Officer 1 as an aviator.

Then two years later on June 8, 2023, she was selected to fly Black Hawks in the United States Army, where she will follow suit with additional training before reporting to her unit. And by this selection, she became the first female Army Warrant Officer from American Samoa to achieve this milestone.

Upon hearing of her achievement, Samoa News contacted WO Mansfield through email and set up an interview.

Samoa News asked Mansfield if her own achievements in the US Army can inspire other young Samoans to break through barriers?

 “Absolutely, this was one of the pivotal points in my career that I knew would make a difference — for not only myself and my family but, the people of American Samoa,” she said.

She reiterated her reply by adding, “I knew that in doing this, that there will be younger men and women who will one day look at me and think, ‘if she can do it, so can I’, which is the whole point right?

“Do good for your family, for your country, your village and most importantly for God”.

When asked what challenges that she encountered during the start of her military career, and did it have any detriment on her personal life, she replied:

 “Oh, it’s life,” started Mrs. Mansfield, “there are so many challenges that we all face in different chapters of our lives right? But, this chapter specifically — I struggled with being away from my son from time to time during specific training, he’s with me full time, but the long days and the long hours of work have been taxing on our family, with living a dual military life,” Mansfield said as she emphasized the toll that being a full time mother and a Warrant Officer took on her little family.

 “I wouldn’t say there was detriment to my personal life, but certainly it took its toll, and we pushed through, we made it work for our little family.

“The US Army has done nothing but provide for our family and give us a good life, so we faced those trials together knowing that it was for a better cause, for our country,” the Warrant Officer said passionately. 

In addition, WO Mansfield hopes her story will inspire young women and men to reach their dreams, and also added that, “The Army as a whole is still a male dominated field, so it’s certainly such an honor to be here and to be representing not only women, but Samoan women.”

And to draw attention to her success and to spread inspiration to the future soldiers of American Samoa, this reporter asked one final question WO Mansfield, what advice would she have for the future soldiers coming out of American Samoa?

Mansfield then fervently passed on her knowledge and a bit of wisdom to the future soldiers of American Samoa by offering this piece of advice to them.

 “This may seem clichéd to others, but my greatest advice is — no matter what you do or where you go in your military career, you give it your absolute best, be the hardest worker, and never leave behind your humble beginnings because that “tulou” and that “fa’afetai mo mea uma lava” mentality will get you far in life.”