Spirit of America honors Republic of the Marshall Islands citizens that served in the US military
On December 16, 2020, Spirit of America supported a Returning Warriors Induction Ceremony at a newly inaugurated American Legion post in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands. The event was held in collaboration with US Embassy Majuro, the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the American Legion, and US military officials from US Army Garrison Kwajalein Atoll (USAG-KA).
The ceremony was streamed live for the outside world to witness and honored Marshallese US military veterans’ service while promoting the unique relationship between the US, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Freely Associated States (Republic of Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau).
The new post in RMI’s capital, Returning Warriors American Legion Post 0022, was the result of a nearly seven-year-long planning and coordination effort by local veterans and other Marshallese citizens and officials. At the event, United States Ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Roxanne Cabral stated, “As the newest member of the American Legion, the Majuro chapter will be an enduring symbol of pride and honor for the service many Marshallese have offered to the US military.” The post will also allow for enhanced collaboration between US Embassy Majuro and RMI’s US military veterans, enabling the US to better respond to local needs. Of note, Post 0022 is commanded by Pamela Rubon, a US Army veteran and Sergeant with the Marshall Islands Police Department.
Since 1986, RMI and the US have enjoyed a relationship under the terms of the Compact of Free Association (COFA), which allows RMI citizens to enter, live, work, and study in the United States without visas. In addition, RMI citizens can serve in the US military and do so at a per capita rate higher than many US states. The agreement also grants US military protection over a large, strategic section of the Pacific roughly equivalent in size to the continental United States.
Spirit of America coordinated with the US Embassy to provide catering for the event, which was cost-shared with RMI’s President, David Kabua, and Speaker of the Legislature of the Marshall Islands, Kenneth Kedi. Guests at the event included Republic of the Marshall Islands President, several Iroijlaplaps including the Kwajalein Atoll Iroijlaplap, the Marshall Islands Chief Justice, Kwajalein Atoll’s Local Government Mayor, USAG-KA’s Base Commander, several RMI senators, and members from Kwajalein’s American Legion post.