Osan Airmen share their Polynesian and Micronesian cultures

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Joshua J. Garcia
  • 51 FW/PA

This week in celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the 51st Fighter Wing highlighted two Mustangs from Polynesian and Micronesian descent. 

Master Sgt. Fiatagata Ulukivaiola, 51st Force Support Squadron Career Development section chief, and Senior Airman Frank Santos, 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron mission generation vehicular equipment maintainer, posed for photoshoots at Osan Air Base, showcasing their heritage.

Ulukivaiola, who hails from American Samoa, is proud to serve in the U.S. Air Force and still lives by the customs and traditions of being Samoan. She poses in her traditional Samoan garments and jewelry while performing Siva Samoas (Samoan dance). American Samoa is one of the islands inside the Polynesian Island Triangle, which is a geographical region of the Pacific Ocean with Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island as its corners.  

Santos is from Agat, Guam, and represented his culture by playing Chamorro songs on a ukulele and highlighting the importance of tribal jewelry such as the "Sinahi" (crescent moon necklace). Guam is part of the Micronesian island chain and shares cultural history with the Polynesian islands to the east, Melanesia to the south and the Philippines to the west.

Both American Samoa and Guam are American Territories and recruit some of the highest numbers per year per capita for the U.S. military.