Sailor from Faga’alu supports Super Hornet jet aircraft


Petty Officer 2nd Class Gracelene Laie, a sailor from Faga’alu, American Samoa, serves the U.S. Navy assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 143, which operates the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornet.

Laie graduated from Kanana Fou High School in 2019.

The skills and values needed to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Faga’alu.

“Growing up in my hometown, I watched my dad earn a Ph.D. in Hebrew Studies despite having limited resources,” said Laie. “Watching him balance work and family life was inspirational. It let me know that I could achieve similar success.”

Laie joined the Navy four years ago. Today, she serves as a yeoman.

“I joined the Navy to travel the world,” said Laie. “I also wanted to receive the educational benefits.”

The Super Hornet is one of the most advanced aircraft in the world, according to Navy officials. The aircraft take off from and land aboard Navy aircraft carriers at sea and are capable of conducting air-to-air combat as well as striking targets on land.

Laie has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.

“My proudest accomplishments are being in the line shack for two years and becoming a yeoman,” said Laie. “I was also pregnant while in the Navy. It was a journey I wasn’t ready for, but it has taught me to be more patient and resilient. I did not know I was that strong.”

Laie can take pride in serving America through military service.

“Serving in the Navy means I get to work with a diverse group of people,” said Laie. “Because everybody has a different background, our insight on how to solve issues varies. It makes working together more effective and being a part of it is beautiful.”

Laie is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.

“I would like to thank my dad, Ben Laie. He has always been very supportive of my decision to join the Navy,” said Laie. “I would also like to thank my mom. plenty of times when I called her to ask her advice and when I did not know what to do.”

“I feel like with the amount of years I have been serving, I have experienced a lot more good than bad,” added Laie. “Serving in the Navy has helped me develop as a person.”

Source: Navy Office of Community Outreach