By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kirsten King, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Public Affairs
The Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) will recognize a Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7 Sailor at its national conference in Huntsville, Alabama, May 16.
Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) Third Class Cynthol F. Fuata will receive the 2019 FAPAC Uniformed Services Award at the Uniformed Services Awards Ceremony during the 34th Annual FAPAC National Leadership Training Program (NLTP). The awards recognize and honor members of the Uniformed Services who display exceptional character and who foster a harmonious environment between the Uniformed Services and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
Fuata joined the Navy in April 2017. She was born and raised in American Samoa and became a U.S. citizen during boot camp. Fuata originally wanted to join the Navy after high school but decided to stay and take care of her parents, who were both experiencing health issues. Her mother passed away, but Fuata forged on.
“It was my mom’s dream for me to join the military,” said Fuata. “She wanted that stability for me.”
Fuata arrived at NBU 7 in August 2017, and she has made a big impression at the command.
“Despite her short time in the service, she sets the example as an American patriot who also remains true to her native roots and cultural heritage,” said Cmdr. Greta Densham, commanding officer of NBU 7.
Fuata said staying true to herself is an important part of her professional and personal life.
“My heritage and roots define me by the way I carry myself and the way I interact with others,” said Fuata. “My parents taught me to be humble and respect all people.”
Fuata is the Fuels Operator and Hazardous Material Custodian at NBU 7 and in addition to her primary job, she is also heavily involved in the community and at the command. Fuata has over 100 volunteer hours since her arrival at NBU 7, is president of the Junior Sailor Association, and is an active member of the command Morale, Welfare and Recreation committee, diversity committee, and the Command Resiliency Team. In the midst of her primary and collateral duties, Fuata always remains positive.
“She makes everybody smile,” said Senior Chief Logistics Specialist Baby Wakefield, department head of NBU 7’s supply department. “She’s always motivated and presents herself well to everyone, no matter their rank.”
Fuata is excited about her future in the Navy and said her leadership at NBU 7, especially Wakefield and Chief Culinary Specialist Monique Golden, leading petty officer of NBU 7’s supply department, has shown her what she wants that future to look like.
“I am very fortunate to have the type of leaders that I do,” said Fuata. “They look out for their junior Sailors and they truly care. I want to be that type of leader where my junior Sailors can come to me for anything and know that I’ll help.”
Founded in 1985, FAPAC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that represents civilian and military Asian Pacific American employees in the federal and District of Columbia governments. The NLTP is held each year in May to coincide with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and provides training in leadership, diversity, inclusion, career advancement, and management.
NBU 7 serves as the training and readiness command for landing craft air cushions (LCACs), landing craft utilities (LCUs), and beach party teams forward-deployed in Japan.