31 May 2005

US military says Pacific recruitment strong despite high per capita casualties

3:10 pm on 31 May 2005

The US military says recruitment in its affiliated Pacific Island territories is still strong despite suffering the highest number of casualties per capita in the Iraq war.

The average US state has suffered five deaths per million in the latest conflict.

American Samoa has had five of its people die, and there are about 70,000 people in the territory.

First Sergeant Olimpio Magofna in Guam oversees US military recruitment in the Pacific Islands region.

"In my area which is American Samoa, Guam, Korea and Japan, we have what we call the most people that are in the military per capita, and the most people that probably died during Vietnam per capita, and Iraq."

However First Sergeant Magofna says people of the Pacific Islands still want to join the military because they want to serve their country and they have a sense of their legacy.