American Indians have served in all our nation's wars despite the fact that they were not granted citizenship until 1924. 12,000 Native Americans served our country heroically in WWI, 44,000 (of a total population of 350,000 First Americans at the time) served in WW II, and 42,000 (over 90% of which were volunteers) served in Vietnam. Native Americans have the highest record of service per capita of all the ethnic groups in America. Perhaps, the best reason for these astonishing statistics was explained in a statement made by Raymond Nahai ,a Native WW II veteran when he said, "Many have asked why we fight the white man's war. Our answer is that we are proud to be Americans, and we are proud to be American Indians. The American Indian always stands ready when his country needs him." Another reason that Native Americans seem always to come to the assistance of this country in times of need goes back to time honored traits held in esteem by all Native American societies. These are Strength, Honor, Pride in the people, Devotion, Wisdom, and Spiritual Strength. These are the traits which made them feared opponents in the battle against "Manifest Destiny", and it is what makes them courageous warriors today.
Navajo Code Talkers
In World War II, the United States used Navajo code talkers to transmit secret messages we did not want the enemy to see. It was successful, and none of the enemy were ever able to decifer the code. How did it work? When a Navajo code talker received what he herd was a string of seemingly unrelated Navajo words, the code talker first had to translate each Navajo word into its English equivalent. Then he used only the First letter of the English equivalent in spelling an English word. Thus, the Navajo words "wo-la-chee" (ant), "be-la-sung "apple", and "tse-mill" (axe) all stood for the letter "a." One way to say the word "Navy" in Navajo would be "Ts-ah (needle) wol-la-chee (ant) ah-keh-di glini (victor) tsah-ah-dzoh (yucca).
Using the Navajo Code Talkers Dictionary Can you guess what the following words are? (Click on dropdown menu for answer)
2. Chuo; Gah; Tkin; Ah-jah; Tsah; Lha-cha-eh
3. chindi; a-kha; a-chin;klizzie-yazzie; ah-jah; tsah-as-zih
4. be-tas-tni; a-kha; tlo-chin; a-chin
Famous Native Americans in the Military
Ely Samuel Parker
Ely's military career? He was in the militia prior to the civil war. He was appointed assistant adjunct-general with rank of captain in June 1863, commissioned first lieutenant, US cavalry in 1866 (he resigned in 1869); the brigadier-general of volunteers, April 9, 1865, and captain, mayor, lieutenant, colonel brigadier general, US Army on March 2, 1876. Parker became Commissioner in 1868 , Parker was the first Native American to hold a federal office, Ely died on August 30, 1895 from complications of diabetes.
General Watie planned the successful raid into northern Indian Territory. He had to wait for nine months before his plan was approved by the confederate high command. When offered command of the expedition, he graciously turned command over to Brigadier General Richard M. Gano since Ganos commission predated Watie's by one month. Watie remained in command of the Cherokee creek and Seminole cavalry loading 800 men who fought alongside the Texas brothers-in-arms.
Clarence Tinker was the First American Indian in the U.S. Army history to attain the rank of Major General. Tinker's service with the constabulary lasted until 1912 when he was commissioned into the U.S. army as lieutenant. After infantry training, Tinker joined the Twenty-fifth Infantry Division at Fort George Wright in Spokane, Washington. During World War I, Tinker served in the Southwestern United States and California, rising in rank to Major. In 1919, Tinker began flying lessons and soon transferred to the Air Corps. Tinker's aviation career began when he was assigned to flight duty on July 1, 1922. For the next twenty years, Tinker was stationed primarily at air installations in the southeastern United States. He climbed in rank, becoming a brigadier general on October 1, 1940. Clarence L. Tinker was the first American General lost in World War II; his body was never recovered. He received the Soldier's Medal in 1931 and the Distinguished Service Medal posthumously. Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is named in his honor.
Other Famous American Indian Warriors
|American Horse||Chief Joseph||Crazy Horse||Dull Knife||Gall|
|Geronimo||Hole-in-the-Day||Little Crow||Little Wolf||Osceola|
|Rain-in-the-Face||Red Cloud||Red Jacket||Roman Nose||Sitting Bull|
|Spotted Tail||Tamahay||Tecumseh||Two Strike|