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    Native American Heritage Month: Navajo Code Talkers



    Courtesy Story

    179th Cyberspace Wing

    Submitted Story by Tech. Sgt. Gary Allen, 179AW Equal Opportunity Office

    Diversity is always a great attribute to any high-functioning organization! World Wars I and II are reminders of the value of diversity in our military ranks. Many groups of Americans have served using their abilities to help us win wars. One distinct group of Americans who used their unique language and capabilities to help our nation during conflicts are the Native American Code-Talkers.
    Originally located in the southeastern region of the United State, the Choctaws, roots in military service can be traced back to 1812, where they served with the United States in the War of 1812; unfortunately, after the war they had their land stolen from them by the United States government. The 1830 Indian Removal Act led them to present-day Oklahoma via the “trail of tears”.
    In 1917, the United States entered World War I, and several thousand Native Americans enlisted to help support the war effort. On the battlefield, there were problems with communication, and enemy combatants were able to intercept communications that the allied forces were engaging in. The Native American troops emerged to prominence by using coded language on the battlefield to confuse the enemy forces. Many tribes collaborated to transmit messages from their native tongue, which lead to winning battles.
    The Code Talkers made an even larger impact during World War II! The US Army began to heavily recruit Native American men in 1940, and other branches like the Marine Corps began to follow suit. The newly recruited servicemen worked as communications specialists to help relay critical information such as enemy locations and troop movements. Unfortunately, the Code Talkers had to keep their work secret since the military wanted to keep the program classified in case of future conflict.
    In 1968, the program was declassified, and the Code Talker program was no longer used in the military. These veterans began to receive recognition throughout the 1970s and 80s. In 2001, Congressional Gold Medals were given to the Navajo tribe members and others who served. The Code Talkers are still revered amongst the most prominent units who contributed to these global war efforts.
    At the 179th Airlift Wing, we honor the Native American tribes who contributed to our nation in honor of Native American Heritage Month!



    Date Taken: 10.18.2022
    Date Posted: 10.18.2022 16:26
    Story ID: 431582
    Location: MANSFIELD, OH, US 

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