1st Infantry Division Forward Observes National American Indian Heritage Month

241st Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Story by Spc. Cody Kellum

Date: 11.26.2019
Posted: 11.26.2019 11:28
News ID: 353512
1st Infantry Division Forward Observes National American Indian Heritage Month

In honor of National American Indian Heritage Month, Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division Forward gathered today to hear speeches by U.S. Army Master Sgt. John W. Brandt and U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division Forward Commander, Col. Phil Brooks here in Poznan, Poland.

Brandt highlighted the history of Native Americans, many obstacles they’ve overcome and their contributions to the U.S. military.

“Per capita, Native Americans have historically joined the military at a much higher rate than any other ethnic group,” said Brandt. “While they represent less than 1 percent of the population, they make up approximately 1.6 percent of the armed forces.”

The ceremony began with an invocation, and then the guest speaker was announced. The observance concluded with remarks from Col. Brooks.
According to the Department of Defense, 31,000 Native American men and women currently serve on active duty. An additional 140,000 of them are living Veterans. Seventy have died fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, while 513 have been wounded in combat.

“Despite their hardships over the past several hundred years, Native Americans continue to contribute to the defense of our country and freedom,” said Brooks.

Soldiers can contact their Equal Opportunity office for more information on the history of Native Americans in the U.S. military, as well as National American Indian Heritage Month.