Pfc. Lori Piestewa, the first woman killed in the Iraq War, and the first American Indian woman to die in combat in the U.S. armed forces, she was 23 years old, and a Hopi warrior.

US Army to Recognize American Indians Throughout November

ICTMN Staff
11/4/13

 

American Indians have valiantly served in the United States Army in every war in American’s history, as well as in peacetime. They serve at the highest per capita rate among any ethnic group. And 25 Natives have received the nation’s highest award for valor – the Medal of Honor.

With contributions like those, U.S. Army leaders Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh, Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno, and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III tri-signed a “National American Indian Heritage Month” letter for the November observance.

“Throughout our Army’s 238-year history, American Indians have served valiantly and with distinction in times of peace and war, while also fighting for the right to be an equal part of our nation,” the Army leaders said.

Native Americans have served greatly for the Army and the nation, but the relationship with America hasn’t always been amicable, according to an article at the U.S. Army website.

Last year Maj. Gen. Gregg Potter addressed Soldiers and guests during the November Native American celebrations at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He was then commander of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence according to the Army website.

"Native American heritage celebrations are very, very important because we learn about other cultures," Potter said then. "The Army has not always done so well with understanding other cultures. Native American Heritage Month is very important because that is a culture that we didn't understand.”

The U.S. Army article shared numbers from Dr. Betty D. Maxfield, chief, Office of Army Demographics, that show 8,138 America Indians who served in the Army in 2012. Of these, 3,705 were active-duty enlisted, 92 were warrant officers and 405 were officers. The Army National Guard had 2,483 enlisted, 56 warrant officers and 159 officers. The Army Reserve had 1,055 enlisted, 22 warrant officers and 161 officers.

“American Indians have a distinguished legacy in our Army – many thousands have served in the armed forces from the early days of the Revolutionary War, in support of the Lewis and Clark expedition, as Scouts with the U.S. Cavalry and as Code Talkers in World War II,” the letter reads. “This legacy continues today with the brave Soldiers who have served and continue to serve in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world. We are proud of their service and honored by their sacrifices.”

The U.S. Army will hold installations Army-wide honoring American Indians with special events like tribal dances, art exhibits, food and historical displays throughout the month.

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chahta ohoyo's picture
chahta ohoyo
Submitted by chahta ohoyo on
william dale weiss, u s navy joseph leonard truitt jr, u s army janice weiss truitt, u s army jennifer m truitt/superales, u s army choctaw service members from the 1940's til the 2000's proudly served

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
I'll have to admit I got a little nervous when I read that the U.S. Army would recognize Native Americans. It's not like we fared well when the Army recognized us in the wild. ;) I am a disabled Vietnam-era veteran and volunteered because I had a family to feed and no job. I'm also fairly jaded when it comes to the military honoring Native Americans. Why? Well, look at the significant contributions of the Dine during WWII. Movies were made and books were written about the Code Talkers, but how did the U.S. government award the Navajo in the 1970s? They pushed them off the Dinetah and into homes they couldn't afford and all for the sake of uranium mining. Where was the recognition for then? Where else have Native Americans served the U.S. Army? How about the N'dee who helped lead the U.S. Cavalry to Geronimo? Captain Emmett Crawford would NEVER have found Geronimo's band on his own so he utilized Apache scouts. They were conscripted into the U.S. Cavalry, but upon Geronimo's capture they were promptly disarmed and thrown onto the train that would take them to the same prison as Geronimo. Be happy that our modern warriors are being recognized, but always be wary of the backlash. When it comes to NDNs and the military there is always a price to pay on our part.

Not From Here's picture
Not From Here
Submitted by Not From Here on
“Throughout our Army’s 238-year history, American Indians have served valiantly and with distinction in times of peace and war, while also fighting for the right to be an equal part of our nation,” I think the last part of the statement is complete crap,it was THEIR nation first!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
about time

indianmedicine's picture
indianmedicine
Submitted by indianmedicine on
First, I want to Thank The NAI in Uniform; Branch of Service immaterial for their Service.............................................................................................................................. .......................................................................................................................................... When anyone puts on a Uniform, First Responder or Military; they make a statement of their Character and Personal Values - besides making a Living..................................... ........................................................................................................................................... Many when referring to NAI in Uniform, automatically address the Navajo Code Talkers; yet omit the Code Talkers that came from Other Tribes not only during WWII, but WWI as well............................................................................................................. ....................................................................................................................................... Yes, "The Red People" that served and serve in the US Military have not been credited for all they have contributed to, besides being "Radio Men & Women"............................ .......................................................................................................................................... "The Alamo Scouts" were one of the First US Army Special Operations Forces formed during WWII in the Philippians to gather Combat Intelligence on Japans Forces............ .......................................................................................................................................... US Special Operations have a foundation on "Red Warrior" ways of Combat; and it was a closely guarded secret until 1982, when "The Alamo Scouts" of the Sixth US Army were Declassified.................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... The 3rd. Special Forces Group use the Four Colors of The Red Nations as their "Group Flash" colors - representing The Four Directions and The Four Colors of Human Beings on Mother Earth....................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... Many Tribes Ways and means are used in Military Field Combative's of War - example Apache Desert Warfare.................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... US Army Rotary Aircraft are traditionally named after NAI Tribes, which is a tribute to versatility of the aircraft, but also to "The Red Warrior" knowledge, skills, and abilities in Military Science................................................................................................................. ........................................................................................................................................... (See: American Indians in The U.S, Armed Forces, 1866-1945 John P. Langellier)......... ........................................................................................................................................... It is not just Combat Arms, that "The Red Warrior" contributes too; but to the Combat Service Support and Direct Combat Support to enable the "War Fighters" to accomplish their Military Mission....................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................................... So, to "Those That Were, Those That Are, and Those That Will Be - Always A Warrior". ........................................................................................................................................... - De Oppresso Liber - Non Gratum Anus Rodentum - Indian Medicine, USA,(Ret.)......... ...........................................................................................................................................

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
That's just wonderful! I would like to recognize my fiance Edwin McCulley, a Creek/Seminole who served several tours including Vietnam in the U.S. Army. He was also a paratrooper. Please keep us informed of any events that are taking place. Thank you. Lynn Adair

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
That's some bovine scatology, right there. What a privilege to be an "equal part" of the nation that damn near eradicated us. Damn wasichu terrorists.
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