6 interesting facts about American Indians in the US military
America’s first warriors are also the first to defend America.
As a people, they are disproportionately dedicated to the defense of the United States; yet, as it has been pointed out many times, they don’t always get a fair shake.
But they deserve our respect. Our warrior culture starts with their warrior culture. No other group in America gave so many of their own as selflessly.
1. American Indians enlist in wildly disproportionate numbers.
During the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Natives were 1.7 percent of the U.S. military, more than twice their population proportion of the entire United States, which is .8 percent.
During WWII, the War Department estimated that if every racial segment of the American population enlisted like Native Americans did, they wouldn’t have needed a draft.
2. They served in greater numbers than any other group since the founding of America.
Per capita, more American Indians serve than any other ethnic group. This includes during World War I, when they weren’t even citizens of the United States.
Depending on which state they were in, some tribal members weren’t able to vote until 1957.
3. American Indians claim 27 Medal of Honor recipients.
Recipients include legendary Marine Corps fighter ace and original Flying Tigers pilot “Pappy” Boyington.
The first American Indian Medal of Honor was awarded to Co-Rux-Te-Chod-Ish, a Pawnee scout accidentally killed by his own unit. They then spelled his name wrong on his award citation.
4. One of the Iwo Jima flag raisers was an American Indian.
He was one of the six men photographed by Joe Rosenthal on Iwo Jima. Many know this story from Clint Eastwood’s film “Flags of Our Fathers.” Johnny Cash sang a song about him.
5. Unlike other Vietnam vets, American Indians were welcomed back as heroes.
Call it a true “warrior culture.” Despite the ongoing anti-war protests, whenever American Indians in the U.S. military returned home from Vietnam they were welcomed as warriors.
Some Vietnam vets were spit on and called “baby killers,” even if they were drafted. While 90 percent of American Indians who fought in Vietnam were volunteers, their people still welcomed them back.
6. The first American Indian female to die in combat was killed in Iraq.
Lori Piestewa of Arizona was from the Hopi tribe. She was killed by Iraqi forces during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. She died in the ambush in which Jessica Lynch’s unit was captured.
She was wounded in the head near Nasiriyah and died from her wounds due to poor electricity in Iraqi civilian hospitals. Arizona’s Squaw Peak was renamed Piestewa Peak in her honor.
These are the military traditions for deployed troops celebrating Thanksgiving
While you're deployed, weekends aren't really a thing — neither are most holidays. Thanksgiving, however, is a moment when the military slows down.
Forget multitasking, this Navy squadron has only one mission — rescue people
The Navy has an entire squadron for search and rescue, and it is the only squadron in the Navy that has an advance life-support helicopter platform.
How the Coast Guard intercepts half a million pounds of cocaine
For the last couple decades, the Coast Guard has pushed out further, taking more aggressive stabs at the flow of drugs that make their way into the U.S.
More remains of Special Forces soldier found in Niger
The Department of Defense announced that military investigators found additional remains that they have positively ID'd as Sgt. La David T. Johnson.
'Butcher of of Bosnia' sentenced to life in prison for genocide
"The Butcher of Bosnia" was handed a life sentence on November 22nd, 2017, for war crimes and the slaughter of 8,000 men and young children.
New engravings on the USMC War Memorial honor Iraq and Afghanistan Marines
On Nov. 22, the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial was updated to include Afghanistan and Iraq in the list of campaigns that runs along the memorial's base.
ISIS may focus on a virtual caliphate after losing real-world war
As the Islamic State loses the in real life war they've waged against the world, they've moved their game online- waging war in the virtual world.
Everything you need to know about Zimbabwe's ousted dictator
The dictator of Zimbabwe announced his resignation on Nov. 21, 2017 after the county's army took of the capital and family, forcing the resignation.
Watch this Marine get pinned by his 3-year-old son
Watch this adorable little boy steal into the hearts of all the Marines and civilians present as he promotes his dad and pins on his promoted rank.