Local

November 21, 2012

Code Talkers — World War heroes

The Pascola Group, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, gathered after the cultural demonstration for a group photograph. The group demonstrated the Pascua Yaqui Deer Dance, a significant ceremonial tribute performed during Lent.

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence History Office hosted a presentation on the Native American Code Talkers of World Wars I and II, Nov. 14, in Fitch Auditorium,Alvarado Hall.

The guest speaker was Dr. William Meadows, author of “The Comanche Code Talkers of WWII.” Meadows is a member of the Missouri State Native American Studies committee, a member of the Native American Heritage Month committee, the coordinator for the Missouri State University Native American Heritage Month Pow Wow, and the faculty sponsor of the American Indian Student Association. In 2004, he testified before Congress, speaking on behalf of all of the Native American code talkers. His intense research assisted in the passage of the 2008 Code Talkers Recognition Act, giving recognition to all past Native American Code Talkers.

The Native American Code Talkers began with 13 young, Comanche male soldiers who devised an extremely secure code, created from their native language. They used this code to communicate on the battlefields during the wars, with the advantage of speed and security. Their code is said to be the most ingenious and successful, being the only code in military history that is unbroken. In World War I, the Germans inquired what the language was, but could not decipher it. In World War II, the Japanese recognized the use of the Navajo language, but could not capture a code talker to break it. Regardless, the code talkers were dedicated to their language and even torture would not break them. It was only the training officer who kept a written record of the code and the rest of the code talkers committed it to memory. The written record was lost during the North African Campaign but the verbal code was kept classified until 1968, when it became public.

“They were silent heroes during their lives and they simply went to their graves with that secret,” said Gregory Pyle, chief of the Choctaw Nation, according to http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2011/08/08/code-talkers-have-served-the-military-well—and-often-secretly-45697.

There are two types of code talking. Type one used Native American languages that were unknown to the enemy and contained specially devised coded vocabulary for the military. Type two used Native American languages as well, but without the specially coded vocabulary. The purpose of code talking was to avoid exposure of the U.S. plans of movement during the war. The code talkers sent radio messages detailing the exact landing locations or changes of each group of allied forces.

The code was made up of native terms that were associated with military languages, and a phonetic alphabet using native terms. To simplify the memorization process, military words were used that reminded the code talkers of things that were associated. English words such as tortoise translated to “chay-da-gahi,” meaning “tank” in the native language. “Besh-lo” meant “iron fish” and was used for the English word “submarine.”

After the wars were over, the code talkers held ceremonies that cleansed their bodies and their spirits. They were told not to speak about it. According to Helena Holiday, daughter of Navajo code talker Sam Holiday, there are only approximately 20 Navajo code talkers who speak publicly about the experiences.

Meadows continuously researches the code talkers, interviewing those still alive and their family members, collecting information to keep the recognition alive and extend the knowledge. He has spoken at many openings of the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibit on Native American Code Talkers “Native Words, Native Warriors.” For more information on the exhibit, visit http://nmai.si.edu/education/codetalkers/.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Lisa Ferdinando

Army releases latest policies on female hairstyles, tattoos

Lisa Ferdinando 1st Sgt. Aki Paylor won’t have any trouble recalling the Warrior Ethos. “For me, the Warrior Ethos — that’s who I am.” Since all of Paylor’s tattoos were done a number of years ago, he’s grandfathe...
 
 

Combined Federal Campaign now underway on FH

The annual Combined Federal Campaign, CFC, is currently underway and ends Dec. 1. The CFC is the world’s largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign with more than 200 CFC campaigns throughout the country to help raise millions of dollars each year, officials say. This year’s theme is “We Make it Possible.” Donations made...
 
 

It’s a Thin Line for prescription use, misuse, abuse; dispose of unused drugs Sept. 27

SAN ANTONIO — Nearly one out of 20 Soldiers misuse painkillers, says the website Army Thin Line. The website is part of a campaign designed to educate Soldiers, their friends and Families and the provider community about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse. Army Thin Line encourages safe and responsible decisions when using...
 

 
PatriotDay1_20140911_Hidalgo

Fort Huachuca Community remembers the fallen

Soldiers place the wreaths for the Patriot Day Ceremony at Brown Parade Field on Fort Huachuca Sept. 11. The wreaths honored all who fell during the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. Fort Huachuca firefighters raise the American Flag at...
 
 
Photos by Eric Hortin, NETCOM

NETCOM honors deceased members during special ceremony

Photos by Eric Hortin, NETCOM From left, Maj. Gen. John Morrison Jr., Network Enterprise Technology Command commanding general, Command Sgt. Maj. Stephfon Watson, NETCOM command sergeant major, and Spc. Kyle Baker, NETCOM Headq...
 
 

Army Reserve training brigade moves to Fort Huachuca

Headquarters, 1st Brigade (Military Intelligence) 100th Training Division (Operational Support) will possibly relocate from Providence, Rhode Island, to Fort Huachuca pending approval from the Department of the Army. If approved, this action will transfer 72 positions here. Fifty-eight of those positions will be part-time reservists who will only be here one weekend a month for...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin