By U.S. ArmyOctober 26, 2012
Fort Huachuca, AZ. - Most people have heard of the Navajo Code Talkers who worked with the Marines in World War II. There have been many books, articles, and even a few films dedicated to their service. But did you know that the Army also recruited and benefited from the talents of native peoples, before the Marines? And that Code Talkers served in World War I as well? Did you know that not only did they speak in their native tongues to confuse the enemy, but that they created codes as Signal Soldiers?
Throughout 2012, in honor of the 25th and 50th Anniversaries of Military Intelligence, the USAICoE Command History Office has been partnering with the Military Equal Opportunity Office to bring guest speakers relevant to Military Intelligence to Fort Huachuca during the MEO observances. In November, there will be two opportunities to hear a dynamic presentation on the Native American Code Talkers of World Wars I and II, both on November 14th.
First, at 11:30, the Native American Heritage Month observance will be held at the Thunder Mountain Activity Center with cultural events and food tastings. Dr. William C. Meadows, author, historian, and noted expert on the Code Talkers, will give a brief presentation as part of this event.
Later that afternoon, from 14:30-1530, Dr. Meadows will give a more detailed presentation in Fitch Auditorium in Alvarado Hall. This second event, sponsored by the Command History Office, will be a more comprehensive discussion, covering the Code Talkers up to the passage of the Code Talker Recognition Act of 2008. He includes information on numerous tribes including the Choctaw, Comanche, Navajo, Meskwaki, Lakota, and Hopi, explaining the origins and basis of the codes, and how they were actually used.
Dr. Meadows is coming to Fort Huachuca from Missouri State University where he is a Professor of Anthropology. He is the author of the book Comanche Code Talkers of WWII (Texas University Press, 2002) and articles in numerous periodicals. His testimony before Congress in 2004 was instrumental in the passage of the Code Talker Recognition Act in 2008 which brought long overdue recognition to all Native American Code Talkers. He has also advised and spoken at the Smithsonian Institution's traveling exhibit, "Native Words, Native Warriors," which is currently at the Heard Museum in Phoenix through March of 2013.