National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

Tuesday November 3, 2009

What is it?

November 1st begins National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month that celebrates and recognizes the accomplishments of this country's original inhabitants, explorers and settlers. American Indians and Alaska Natives have made significant contributions to our Army from the Indian scouts of the old West that worked with the U.S. Cavalry, the Code Talkers of World War II, to the Alaska Scouts and the brave American Indian and Alaska Native Soldiers now serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world. This year's Army theme is "Celebrating and honoring the legacy, contributions and sacrifices of our American Indian and Alaska Native Soldiers and NCOs" that fits in with 2009's year long Year of the NCO initiative.

What has the Army done?

The strength of our nation comes from the diversity of its people. The month long November celebration specifically commemorates and expresses the Army's deep gratitude to all the American Indians and Alaska Natives that served in the past and today. The Army's observance of National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month reaffirms its commitment to acknowledging Native American and Alaska Native contributions and honoring their unique heritage. Events and activities are planned throughout the Army featuring ethnic foods, customs, dances and speakers. All Soldiers and their families are encouraged to participate in these events.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The Army's Diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity Offices are working diligently to ensure that persons of all races and backgrounds are truly represented within the Army's makeup. They will continue to recruit the best qualified Soldiers of all backgrounds and will ensure that every Soldier is given the opportunity and encouragement to rise to his or her highest level of ability.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Army recognizes the importance of celebrating the contributions that American Indians and Alaska Natives have made while serving their country with honor and distinction in every major conflict throughout history. They have participated with pride and distinction in the U.S. military for more than 200 years. In World War I, 12,000 American Indian men and women served, and that number more than doubled in World War II to more than 44,000. Their strong sense of patriotism and courage emerged once again during the Vietnam era, where more than 42,000 fought in Vietnam. Today, there are over 190,000 American Indians and Alaska Native military veterans.


American Indians in the U.S. Army





Army Professional Writing







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2009 Commemorations :

Year of the NCO

Year of the Military Family

100th Anniversary of the Chaplain Assistant

November 2009

Military Family Appreciation Month
National Native American Month
Warrior Care Month
Veteran's Day Week

Nov. 11: Veteran's Day


"The indigenous peoples of North America -- the First Americans -- have woven rich and diverse threads into the tapestry of our Nation's heritage. Throughout their long history on this great land, they have faced moments of profound triumph and tragedy alike. During National Native American Heritage Month, we recognize their many accomplishments, contributions, and sacrifices, and we pay tribute to their participation in all aspects of American society."

- President Obama

View the complete President's Proclamation on the National Native American Heritage Month, 2009


Year of the Noncommissioned Officer

"If I could offer any advice to the junior leadership, junior Soldiers and junior NCOs, is to stay professional...You no longer have junior Soldiers looking at you. You also have your peers, as well as senior NCOs, expecting more of you because you are part of a tradition that goes back many, many years."

- Sgt. 1st Class Israel Walker, sharing words of wisdom with young Soldiers and future NCOs, has aspirations of becoming the Sergeant Major of the Army

JMTC Soldier's experience at sea helped him become a better NCO


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