Julianne Jennings: Indian Country well represented in military

"Historically, Native Americans have the highest record of service per capita when compared to other ethnic groups. This Native American service with the U.S. actually goes back to the Revolutionary War when they were allies, when Native people served next to Gen. George Washington and his Continental Army. Some Native troops also served in the Carolinas and Virginia against the British Army. Native scouts were present at the British surrender at Yorktown. Continuing through the War of 1812, Indians served as auxiliary troops and scouts during the Mexican-American War, 1846-1848; the American Civil War, 1861-1865; and served as Rough Riders and seeing action in Cuba and the Philippines during the Spanish-American War of 1898. Indians would later accompany Gen. John J. Pershing’s expedition to Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa in 1916.

As the military entered the 20th century, American Indians would play an even larger role in military theaters worldwide.

According to the United States Department of Defense by CEHIP, Inc. of Washington, D.C., in partnership with Native American advisors Rodger Bucholz, William Fields and Ursula P. Roach in 1996, “It is estimated that more than 12,000 American Indians served in the United States military in World War I. Approximately 600 Oklahoma Indians, mostly Choctaw and Cherokee, were assigned to the 142nd Infantry of the 36th Texas-Oklahoma National Guard Division. The 142nd saw action in France and its soldiers were widely recognized for their contributions in battle. Four men from this unit were awarded the Croix de Guerre, while others received the Church War Cross for gallantry.”"

Get the Story:
Julianne Jennings: Bomb Flesh: Unknown Warriors in the Liberation of France (Indian Country Today 9/25)

Join the Conversation