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Garrison Wiesbaden Honors Native American Army Contributions | article ” Alaska

Garrison Wiesbaden honors contributions from the Native American Army

Native American and Alaskan heritage was celebrated on November 18th during Native American Indian Heritage Month, held at Clay Barracks.
(Image credit: Michael Kenfield)


WIESBADEN, Germany – November is Native American Heritage Month, which provides an opportunity for members of the military community to recognize and express their appreciation for the sacrifices made by Native Americans, veterans, civilians and family members.

This year’s annual walkthrough took place on November 18th at the Stronger Together Café at Clay Kaserne.

In celebrating Native American Heritage Month, the Army not only recognizes the importance of individual contributions, but also the value of a diverse and inclusive environment.

Embracing and celebrating diversity makes the U.S. Army stronger and ensures every member of the force is given the opportunity to reach their full potential.

“The historical contributions of Native Americans have been very far-reaching,” said US Army Garrison Wiesbaden Commander Col. David Mayfield.

The history of the Army cannot be told without reflecting on the remarkable contributions made by Native Americans, who have a long history of service with distinction.

Throughout the history of the United States Army, Native Americans and Alaska Natives have left a legacy of dedication, courage and selfless service.

The relationship was not always friendly and productive, Native Americans were often the subject of unjust and inhumane treatment in the early history of our nation and the US Army.

Despite this, Native Americans have a proud and storied history of defending the United States.

When threatened, Native Americans have long answered the call to defend this nation against a common enemy. From service as a tracker and scout in the fledgling Continental Army through the Civil War, World War I and II, the Korean and Vietnam War to the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The use of Native American code talkers in World War II was critical to success in the Pacific. Without the service of Navajo Code Talkers, the war in the Pacific might have lasted longer or ended differently.

Today, more than 9,000 Native Americans representing 574 recognized tribes serve throughout the Army. In addition, American Indians and Alaska Natives comprise more than 150,000 veterans.

Garrison Wiesbaden honors contributions from the Native American Army

US Army Garrison Wiesbaden Commander Col. David Mayfield will open the celebration of Native American Indian Heritage Month on November 18, 2022 in the Stronger Together Café in the Clay Kaserne.
(Image credit: Michael Kenfield)


The memory of these great warriors – past and present – who have served and continue to serve creates an enduring legacy that inspires and burns as a path for generations to come.

Trailblazers like Col. Nicole Aunapu Mann and Staff Sgt. Konrad Begaye.

Col. Mann, who served as a US Marine Corps F/A-18 test pilot, is a member of the Wailacki tribe of the Round Valley Indian tribes of Northern California and has flown in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mann is the first woman of Native American descent to fly to the International Space Station as a NASA crew member.

US Army Staff Sgt. Conrad Begaye, an infantryman with the 75th Ranger Regiment and a member of the Navajo Nation, was awarded the Silver Star for his actions when his unit was ambushed by enemy forces in November 2007 in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan became.

Guest speaker Stanton Falling, a member of the Cherokee Nation, grew up on the Navajo Reservation. While growing up on the reservation, he developed a passion for studying music, which grew into a career as a bugle player.

Falling’s career spanned almost three decades before he left the Hessian State Theater Orchestra in Wiesbaden in 2022.

Native Americans have gone from “(…) defending their land from the US Army to defending their land with the US Army,” Falling said.

“Since the September 11 attacks, nearly 19 percent of all Native Americans have served in the armed forces. If you were to visit one of the many Native American reservations, you would find a prominent memorial to their tribal veterans,” Falling added.

“They (Native Americans) are proud of their tradition of serving the land.”

This tradition continues to this day.