In World War II, the military used cipher machines. These machines created coded messages that the military could send to different locations when they were in battle. These machines made it easy for the military to talk in between locations without giving up their plans. The cipher machines did not work well in the jungles of the Pacific Islands. The U.S. military still wanted to speak in secret, so American Indians who spoke the Navajo language were able to help with this problem. The American Indians would speak in Navajo, so that the Japanese military wouldn’t understand what they were saying. The American Indians would then translate the Navajo langue into English revealing the message from the other base.
Why National Code Talker Day Started
Navajo Code talkers were not allowed to tell anyone about what they did for the military. They were in some of the most dangerous battles and no one knew about it. Then after World War II ended President Ronald Reagan wanted to set aside a special day to honor Navajo code talkers. In 1982 he declared Aug. 14 to be National Navajo Code Talker Day.
Important Lessons From The Code Talkers
- Carl Gorman joined the United States Marine Corps in 1942 when he learned that they were recruiting Navajos. He went through all the excruciating training and he was one of the original 29 Navajos. They were given a secret mission to develop the Navajo Code. The military officers were impressed at how fast they were able to memorize the code. When the officers asked Carl what their secret was in memorizing everything, he responded “For us, everything is memory, it’s part of our heritage. We have no written language. Our songs, our prayers, our stories, they’re all handed down from grandfather to father to children—and we listen, we hear, we learn to remember everything. It’s part of our training.”
- Chester Nez was a part of the first 29 code talkers. He published an autobiography called “Code Talker.” It was the first and only book written in a Code Talker’s own words. Nez wanted his book to show how important the Navajo culture is to our country. World War II changed how Americans viewed the Navajo people. Nez said their Navajo code was one of the most important military secrets of World War II.
How You Can Help
Did this information inspire you give back to our veterans? If you have a vehicle that you no longer need and don’t want to go through the hassle of selling it, you can donate it to Vehicles For Veterans. We are a car donation program that benefits veteran’s programs. We will pick up your vehicle from any location if it runs or not. We make the donation process easy -- you can donate online or by calling 1-855-811-4838. Help those who kept us safe during war times. Donate today!