Mike Andrews
Nov 24, 2021

Mike Andrews Reflects on Native Americans’ Proud History in U.S. Military

In a Nov. 15, 2021, article for the Washington Examiner, McGuireWoods Consulting senior vice president Mike Andrews extolled the sacrifices and contributions Native American people have made on behalf of the United States.

Native Americans serve in the U.S. Armed Forces at five times the national average, he said. Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 19 percent of Native Americans have served in the military, compared to an average of 14 percent of all other ethnicities, and almost 20 percent of all Native American service members are women.

Mike described how Native Americans have served in every major conflict for more than 200 years, sometimes prominently: “They were present during the Revolutionary War, with the Oneida and Tuscarora tribes fighting alongside General Washington. During the Civil War, General Ely S. Parker, a member of the Seneca Nation, served as General Grant’s military secretary and was instrumental in writing the terms of the Confederate surrender. During World War II, the unbreakable Code Talkers from the Navajo, Cherokee, Choctaw, Lakota, Meskwaki and Comanche tribes were responsible for transmitting critical and highly sensitive information using their indigenous language.”

He added, “WWII also produced the highest-ranking Native American ever to serve in the Army when Clarence L. Tinker, a member of the Osage Nation, was promoted to Major General of the United States Army Air Corp.”

Their service, however, has not gone completely unrecognized, he said, noting that 29 of the more than 3,500 Congressional Medals of Honor awarded through 2021 went to Native Americans.

Mike concluded: “Perhaps that is the ultimate sign of respect from the U.S. Armed Forces whose leadership believes, as do I, that [Native American] people have valor in numbers, and a willingness to protect the freedoms and liberty of this great country.”