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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | Nov. 17, 2023

Joint Base Andrews celebrates Native American Heritage Month

By Airman 1st Class Gianluca Ciccopiedi | 316th Wing Public Affairs

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, the base hosted retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Samuel J. Cox, Naval History and Heritage Command director, to share stories of Native American service members’ accomplishments throughout U.S. military history with personnel, Nov. 14.

Cox spoke of Cmdr. Ernest Evans, the first Native American Medal of Honor recipient in the Navy, who earned the medal for valor in a solo, daylight-torpedo run on a Japanese naval force. Cox said that Navy historians consider this to be one of the most gallant efforts in the history of the U.S. Navy. 

Cox also spoke of other distinguished service members of Native American and Alaska Native descent, listed U.S. Navy ships named after Native Americans, and shared other facts pertaining to Native American service in the U.S. military. 

Cox closed by saying, “Based on everything Native Americans have faced throughout U.S. history, the fact that any Native American chooses to serve under our flag is an honor and something we should be incredibly grateful for.” 

Lunch was provided for the attendees, as well as a display of Native American artifacts and recreated pieces by Kathy Miller, a retired Air Force senior noncommissioned officer and Native American history enthusiast.