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Lifesavers

Navajo Code Talkers

by Matthew Brantley from Fredericksburg, Virginia

The Navajo code talkers were an integral part of the success of the allied powers in World War II. They are the unsung heroes that helped win the war. The Navajo code talkers were a group of Native Americans who used their language to create an unbreakable code that was quickly and easily decipherable. The Navajo code talkers are my heroes because not only did they fight for a country that did not accept them as citizens, but they did so willingly and they made a massive impact on the war doing a very dangerous, specialized job. 

Not only is communication a vital part of winning a war, but in many cases it can be a very dangerous job. The Navajo code talkers created a code that was never broken and was able to be deciphered much quicker than the code sent previously. “Marine Corps leadership selected twenty-nine Navajo men. These men would go on to become the founder of the Navajo Code Talkers, who created a code based on the complex, unwritten Navajo language. The code primarily used word association by assigning a Navajo word to key phrases and military tactics” (“Honoring Native American Code Talkers”). The code created was vital to the success of the US because they could send codes with confidence that they would not be deciphered. 

Being a code talker was a very dangerous job. They were sent into the war with the knowledge of the entire communication network of the United States, which made them a prime target for the enemy. “Because the code was considered to be so important, many Code Talkers were assigned guards and were not allowed to move around alone” (“Navajo Code Talkers and the Unbreakable Code”). The task of being a code talker was not only very dangerous but it also required you to be very specialized. The code talkers needed to be able to decipher the code without delay, ensuring quick, accurate, and seamless communication. As a soccer player, communication is a major part of the sport, and I know how difficult communication is sometimes. To know that they sent over 800 transmissions and none of them were deciphered or translated incorrectly is very impressive, and that’s why they are my heroes. They were proficient at a major part of my life and I can look up to them and learn from them. 

To me, being a hero not only means sacrificing your well-being for the well-being of others but also being kind and willing to fight for the greater cause. The Navajos were not even considered citizens by the people of the United States, but they fought for the greater cause and what they thought was right. Even after the war, the efforts of the Navajo code talkers were kept secret so they did not receive the attention and praise that they deserved. “Despite earning the respect of their fellow soldiers and marines, Code Talkers received no recognition on the home front” (“Honoring Native American Code Talkers”). The code talkers helped the US with no expectation of reward.

Although the Navajo code talkers are not your conventional heroes, they are heroes to me because they fought and helped win wars doing dangerous tasks, and they got little to no recognition by the public after. The code talkers have many characteristics of a hero like kindness, courageousness, and they were forgiving people that deserve recognition and praise for their sacrifices and roles in World War One and Two.

 

Page created on 5/14/2021 6:16:35 PM

Last edited 5/18/2021 7:32:02 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.
 

Bibliography

, . Navajo Code Talkers and the Unbreakable Code. [Online] Available www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/2008-featured-story-archive/navajo-code-talkers/..2008.

Paris, Jessica. 1942: Navajo Code Talkers. [Online] Available www.intelligence.gov/index.php/people/barrier-breakers-in-history/453-navajo-code-talkers.

, . Honoring Native American Code Talkers. [Online] Available www.doi.gov/blog/honoring-native-american-code-talkers.2017.