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    • National Navajo "Code Talkers" Day




      National Navajo “Code Talkers” Day


      On this day in History we Celebrate the National Navajo “Code Talker” Day.


      A code talker was a person employed by the military during wartime to use a little-known language as a means of secret communication. The term is most often used for United States service members during the World Wars who used their knowledge of Native American Languages as a basis to transmit coded messages. In particular, there were approximately 400 to 500 Native Americans in the United States Marine Corps whose primary job was to transmit secret tactical messages. Code talkers transmitted messages over military telephone or radio communications nets using formally or informally developed codes built upon their Indigenous languages. The code talkers improved the speed of encryption and decryption of communications in front line operations during World War II and are credited with a number of decisive victories. Their code was never broken.


      Because Navajo has a complex grammar, it is not mutually intelligible with even its closest relatives within the Na-Dene Family to provide meaningful information. At the time, it was still an unwritten language, and Johnston believed Navajo could satisfy the military requirement for an undecipherable code. Its complex syntax and phonology, not to mention its numerous dialects, made it unintelligible to anyone without extensive exposure and training. One estimate indicates that at the outbreak of World War II, fewer than 30 non-Navajo could understand the language.


      The sacrifices of the Native American Tribes made during the Second World War gave the United States a clear advantage and paved the way for success in the Pacific and Victory in the War.  


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