PUBLIC NEWS RELEASES
Young Marines Honor Navajo Code Talkers
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
 
More than 100 Young Marines from across the country traveled to Window Rock, Arizona, for the annual National Navajo Code Talkers Day on Tuesday, August 14, 2018. The event recognizes the Navajo men who joined the U.S. Marine Corps during World War I
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YM SgtMaj Lauren Loria named ‘National Young Marine of the Year’
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
 
The Young Marines announced the 2018 - 2019 National Young Marine of the Year – YM SgtMaj Lauren Loria. She is a member of the Col. Wesley Fox Young Marines in Sterling, Virginia.
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Young Marines National Foundation announces National Security Leadership Award
Monday, May 28, 2018
 
The Young Marines National Foundation presented the inaugural National Security Leadership Award on behalf of the Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (DMGS) to Colette S. Prosser of the Richland County Young Marines in Mansfield, Ohio.
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Young Marines Name 'National Adult Volunteer of the Year' - Colette Prosser
Friday, May 25, 2018
 
The Young Marines named Colette S. Prosser of Mansfield, Ohio, the “National Adult Volunteer of the Year”. Prosser volunteered an astounding 2,538 hours during the past fiscal year.
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Upstate Young Marines of Greenville, South Carolina, is the 2018 National Unit of the Year
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
 
The Young Marines announced the “2018 National Unit of the Year” – Upstate Young Marines of Greenville, South Carolina. Upstate Young Marines has 58 active Young Marines and 18 adult volunteers.
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The DEA presents Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena awards to six units of the Young Marines
Monday, May 21, 2018
 
The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Young Marines announced the Young Marines unit winners of the Enrique "Kiki" Camarena Award. The award honors six units for drug demand reduction efforts through community education and peer-to-peer role mo
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Wilson Lee Named New Deputy Director of Young Marines
Thursday, May 10, 2018
 
Wilson Lee, Division 6 Commander of the Young Marines, has been hired as the Deputy Director – East / Chief of Staff.
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Young Marines mourns the passing of R. Lee Ermey, celebrity spokesperson
Monday, April 16, 2018
 
The Young Marines mourns the passing of R. Lee Ermey, 74. Ermey was the celebrity spokesperson for the Young Marines, lending his name and his strong support to the youth program.
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Ten Young Marines traveled to Iwo Jima for the annual ‘Reunion of Honor’
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
 
Ten youth members of the Young Marines escorted WWII veterans to Guam and Iwo Jima for the annual “Reunion of Honor” trip.
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Young Marines names ‘Division Young Marines of the Year’
Friday, February 2, 2018
 
The Young Marines has named six winners of one of its most prestigious awards - the “Division Young Marine of the Year. Each honoree is awarded a cash scholarship and will travel throughout the division to other units to lead, motivate, and serve as
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Fourteen-Year-Old Hero And Young Marine Honored By The San Diego City Council
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
 
City of San Diego declares “Sophia M. Righthouse Day” to honor heroic Young Marines member YM MSgt. Righthouse from Miramar Young Marines.
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Hanover Area Young Marine featured in TIME Magazine’s ‘Top 100 Photos for 2017’
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
 
YM MgySgt Garett Brauning from Hanover Area Young Marines is featured in Time Magazine’s “Top 100 Photos for 2017
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Young Marines Participate in 76th Pearl Harbor Remembrance
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
 
One hundred fifty youth members of the Young Marines traveled to Hawaii to participate in the Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance.
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Jeremy Jones Named Director of Operations for the Young Marines
Thursday, November 16, 2017
 
The Young Marines hired Jeremy Jones as its new director of operations. Jones is responsible for assisting Bill Davis and all deputy directors with implementation, review and monitoring key planning documents.
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Young Marines Awarded Jimmy Trimble Scholarships by the American Veterans Center
Monday, October 9, 2017
 
Young Marines SSgt LaFrance Daniels III and Young Marines GySgt Shamila Forbes were selected to receive Jimmy Trimble Scholarships from the American Veterans Center.
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SELECTED ARTICLE
Young Marines Honor Navajo Code Talkers
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
 

Young Marines perform a wreath laying for Navajo Code Talkers Day in 2018More than 100 Young Marines from across the country traveled to Window Rock, Arizona, for the annual National Navajo Code Talkers Day on Tuesday, August 14, 2018. The event recognizes the Navajo men who joined the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II as communication specialists and developed an unbreakable code using their native language.

Members of the Young Marines, a national youth organization, began attending Navajo Code Talkers Day in 2006. To date, more than 1,500 Young Marines have experienced the event. The Young Marines are asked to share their unique experience with their history classes, which means that thousands of kids who might not have otherwise known about the Code Talkers will be touched by their participation.

"The Young Marines have become important participants in this special day,” said Brenda McNulty, Young Marines’ organizer of the event. “The Navajo veterans are more than just WWII heroes. They are dear friends to the Young Marines. Our partnership with the Code Talkers and their descendants has strengthened year after year.”

While onsite for three days, the Young Marines did community service by cleaning and weeding the Navajo Nation Zoo, and cleaning graffiti off the red rocks on Window Rock peak. On Navajo Code Talkers Day, the Young Marines escort the Navajo veterans, march in the parade, and perform a wreath laying ceremony.

“The Young Marines are assuring the legacy of these very special veterans,” said Bill Davis, national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “They will not be forgotten. In addition, we are very grateful to the Office of the President and Vice President of the Navajo Nation for continuing to support this event and include the Young Marines in honoring these heroes of WWII.”

Looking back

The Navajo Code Talkers were an important reason the Allies succeeded in the Pacific arena during World War II. In 1942, there were about 50,000 Navajo tribe members. As of 1945, 540 Navajos served as Marines, 420 as code talkers. The Navajo soldiers’ unbreakable code saved thousands of lives and helped end WWII.

The Navajo Code Talkers may have been World War II heroes, but the public didn’t realize it, because the code remained a top military secret for decades following the war.

In July, 1982, some 37 years after the Japanese surrender, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation that read (in part):  "Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate August 14, 1982, as National Navajo Code Talkers Day, a day dedicated to all members of the Navajo Nation and to all Native Americans who gave of their special talents and their lives so that others might live. I ask the American people to join me in this tribute, and I call upon federal, state and local officials to commemorate this day with appropriate activities.”

The brave soldiers' contributions became better known with the release of the 2002 movie, “Windtalkers,” starring Nicolas Cage. Although the movie received mixed reviews, it exposed the public to World War II’s Native American heroes. 

Japanese intelligence experts broke every code the U.S. forces devised. They were able to anticipate American actions at an alarming rate. With plenty of fluent English speakers at their disposal, they sabotaged messages and issued false commands in order to ambush Allied troops.

To combat this, World War I veteran Philip Johnston suggested that the U.S. military develop a code based on the Navajo language which was unwritten. The son of a missionary to the Navajos, Johnston was one of the few non-Navajos who spoke their language fluently. He had been brought up on a Navajo reservation, and he knew that many Navajo words have different meanings depending on context. Once he demonstrated to the Marine Corps how effective a Navajo-based code would be in thwarting intelligence breaches, the Marines signed up Navajos as radio operators.

In 1942, 29 Navajos ranging in age from 15 to 35, created the first U.S. military code based on their indigenous language. It started with a vocabulary of 200 terms but tripled in quantity by the time World War II ended. 

The Navajo code talkers could pass messages in as little as 20 seconds. The code was so complex that not even native Navajo speakers could comprehend it. The code also proved unique, because the Navajo soldiers weren’t allowed to write it down once they were on frontlines of the war. Everything was memorized.

During the first two days of the Battle of Iwo Jima, the code talkers transmitted 800 messages with no mistakes. Their efforts played a key role in the U.S. emerging victoriously from the Battle of Iwo Jima as well as the battles of Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan and Okinawa.

About the Young Marines

The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c (3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline, so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Since the Young Marines' humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to 270 units with 9,000 youth and 2,600 adult volunteers in 40 states, the District of Columbia, Japan, and affiliates in other countries.

For more information, visit the official website at: https://www.YoungMarines.com

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Media Contact: Andy Richardson
Ginny Richardson Public Relations
arichardson@gr-pr.com or 630-789-8899

 
MISSION The mission of the Young Marines is to positively impact America's future by providing quality youth development programs for boys and girls that nurtures and develops its members into responsible citizens who enjoy and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. MOTTO Strengthening the lives of America's youth
6/11/2014 4:43:58 PM