The American Indian culture as warriors who defend their homelands and families has long since been discussed, and could be a factor in why American Indians represent the largest per capita ethnic group enlisted in the military. The bravery of Native tribes in battle has been witnessed and the U.S. military has even honored many tribes by naming its companies after them. The latest to join the fold is the Pawnee Tribe.
On October 10, the U.S. military announced that the Bravo Company 486th Civil Affairs BN of the U.S. Army will now be referred to as the Bravo/Pawnee Company.
“We chose the Pawnee Tribe due to the rich history and because we identify with the members as warriors fighting for freedom,” said 1st Sgt. Daniel Gilliss. “As my team researched the different tribes, the main thing that caught our interest in Pawnee was the Tribe’s history of battle and the members’ abilities to successfully combat hostile forces to protect their families and lands.”
A plaque will be presented to the Pawnee Nation on October 15 by the Bravo/Pawnee Company during an official ceremony held at the Tulsa Armed Forces Reserve Center located in West Tulsa, Oklahoma. Pawnee Nation President Marshall Gover will honor soldiers with a flag representing the Nation at the time, and the soldiers will wear badges created with the Pawnee flag on their helmets.
“On behalf of the Pawnee Nation, I’m very honored to be represented by the brave men and women of the Bravo/Pawnee Company,” said Gover. “It’s truly a privilege to be associated with individuals that carry such honor and pride.”
The Pawnee Nation is not only represented by the newly distinguished name but is represented by a tribal member on the command, Specialist Pearle Hare, daughter of Karen Haymond, enrollment assistant for the Nation and Walter Hare.
According to SFC David Murphy, team sergeant with the Bravo/Pawnee Company, the 486th started in July of 1955 as a U.S. Army Reserve based in Tulsa, Oklahoma that was used mostly for overseas missions. Then in 1986 the Company became a Battalion, resulting in a new jurisdiction under the U.S. Army Reserve Special Operations Forces. The unit is currently referred to as the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command.
The Battalion not only provides support for SOUTHCOM, consisting of Hurricane Mitch relief, New Havens and Safe Haven outreach, it has conducted training or operations in various commands. Some assignments have encompassed commands including: European, Pacific, Northern and Central Command, including Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
The Battalion has been a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operations in the Horn of Africa.
Bravo/Pawnee Company joins other units that include the Alpha/Apache, Charlie/Comanche, HQ/Seminole and the Delta/Codas.
“I’m also proud of our tribe members that have either previously served or who are currently representing our country. I ask that all tribe members keep these men and women in their prayers as they stand ready to fight on behalf of our Nation,” Gover said.