Now the left is piling on to force a name change on the Washington Redskins despite the fact that 90% of Native Americans showing no offense, will they demand that the US Army ditch the names of all the helicopters – the AH-64 Apache, the UH-1 Iroquois, the CH-58 Kiowa Warrior, H-13 Sioux, RAH-66 Comanche, UH-60 Black Hawk, CH-47 Chinook and the UH-72 Lakota – named after Native American tribes?
For context, the H-13 Sioux was named in honor of the Native Americans who fought Army soldiers in the Sioux Wars and defeated the 7th Calvary Regiment at the Battle of Little Bighorn.
The Department of Defense noted,
“Native Americans also served as some of the fiercest fighters for the United States for more than 200 years. In fact, 32 Native Americans have earned the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor.
The tradition of naming helicopters after Native Americans was once an official regulation. That regulation no longer stands, but the tradition continues.”
Yes, Army Regulation 70-28 was created in 1969. The regulation listed criteria on how popular names would be given to major items of equipment. Helicopter names required approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
These names had to promote confidence in the abilities, the aggressive spirit, tactical application of the helicopter and not sacrifice dignity. It was an honour. Not a slight. The helicopters, once confirmed, are part of a ceremony attended by Native American leaders, who bestow tribal blessings.
So it is a badge of honour, not a racist epithet.