National American Indian Heritage Month - The Story of Red Cloud, Medal of Honor Recipient
Yongsan Garrison, South Korea - Native American Indian Heritage Month Observance, hosted by the 65th Medical Brigade, was held at the Dragon Hill Lodge, Yongsan Garrison, Nov. 23, 2016.
"The purpose of Native American Indian Heritage Month Observance is to celebrate and recognize their achievements and show appreciation to contributions they have made to the Army," said Col. Melaina Sharpe, Chief of Clinical Operations, 65th Medical Brigade. "From this observance, we provide education and awareness about our Native American brothers and sisters who we serve with."
Throughout U.S. military history, American Indians have served with commitment as an indispensable part of all the branches of service in both times of peace and war.
During the observance, members of the military took time to recognize one particular Native American Soldier.
"This year, we honored the fearless bravery of a young Native American Soldier named Red Cloud who sacrificed himself to give his battle buddies enough time to fight against Chinese forces," said Sgt. 1st Class Ramirez Wallace, the 65th Medical Brigade's Equal Opportunity Advisor.
In 1950, during the Korean War, Cpl. Red Cloud, assigned to the 24th Infantry Division, was manning a listening post on the ridge of Hill 123 near Chonghyon, North Korea, armed with a Browning machine gun.
When he detected Chinese forces making a coordinated night attack near Hill 123, he instantly gave an alarm to his company and poured intense and accurate firing into the flooding troops.
His ruthless firing held off the attack but he was eventually outnumbered by the large Chinese force.
"Though Red Cloud got struck by them several times, he refused to succumb and wrapped an arm around a small tree and fired until his last breath," said Wallace.
Several months later, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his incredible individual effort, courageousness and determination in the face of heavy enemy aggression.
In May of 1957, Camp Red Cloud was named after Cpl. Red Cloud as a reminder of his dedication to his fellow Soldiers and to his country.
Red Cloud's heroism is just one example of the Native American commitment to our country, therefore, every year we celebrate and honor their heritage, accomplishments and dedication through the observance of the Native American Indian Heritage Month.