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Code Talkers Recognition Congressional Medals Program

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On November 20, 2013, in Emancipation Hall at the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Government recognized 33 Native American tribes for the dedication and valor of their code talkers who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World Wars I and II. Of the tribes recognized, 25 were presented with their Congressional Gold Medals.

White Mountain Apache Tribe (Arizona) Code Talkers Medal Obverse

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Obverse (above)
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White Mountain Apache Tribe (Arizona) Code Talkers Medal Reverse

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Reverse (above)
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White Mountain Apache Tribe


Designer: Barbara Fox
Engraver: Joseph Menna

The obverse design features code talkers behind sand bags. The code talker in the foreground is using a field phone to deliver a message, while the one in the background writes the coded message. Inscriptions are WHITE MOUNTAIN APACHE TRIBE and CODE TALKERS.


Designer: Barbara Fox
Engraver: Joseph Menna

The reverse design features a variation of the White Mountain Apache Tribe seal. The seal depicts a rainbow rising against the sky over a landscape with an elk standing by a river near a wikiup, or traditional dwelling. Snow-capped mountains are in the distance, while nearer, at the base of the seal, is a pine forest. An earthen Apache vase, in the foreground, is flanked by two feathers and a pair of lightning bolts near the outer edge of the seal. Inscriptions are WORLD WAR II and ACT OF CONGRESS 2008.

Note: Move your mouse over the images of the coin to zoom in on its detail.

The Program

The Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008 (Act) (Public Law 110-420) requires the Secretary of the Treasury to strike Congressional Medals in recognition of the dedication and valor of Native American code talkers to the U.S. Armed Services during World War I and World War II. “Code talkers” refers to those Native Americans who used their tribal languages as a means of secret communication during wartime.

Under the Act, unique gold medals are struck for each Native American tribe that had a member who served as a code talker. Silver duplicate medals are presented to the specific code talkers, their next of kin, or other personal representatives. In addition, bronze duplicates are available for sale to the public.

The Navajo Nation was awarded Congressional Gold Medals in 2001 under Public Law 106-554.

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