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Dan
07-08-2008, 06:55
Crow Nation celebrates Warriors' HomecomingBy Capt. Karla Owens, 10th SFG(A) Public Affairs

CROW AGENCY, Mont. (Sine Pari, July 3, 2008) – Modern-day warriors of the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) helped celebrate the history and culture of the Crow Nation by taking part in the Crow Native Days June 24-29.

Crow Native Days began in the 1990’s in the heart of the Apsaalooke, or Crow, Nation. The six-day event takes place every year corresponding with the anniversary of the Battle of Little Big Horn that is located in the heart of Crow Agency, Mont. This is the second time the unit has been a part of this celebration, which is meant to instill pride and historical values in its tribal members.

In 2006, the 10th SFG(A) participated with several High Altitude-Low Opening airborne jumps to begin the daily celebrations. During the course of the event, Barney Old Coyote, the tribe’s “War Counselor” since Sept. 11, 2001, blessed the unit for their upcoming deployment to Iraq; giving them a Crow Nation flag and patches with the flag adorned on it as a symbol of his blessing and appreciation. The unit took the flag and patches to Iraq in honor of the nation.

During the 2008 Crow Native Days, the Fort Carson unit honored the Crow Nation in return for the blessing and prayers by conducting three HALO jumps and presenting certificates of appreciation to the tribe elders. Additionally, they were allowed to participate in the time-honored Warriors’ Homecoming dance that is unique to the Crow Nation. With a little practice, the Soldiers danced alongside the tribe elders during six distinctive dances.

Traditionally, the warriors of the tribe blacken their cheek as a mark of victory in war. This mark was placed over their sacred face paint upon their return from battle just before the traditional dance and singing of the War Society songs. The Soldiers of the 10th SFG(A) who participated in the dances had their cheeks blackened by tribe elders and were welcomed home and honored for their ‘victories in war.’

“It is an honor to participate in the Crow Native Days, but to be allowed to participate in the Warriors Homecoming dance with the elders is an honor that I cannot describe,” one SF Soldier said after the dance was complete.

Members of the 10th SFG(A) team placed four wreaths at the Apsaalooke Veterans Park after the June 27 HALO jump. During the wreath ceremony, the senior SF member of this team spoke to the crowd on the history that is more than a century old.

In 1866, Congress authorized regularly constituted units composed of Native Americans to be known as the Indian Scouts, the first Soldiers of the U.S. Army to wear the crossed arrows now worn by the United States Army SF. In the course of their service, they received nine Congressional Medals of Honor and served dutifully for the next half-century after their creation. The last Indian Scout retired in Fort Huachuca in 1947.

On August 1942, the Secretary of War authorized the crossed arrows of the Indian Scouts to be worn by the officers and men of the First Special Service Force, established at Ft. William Henry Harrison in Helena, Mont. As was the case with the Indian Scouts, this was a unique force, whose greatest strength lay in the nature of the men who served within its ranks. It is from this joint American-Canadian unit that today’s SF derive its lineage.

Although the 10th SFG(A) was activated on June 11, 1952, as the first SF unit, it was almost half a century before the crossed arrows were officially worn again by officers and noncommissioned officers of the U.S. Army. In 1984, the Chief of Staff of the Army approved the wearing of the crossed arrows by the enlisted members of SF, in recognition of their significant contributions.

Finally, in 1987 the Secretary of the Army approved the establishment of the new combat arm, the SF branch. The crossed arrows were officially approved as the insignia of branch for the U.S. Army SF on May 22, 1987.

The Fort Carson team conducted a HALO jump June 28 to open the Indian National Finals Rodeo with a crowd of more than 700 observing from the stands. They followed this by their final jump June 29 to begin the yearly reenactment ceremony of the Battle of Little Big Horn orchestrated by the Real Bird family and members of the 7th Calvary Regiment.

The Crow Native Days continued the heritage between the Indian Scouts of the Crow Nation and the Warriors of Special Forces.

--sine pari--

x SF med
07-08-2008, 21:13
We happened to be out there for another function at that time - met the Cdr of the Team in the Quickie Mart, who sent us to Top. Meeting Top led us to invite the guys over to the function we were at, and two young guys showed up for a short visit...

Funny part of this - their air support (MT NG) landed and asked for directions at our function. Can you guess who gave the aircrew directions? (they definitely were not picking up visuals, they didn't see my 'wave off')