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Lv 4
? asked in Politics & GovernmentMilitary · 8 years ago

Why are so many American military helicopters named after Native American tribes?

helicopters with names such as Chinook, Apache, Comanche, Iroquois, etc.

Who decided this trend? Is there a reason for it?

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    its because the government still sees native people as war like. they still use terms like "off the reservation" for a combatant that is on the loose and "indian country" when referring to enemy territories. despite being in the military in large numbers, the government still views us as the enemy. it is NOT an honor as we have been saying for decades now.

    Source(s): mohawk
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  • Jamie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    You asked "why' well that is a good point. The long posting, I think is from Army Aviation Digest, or such is fairly accurate. It was about 1955 or so when the policy was set out, by the US Army alone. The numerous helicopters, many about forgotten, all had names based upon Native American tribes. The 1966 issues with the Cobra is solely due to the DOD being in a legal hassle with Piper Aviation which was also naming aircraft after Indians. The artices written after 1967 are full of what is basicially "nice" material about the Army seeking approval from the varied tribes, which they did. But in the 1950's it was just like naming a baseball or football team after some Native American tribe. The Otter and Beaver fixed wings were already made (one from Canada) when the military signed the contracts. they actually flew in Vietnam, amazing span of service. But we also had Sioux, Mohawk and others. A few PAR parachute Infantry regiments have native American names or slogans, etc.

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  • Jeff
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    Mate, this is the most interesting thing I have read on here all day. I hope you get an answer. Will be watching your post. Edit: Traditionally, Armed Forces choose a subject to give name to its ships, airplanes or vehicles.

    The U.S. Army aviation began in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma prior to moving to FT. Rucker, Alabama. Ft. Sill is located in the heart of many native american reservations and in honor of the location they decided to name helicopters after the various indian tribes. The one exception is the Bell AH-1 Cobra which was named such because the army did not want to offend the native americans by naming a gunship after an indian tribe and have the be percieved as an insult. Shortly thereafter many tribal leaders inquired as to why the Army stopped naming helicopters after indians. When the reason was explained the leaders stated that there are many aggressive indian tribes that are fit to name a gunship after which was where the Apache, Kiowa warrior, and formerly the Commanche all got thier names from.

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  • Watson
    Lv 5
    5 years ago

    Respect

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  • 8 years ago

    Yeah.....and cars, like the Cherokee. We really don't care for the habit, to tell the truth. Same with naming horses and dogs after us: Dakota, Navajo, Cheyenne, ect..

    You'd never hear someone naming something- The Italians, The Germans, The Jews, ect....

    Sports mascots, too. yeah, that's not racist or anything. Why don't they have the Cleveland Negroes or the Washington Chinks?

    I'm actually surprised you noticed. Most white people don't see anything wrong with it.

    Source(s): Navajo (my tribe actually successfully sued Urban Outfitters to stop using our name to market their stuff)
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  • 8 years ago

    That's just the nomenclature system they came up with back in the 50s.

    If you want to be all technical about it, for the most part, the companies that make them come up with the names, we just use them.

    "Is there a reason for it?"

    Not really, no. Other than wanting to give names to systems.

    Source(s): Active-duty Navy
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  • 8 years ago

    Good point. I guess taking their land wasn't enough.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Its our way of compensating them for the genocide we waged against them back in the day.

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