Text: H.R.4544 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Bill Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 110-420 (10/15/2008)

 



[110th Congress Public Law 420]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


[DOCID: f:publ420.110]

[[Page 4773]]

                  CODE TALKERS RECOGNITION ACT OF 2008

[[Page 122 STAT. 4774]]

Public Law 110-420
110th Congress

                                 An Act


 
To require the issuance of medals to recognize the dedication and valor 
of Native American code talkers. <<NOTE: Oct. 15, 2008 -  [H.R. 4544]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Code 
Talkers Recognition Act of 2008. Armed Forces. 31 USC 5111 note.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Code Talkers Recognition Act of 
2008''.
SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to require the issuance of medals to 
express the sense of the Congress that--
            (1) the service of Native American code talkers to the 
        United States deserves immediate recognition for dedication and 
        valor; and
            (2) honoring Native American code talkers is long overdue.
SEC. 3. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds the following:
            (1) When the United States entered World War I, Native 
        Americans were not accorded the status of citizens of the United 
        States.
            (2) Without regard to that lack of citizenship, members of 
        Indian tribes and nations enlisted in the Armed Forces to fight 
        on behalf of the United States.
            (3) The first reported use of Native American code talkers 
        was on October 17, 1918.
            (4) Because the language used by the Choctaw code talkers in 
        the transmission of information was not based on a European 
        language or on a mathematical progression, the Germans were 
        unable to understand any of the transmissions.
            (5) This use of Native American code talkers was the first 
        time in modern warfare that such a transmission of messages in a 
        native language was used for the purpose of confusing an enemy.
            (6) On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, 
        Hawaii, and the Congress declared war the following day.
            (7) The Federal Government called on the Comanche Nation to 
        support the military effort during World War II by recruiting 
        and enlisting Comanche men to serve in the Army to develop a 
        secret code based on the Comanche language.
            (8) The United States Army recruited approximately 50 Native 
        Americans for special native language communication assignments.

[[Page 122 STAT. 4775]]

            (9) The United States Marine Corps recruited several hundred 
        Navajos for duty in the Pacific region.
            (10) During World War II, the United States employed Native 
        American code talkers who developed secret means of 
        communication based on native languages and were critical to 
        winning the war.
            (11) To the frustration of the enemies of the United States, 
        the code developed by the Native American code talkers proved to 
        be unbreakable and was used extensively throughout the European 
        theater.
            (12) In 2001, the Congress and President Bush honored Navajo 
        code talkers with congressional gold medals for the 
        contributions of the code talkers to the United States Armed 
        Forces as radio operators during World War II.
            (13) The heroic and dramatic contributions of Native 
        American code talkers were instrumental in driving back Axis 
        forces across the Pacific during World War II.
            (14) The Congress should provide to all Native American code 
        talkers the recognition the code talkers deserve for the 
        contributions of the code talkers to United States victories in 
        World War I and World War II.
SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act, the following definitions shall apply:
            (1) Code talker.--The term ``code talker'' means a Native 
        American who--
                    (A) served in the Armed Forces during a foreign 
                conflict in which the United States was involved; and
                    (B) transmitted (encoded and translated) secret 
                coded messages for tactical military operations during 
                World War I and World War II using their native tribal 
                language (non-spontaneous communications)
            (2) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Treasury.
SEC. 5. CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDALS.

    (a) Award Authorization.--The Speaker of the House of 
Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate shall make 
appropriate arrangements for the award, on behalf of the Congress, of 
gold medals of appropriate design in recognition of the service of 
Native American code talkers during World War I and World War II.
    (b) Identification of Recipients.--The Secretary, in consultation 
with the Secretary of Defense and the tribes, shall--
            (1) determine the identity, to the maximum extent 
        practicable, of each Native American tribe that had a member of 
        that tribe serve as a Native American code talker, with the 
        exception of the Navajo Nation;
            (2) include the name of each Native American tribe 
        identified under subparagraph (A) on a list; and
            (3) provide the list, and any updates to the list, to the 
        Smithsonian Institution for maintenance under section 5(c)(2).

    (c) Design and Striking of Medals.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall strike the gold medals 
        awarded under subsection (a) with appropriate emblems, devices, 
        and inscriptions, as determined by the Secretary.

[[Page 122 STAT. 4776]]

            (2) Designs of medals emblematic of tribal affiliation and 
        participation.--The design of a gold medal under paragraph (1) 
        shall be emblematic of the participation of the code talkers of 
        each recognized tribe.
            (3) Treatment.--Each medal struck pursuant to this 
        subsection shall be considered to be a national medal for 
        purposes of chapter 51 of title 31, United States Code.

    (d) Action by Smithsonian Institution.--The Smithsonian 
Institution--
            (1) shall accept and maintain such gold medals, and such 
        silver duplicates of those medals, as recognized tribes elect to 
        send to the Smithsonian Institution;
            (2) shall maintain the list developed under section 6(1) of 
        the names of Native American code talkers of each recognized 
        tribe; and
            (3) is encouraged to create a standing exhibit for Native 
        American code talkers or Native American veterans.
SEC. 6. NATIVE AMERICAN CODE TALKERS.

    The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the 
tribes, shall--
            (1) with respect to tribes recognized as of the date of the 
        enactment of this Act --
                    (A) determine the identity, to the maximum extent 
                practicable, of each Native American code talker of each 
                recognized tribe with the exception of the Navajo 
                Nation;
                    (B) include the name of each Native American code 
                talker identified under subparagraph (A) on a list, to 
                be organized by recognized tribe; and
                    (C) provide the list, and any updates to the list, 
                to the Smithsonian Institution for maintenance under 
                section 5(d)(2);
            (2) in the future, determine whether any Indian tribe that 
        is not a recognized as of the date of the enactment of this Act, 
        should be eligible to receive a gold medal under this Act; and
            (3) with consultation from the tribes listed in following 
        subsection, examine the following specific tribes to determine 
        the existence of Code Talkers:
                    (A) Assiniboine.
                    (B) Chippewa and Oneida.
                    (C) Choctaw.
                    (D) Comanche.
                    (E) Cree.
                    (F) Crow.
                    (G) Hopi.
                    (H) Kiowa.
                    (I) Menominee.
                    (J) Mississauga.
                    (K) Muscogee.
                    (L) Sac and Fox.
                    (M) Sioux.
SEC. 7. DUPLICATE MEDALS.

    (a) Silver Duplicate Medals.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall strike duplicates in 
        silver of the gold medals struck under section 5(b), to be 
        awarded in accordance with paragraph (2).

[[Page 122 STAT. 4777]]

            (2) Eligibility for award.--
                    (A) In general.--A Native American shall be eligible 
                to be awarded a silver duplicate medal struck under 
                paragraph (1) in recognition of the service of Native 
                American code talkers of the recognized tribe of the 
                Native American, if the Native American served in the 
                Armed Forces as a code talker in any foreign conflict in 
                which the United States was involved during the 20th 
                century.
                    (B) Death of code talker.--In the event of the death 
                of a Native American code talker who had not been 
                awarded a silver duplicate medal under this subsection, 
                the Secretary may award a silver duplicate medal to the 
                next of kin or other personal representative of the 
                Native American code talker.
                    (C) Determination.--Eligibility for an award under 
                this subsection shall be determined by the Secretary in 
                accordance with section 6.

    (b) Bronze Duplicate Medals.--The Secretary may strike and sell 
duplicates in bronze of the gold medal struck pursuant to section 4 
under such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, at a price 
sufficient to cover the cost thereof, including labor, materials, dies, 
use of machinery, and overhead expenses, and the cost of the gold and 
silver medals.
SEC. 8. AUTHORITY TO USE FUND AMOUNTS; PROCEEDS OF SALE.

    (a) Authority to Use Fund Amounts.--There are authorized to be 
charged against the United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund such 
amounts as may be necessary to pay for the cost of the medals struck 
pursuant to this Act.
    (b) Proceeds of Sale.--Amounts received from the sale of duplicate 
bronze medals authorized under section 7(b) shall be deposited into the 
United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund.

    Approved October 15, 2008.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 4544:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 154 (2008):
            Sept. 23, 25, considered and passed House.
            Sept. 30, considered and passed Senate.

                                  <all>