About National Navajo Code Talkers Day
The United States government recruited and enlisted more than 400 Navajo men to serve in standard communications units. The Navajo Code Talkers used their unbreakable code to assist in every major operation involving the United States Marines in the Pacific Ocean theatre, including during the battle at Iwo Jima where they successfully transmitted more than 800 messages without error.
Navajo Code Talkers Day was established through a presidential proclamation by President Ronald Reagan on August 14, 1982. The Navajo Code Talkers Act was passed in 2000, and the Navajo Code Talkers were awarded gold and silver medals by Congress in 2001.
In 2014, Arizona passed legislation declaring every August 14 Navajo Code Talkers Day in Arizona.
In March 2021, Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation making National Navajo Code Talkers Day a legal state holiday every year on August 14, honoring the courage of the Code Talkers and their critical role in the Allied victory of WWII.
“The Navajo Code Talkers are American heroes,” said Governor Ducey. “They assisted on every major operation involving the U.S. Marines in the Pacific theatre, using their native language to come up with an unbreakable code. More than 400 Code Talkers answered the call to serve our nation, and Arizona is grateful for their dedication to protecting our nation. I’m proud to sign legislation that makes National Navajo Code Talkers day an official holiday, and I thank Senator Peshlakai for leading on this initiative.”
Under Senate Bill 1802, if National Navajo Code Talkers Day falls on a day other than Sunday, the Sunday following August 14 is to be observed as the holiday.