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NEWS | Nov. 24, 2015

U.S. Army Reserve Aviation command hosts National American Indian Heritage Month Observance on Fort Knox

By Capt. Matthew Roman 11th Theater Aviation Command

FORT KNOX, Ky. – U.S. Army Reserve soldiers from the 11th Theater Aviation Command (TAC), headquartered at Fort Knox, co-hosted a National American Indian Heritage Month observance, with guest speaker, Matthew “Black Eagle Man” Cordes, Nov. 20 on Fort Knox.

“It is truly a privilege to be here and I want to personally thank you all for accompanying us today to celebrate National American Indian Heritage Month”, said Brig. Gen. Scott Morcomb, Commanding General of the 11th Theater Aviation Command.

November is National American Indian Heritage Month and its purpose it to recognize the significant contributions that American Indians made to the establishment and growth of the U.S.

Before introducing the guest speaker, U.S. Army Aviator, Brig. Gen. Morcomb, highlighted the relationship that Army Aviation has to American Indian Heritage. “Our helicopters, such as the CH-47 Chinook, UH-60 Blackhawk and AH-64 Apache are all named after various Indian Tribes and prominent figure heads. The U.S. Army adopted these names because of the quality and fighting spirit of American Indian Heritage accurately captured by the various capabilities, mobility, endurance and firepower of the aircraft in our arsenal”, added Morcomb.

Following opening remarks, Morcomb introduced Cordes, whose lifelong experiences led him and his wife to found Red Road Awareness, a non-profit organization in Louisville that was created to assist American Indians in crisis in the local area.

Cordes addressed gatherers about his unique life story, as well as orchestrating native music and dance ensembles for those in attendance.  

Cordes, was born Kevin Prince on Long Plain First Nation Indian reserve in Manitoba, Canada. He was adopted at the age of nine after spending three years in 33 foster homes.

Ironically, the 11th TAC, co-hosted this observance, while simultaneously conducting the Equal Opportunity (EO) Leaders course comprised of U.S. Army Reserve and U.S. Army active duty commands working together.

The EO Leaders course is designed to educate and train its students about the Army’s EO program in order to help their leadership enforce this policy within their own units.  The EO program is designed to sustain a comprehensive effort to ensure fair treatment for military personnel and family members without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation and provide an environment free of unlawful discrimination and offensive behavior.

The 11th TAC is the only aviation command in the Army Reserve. The 11th TAC has two missions, functioning as both a warfighting headquarters and as a functional command. As a war-fighting command, the 11th TAC provides command & control, staff planning, and supervision for two aviation brigades and one air traffic service battalion. As a functional command the 11th TAC provides command and control for all Army Reserve Aviation.