Medals to honor Code Talkers from Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Choctaw Nation, Osage Nation, and Pawnee Nation.
At a meeting held on June 21, 2012, the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) reviewed candidate designs prepared by the United States Mint for four Code Talker Congressional Gold Medals. This represents the second set of four designs to be reviewed, following the review of designs for four other medals earlier this year.
In 2011, Navajo Code Talkers were awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for their contributions during World War II. Under Public Law 110-420, an additional 22 tribes will be recognized for their contributions during World War I and World War II.
The gold medals shall be accepted and maintained by the Smithsonian Institution, which has been encouraged to create a standing exhibit for Native American code talkers or Native American veterans. Silver duplicate medals will be awarded to members (or their next of kin or other personal representative) of the recognized Native American tribes who served in the Armed Forces as a code talker. Finally, bronze duplicate medals are expected to be struck and sold to the public.
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. The CFA recommended obverse #2 and reverse #7, which matched the preferences of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. A suggestion was made to add the year of enactment to the phrase “Act of Congress” on the reverse.
Choctaw Nation. The CFA recommended obverse #3 and reverse #1, the same alternatives that were preferred by the Choctaw Nation. They commended the simplicity of these designs.
Osage Nation. Although the Osage Nation preferred obverse #1, the CFA recommended obverse #2. The only difference between the two designs was the omission of barbed wire in the background, which the Commission felt improved the clarity of the design. There was only a single reverse design provided by the US Mint, which the CFA supported.
Pawnee Nation. The CFA recommended obverse #2, provided that the overlap between the soldier’s hair and the border text of the medal would be eliminated. For the reverse, they recommended alternative #1, commenting that the abstract depiction would compliment the realistic obverse design.