Since Osama bin Laden’s death controversy has stirred due to the code name used for bin Laden: “Geronimo.” Various Native American groups and websites have accused the military of being Anti-Native American because of this code name. In the age of being offended at everything, it is no surprise that this is what is troubling people. The code naming of bin Laden probably had more to do with Geronimo being one of the more famous outlaws that evaded the US Military for decades, not any direct comparisons of the actual person. Also the term “Geronimo” is commonly used to describe a daring action. It also may have simply been random, like most code names. Even if the code name was chosen because they believed “Geronimo” was fitting, it still isn’t an attack on all Native Americans. There is no comparison between Geronimo and bin Laden, but Geronimo was no one to look up to. He was blood thirsty, extremely violent, and cared about nothing but war. It is perfectly reasonable to dislike Geronimo, but love Native Americans in general.
The accusation that the modern US military is “Anti-Native American” is absurd if your paying any attention. Native Americans are referenced in the military for dozens of things, most of the time positively. The US Army’s 2nd Infantry Division proudly displays a Native American warrior on its unit patch. Most modern helicopters are named after Native American tribes. There was even a Marine Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan named Geronimo.
We shouldn’t expect elite members of the US military who are conducting unprecedentedly dangerous operations to conform to the romantic sensibilities of a hyper-politically correct view of a “Native American Hero.”
UPDATE: The title of this post was previously “Navy Seals are heroes, Geronimo was not” The title was changed because whether or not Geronimo is considered a hero is largely irrelevant to the more significant points: The nature of code names (not being a direct comparison) and the code name not being an attack on all Native Americans.