HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 2017-4615, by Representatives Dent, Graves, Irwin, Koster, Muri, Stonier, Haler, Ryu, Sells, Kraft, Wylie, Blake, Jenkin, Pettigrew, Slatter, Macri, Cody, Kilduff, Stanford, Johnson, Reeves, Chandler, Nealey, Griffey, Kagi, Barkis, Buys, Caldier, Condotta, DeBolt, Dye, Hargrove, Harmsworth, Harris, Hayes, Holy, Klippert, Kretz, Kristiansen, MacEwen, Manweller, McCabe, McCaslin, McDonald, Orcutt, Pike, Rodne, Schmick, Shea, Smith, Maycumber, Stambaugh, Steele, Stokesbary, Taylor, Van Werven, Vick, Volz, J. Walsh, Wilcox, Young, Lovick, Peterson, Hudgins, and Robinson
WHEREAS, The 9th and 10th Horse Cavalry Units, commonly known as the "Buffalo Soldiers," have made key contributions to the history of the United States by fighting to defend and protect our Nation; and
WHEREAS, After the Civil War, the United States faced the need for a larger "peacetime military" to occupy the south and protect settlers on the western frontier. In 1866, the United States Congress passed legislation establishing a peacetime military; and
WHEREAS, Before the legislation was passed, a hotly debated issue concerned the inclusion of African-Americans in the regular Army. Congress eventually decided to continue placing African-American recruits in segregated units. A provision of the 1866 legislation created six regiments of African-American troops, four infantry and two cavalry; and
WHEREAS, Of those six regiments, the 9th and 10th Cavalry eventually became two of the most highly decorated units in American military history; and
WHEREAS, The nickname "Buffalo Soldier" was bestowed on the troops by the Native Americans as an attestation to their valor in battle. The buffalo was a sacred animal to the Native Americans, and they would not bestow its name on the soldiers unless they were worthy adversaries, fighting ferociously to the end and living up to their motto, "Ready and Forward." The proud acceptance of the name "Buffalo Soldier" by the African-American soldiers was a badge of honor and pride for the troops; and
WHEREAS, The Buffalo Soldiers were sent to the great plains along the Rio Grande, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, and into the Dakotas. The duties of the 9th and 10th Cavalries included guarding the mail and escorting stagecoaches, cattle drives, railroad crews, and surveyors. They played a major part in building the west and making it safe for the westward expansion; and
WHEREAS, The Buffalo Soldiers answered the call to duty in places as far away as Cuba, Mexico, and the Philippines, and served alongside Theodore Roosevelt and his legendary Rough Riders. They showed courage and mettle through two world wars and the Korean war; and
WHEREAS, Units of the Buffalo Soldiers served as rangers in some of the earliest national parks, including Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park; and
WHEREAS, Despite prejudice in and out of the military and being allocated the worst horses, clothing, and equipment, these outstanding individuals earned more Congressional Medals of Honor and had the lowest desertion rate of any unit in the Army; and
WHEREAS, 2016 marked the 150th anniversary of the formation of the Buffalo Soldiers, with honorary units celebrating the anniversary, including a 10th Cavalry Unit based in Seattle;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives join the citizens of the State of Washington in honoring the bravery and dedication of the Buffalo Soldiers throughout United States and world history.
I hereby certify this to be a true and correct copy of
Resolution 4615 adopted by the House of Representatives
February 14, 2017
Bernard Dean, Chief Clerk