Pfc. Preston Toledo and Pfc. Frank Toledo, Navajo cousins in a Marine artillery regiment in the South Pacific, relay orders over a field radio in their native tongue (US Military image)

August 14 is National Navajo Code Talkers Day. SFI commemorates the World War II Code Talkers' remarkable achievement in using an evolved human language to create the most advanced encryption algorithms of the day.

"This moment in history touches on much that is of great interest to SFI -- cryptosystems, conflict, cooperation, the evolution of human language, and the amazing creativity Southwestern culture, " says Institute President David Krakauer.

The Navajo Code Talkers were recruited to the U.S. war effort in 1942 to assist in secret military communications. By translating military messages into their native language and then transmitting them, this bilingual group of specially trained Navajos created the only unbreakable spoken code in modern military history. The Code Talkers served with military units in major engagements in the Pacific theater from 1942 to 1945.

The Code Talkers received no recognition for their achievement until the declassification of the program in 1968. In 1982, they were recognized by U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who declared August 14 National Navajo Code Talkers Day.

More about the Navajo Code Talkers