Rep. Tom Dent honors ‘Buffalo Soldiers’ with House Resolution

More than 150 years ago when the United States was looking to expand their peacetime military after the Civil War, the hotly debated issue concerned the inclusion of African-Americans in the Army. It was eventually decided to continue placing African-American recruits in segregated units. Two that were created, the 9th and 10th Horse Calvary Units, ended up making key contributions to our country's history and became two of the most highly decorated units in American military history. They became known as the “Buffalo Soldiers.”

On Wednesday, to honor the bravery and dedication of those soldiers, Rep. Tom Dent presented House Resolution 4615 to a group still carrying on the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers.

“Our country's history has been shaped by incredible achievements by many people during difficult times. A perfect example of that is the Buffalo Soldiers,” said Dent, R-Moses Lake. “The Civil War had just ended. They didn't need to represent the country and be part of the military. However, not only did they continue to serve, but they did so in a manner that received the highest praise and recognition for their achievements and dedication.”

Despite prejudice in and out of the military and being allocated the worst horses, clothing and equipment, the Buffalo Soldiers earned more Congressional Medal of Honors and had the lowest desertion rate of any unit in the Army.

The nickname “Buffalo Soldier” was given to the troops by the Native Americans as an attestation to their valor in battle. The buffalo was a sacred animal to Native Americans, and they would not bestow its name on the soldiers unless they were worthy adversaries. The proud acceptance of the name “Buffalo Soldier” by the African-American soldiers was a badge of honor and pride for the troops.

Dent met members of the Buffalo Soldiers at the 2016 Ellensburg Rodeo parade. He was familiar with their history, and they were familiar with his politics. After hearing about their work and continued efforts to keep their history alive, he began working on a resolution.

After the Civil War, the Buffalo Soldiers served across the United States, in foreign countries and in some national parks.

“They are also doing good things to help their communities, so it is important that we honor them and bring attention to their past and present,” Dent said.


Washington State House Republican Communications