JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (AFNS) -- November has been designated as National American Indian Heritage Month since 1990. This is a time to celebrate the cultures, traditions, histories and acknowledge the contributions of Native Americans.
Capt. Travis Trueblood, 11th Wing assistant staff judge advocate assigned to Joint Base Andrews, is a Native American service member.
Trueblood is half Choctaw, a tribe tracing its ancestry to the Mississippi River Valley area, including parts of present-day Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida.
His father, William, a Choctaw Indian and Vietnam War veteran, made a big impact on Trueblood’s life and his call to serve.
“My father put a high emphasis and encouragement on my service,” Trueblood said. “He has been a great supporter and [has] given me a lot of advice along the way, and I appreciate that. I want to have the same legacy of service that he had and continue that contribution to the nation.”
Trueblood’s grandfather was in the Army Air Corps, and his great-grandfather was a World War I veteran. Trueblood has someone who has served in his family going all the way back to the American Revolution.
“All of the U.S. indigenous tribes have a warrior culture,” Trueblood said. “The reason for that call to serve goes back to that. This tradition of service is still very strong and when we choose to join the military, it is held in very high regards.”
Today, Trueblood’s call to serve consists of military crime prosecutions, wetland issues and legal assistance. He works along with Capt. Brian Critz, 11th WG JA reserve coordinator.
“His desire to serve is displayed through his work because he shows a clear interest in his job, stays connected with the unit, and wants to be as supportive as he can be by volunteering for additional projects,” Critz said. “He’s been a very productive and valued member.”
The Air Force's productivity depends upon our nation’s greatest strength—our remarkably diverse people.
“Diversity in the Air Force strengthens the community,” Trueblood said. “It aids in accomplishing the mission to respond, honor, defend, support and care not only for Native Americans, but for all Americans of different backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures and lifestyles.”