#VeteranOfTheDay Mitchell Red Cloud Jr.


Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Mitchell Red Cloud Jr. Mitchell served in the Marines from Aug. 11, 1941 to Nov. 9, 1945 during World War II. He also served in the Army from 1948 to 1950 during the Korean War.

Mitchell was born in Hatfield, Wisconsin, as a member of the Ho-Chunk Native American Nation. He dropped out of high school to enlist in the Marine Corps in 1941. He was assigned to the Pacific Theater after the attack on Pearl Harbor and served on the islands of Guadalcanal and Okinawa as an infantryman. Mitchell refused medical discharge after falling ill with a tropical disease in Guadalcanal. He saw frequent combat and was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1945 after being wounded in Okinawa. Upon returning to the United States, Mitchell got married and had a daughter.

Mitchell rejoined the military in 1948 as an Army infantryman. His unit was assigned to Kyushu, Japan, and later to the Korean Peninsula. On Nov. 5, 1950, Mitchell was occupying a listening post in front of his company’s base near Chonghyon, North Korea. During the night, he became suspicious after hearing unusual noises, and enemy Chinese soldiers soon emerged from the brush about 100 feet from Mitchell’s post to surprise ambush the base. Mitchell alerted his company and began firing at the enemy. He refused to leave his post even after being shot twice in the chest. With too little strength to stand up, Mitchell wrapped his arm around a tree so he could continue fighting, despite being exposed to heavy enemy fire. He continued to fire on the enemy until his eventual death, significantly slowing the enemy’s advancement. This allowed his company to reorganize and evacuate the wounded, saving many lives. Mitchell was shot at least eight times during the ordeal.

Mitchell was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a service member. The medal was given to his mother in 1951. An Army camp in South Korea, a Navy ship, a memorial park and several other locations have been named in his honor.

We honor his service.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to newmedia@va.gov with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Graphic By Lilian Vo: Lilian Vo is an undergraduate senior at George Mason University studying Global Affairs and Intelligence Analysis.


Nick Pearlman

Nick Pearlman is a junior studying Government and Business Analytics at William and Mary. He is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is currently a writing and social media intern at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.


  1. Donald T. Maciejewski    

    A real, true, heroic Native America who gave his life for his fellow soldiers and his country. Rest in peace and go with God. Semper Fi

  2. Christine Weisen    

    SGT Red Cloud is representative of the bravery of our native American brothers and the finest example of duty, honor, courage. Too often Native American service members’ contributions go unregognized. I served with Navajo and Tewa tribe members in my Naval reserve unit in Albuquerque, New Mexico and they were an integral part of meeting our readiness requirements. Most had served on active duty in the Navy.They are a credit to our country and their tribes.

  3. Ronald Morris    

    These guys were the greatest, to bad we don’t have more like him in Washington today instead of the bunch that’s there now looking out for there high dollar corporate buddies.

    1. David Dunlap    

      An honor to his race? yes indeed, but a GREAT HONOR TO HIS COUNTRY!

  4. william dixon    

    Incredibly brave and honorable was Mitchell, an honor to his race.

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