He Lied to Serve His Country: The Story of Navajo Code Talker Carl Gorman

Ruth Ann Hattori

It's after the devastation of the Pearl Harbor surprise attack in Hawaii. Men rush to fight, some even lied about their age to enlist. Many boys of 15 or 16 lied about their age so they could serve. Carl Gorman lied to join a special group for which he was too old. Gorman heard that the Marines wanted Navajos for "special duty". To qualify for this special group you had to be younger than 30 to be eligible. At that time Navajos didn't have records of their ages. Even so, Carl knew that he was older than 30, but he lied and said that he was 28 so that he could join. He later learned that the "special duty" was to become a "Code Talker". He was one of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers. Throughout WWII, the Navajo code remained unbroken.

Carl Gorman later became an artist and is the father of renowned Navajo artist R.C. Gorman. His paintings are primarily of Native American women. He has been referred to as "the Picasso of American Indian artists" by The New York Times.


Ruth Ann Hattori, Marketing Director