NEW LONDON, Conn. – Cherokee Nation at-large Councilor Johnny Jack Kidwell was inducted into the U.S. Coast Guard Officer Candidate School’s Wall of Gallantry in May. Kidwell served for two decades in the U.S. Coast Guard and was honored with a place on the wall for his courage and sacrifices.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., First Lady January Hoskin and First Daughter Jasmine Hoskin joined Council Kidwell and his family for the induction ceremony and plaque unveiling in New London, Conn.
“Councilor Kidwell served his country and his tribal nation for 20 years as part of the U.S. Coast Guard. He had a distinguished military career and because of his dedication and service, he was the recipient of a number of honors and medals,” Chief Hoskin said. “Today, former Lieutenant Commander Kidwell has committed to serving the Cherokee people in his role on the Council of the Cherokee Nation. He has a heart for our Cherokee warriors and works each and every day on behalf of Cherokee citizens. It was an honor for my family to join Councilor Kidwell and his family recently for his induction ceremony.”
Councilor Kidwell, of Tulsa, retired as a Lieutenant Commander from the Coast Guard in 2011 with decorations including the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Transportation 9-11 Medal, Advanced Boat Forces Operations Insignia, Cutterman & Coxswain Insignias, Commanding Officer Afloat Insignia, and a State of Oklahoma Personal Citation. He also received the Cherokee Warrior Medal of Patriotism in 2019.
“It was truly an honor to be at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Officer Candidate School with my wife, Charybel, and my sons, Jonathan and Joseph, for this induction ceremony,” Councilor Kidwell said. “I especially want to thank Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and his family for taking time out of their busy schedules to be there as well. As a Cherokee citizen, I was extremely proud to have my Principal Chief there to witness this ceremony, as it will forever memorialize a Cherokee Warrior on the hallowed ‘Wall of Gallantry.’ This is a humbling experience that I will never forget.”
Councilor Kidwell was inducted to the Wall of Gallantry “for meritorious achievement while executing special intelligence duties with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing force.” The plaque placed on the Wall of Gallantry notes Councilor Kidwell, during his service with the U.S. Coast Guard, displayed “unmatched initiative, vision and adaptability while providing unique maritime expertise, tactical guidance and operational direction.”
“It was an honor to host Lt. Cmdr. Kidwell, his family and Cherokee Nation leadership at this induction ceremony,” said Capt. Joe Meuse, commanding officer of the Leadership Development Center. “Lt. Cmdr. Kidwell’s service to our nation will continue to provide inspiration to generations of U.S. Coast Guard officers for years to come.”
The U.S. Coast Guard protects interests in U.S. ports and inland waterways, along the coasts, on international waters. One of the country’s six military services, the U.S. Coast Guard offers a unique blend of military, law enforcement, humanitarian, regulatory and diplomatic capabilities.
The Wall of Gallantry is home to citations given to alumni who have been formally recognized for significant acts of heroic service.