There are still many great warriors, here’s one.
Gathered by Colton Butler
In honor of Veterans Day the Indian Leader would like to present to you a great American named Darren F. Keahtigh. Keahtigh is the uncle of Haskell business school senior Colton Butler. He has been in the military for many years and has helped lead many young men into battle and back home to their families. We at the Indian Leader hope everyone takes the time to read this short biography of one of our remaining Native American warriors.
Major Darren F. Keahtigh received his ROTC commission from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1997. His formal education includes an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern Junior College in 1995, Bachelors in Criminal Justice from University of Central Oklahoma in 1997 and projected graduation date of FALL 2015 from University of Central Michigan in Administration Human Resources.
Following graduation from Miami High School, Keahtigh entered Army active duty on 8/14/1990 as an enlisted Infantryman in Germany. After completing his initial enlistment he was honorably discharged and attended college. Following graduation from the University of Central Oklahoma, he entered Army active duty in May of 1997 as an Infantry Officer. His assignments included service as Platoon Leader and Executive Officer with 2nd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment (Rakkasan), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Keahtigh was also the Battalion Assistant S3 and Bravo Company Commander with the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, and 1st Cavalry Division. He was a Maneuver and Logistic Observer Controller at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, Louisiana, the Brigade Rear Detachment S3, Brigade Planner, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division and the Squadron S3, Security Forces Assistant Advisor Commander with 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, and Fort Carson, Colorado. Keahtigh is currently assigned as an Observer Controller and Operations Officer to Operations Group Charlie, Mission Command Training Program, and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
MAJ Keahtigh’s military education includes the Infantry Officers Basic Course, Infantry Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms Staff Course, Mechanized Leaders Course, Joint Fire Power Course, and the Command and General Staff College of Ft. Leavenworth.
MAJ Keahtigh’s civilian education includes, Associates Degree, Criminal Justice, from Northeastern A&M Junior College, Bachelors Degree, Criminal Justice, University Central Oklahoma, Project Management Certification, Johnson County Community College (Graduation January 2015), Master of Science, Administration Human Resource, from University Central Michigan (Graduation May 2015).
MAJ Keahtigh’s operational assignments includes Company Commander of Bravo, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division in Iraq from May 2003 to December 2004, There he commanded Bravo Company through the Battle of Al Najaf (August 2004) and the Battle of Fallujah (November-December 2004). Keahtigh’s next deployment was the Squadron S3 of 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. The Squadron conducted three separate mission sets in MAY 2010 to MAY 2011. His last deployment as a Commander of Security Forces Advisory Assistant team in the Arghandab River Valley mentoring the Arghandab District Police, while assigned to the 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, while serving in Afghanistan.
MAJ Keahtigh’s awards and decoration include the Bronze Star Medal (3rd Award), Meritorious Service Medal (3rd Award), Army Commendation Medal with Valor Device (Battle of Al Najaf), Army Commendation (3rd Award), Army Achievement Medal (5th Award), Valorous Unit Ribbon (Battle Al Najaf), Naval Unit Commendation (Battle of Fallujah), Army Superior Unit Award (Surge Campaign 2007), National Defense Service Medal with Star Device, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (1 deployment), Iraqi Campaign Medal (2 deployments), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-commissioned Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (3 tours), and NATO Medal (Afghanistan). Additionally, he has been awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Air Assault Badge.
He has three children: 15 year old son Kody, 12 year old daughter Kaylynn, and 7 year old daughter Kacie. MAJ Keahtigh is an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation; is also Kiowa/Cheyenne-Arapaho.
Thank you for your service Major Keahtigh and to all the veterans out there. You are all truly warriors indeed.