National Code Talkers Day is celebrated annually on Aug. 14 to honor the courage of the Navajo Code Talkers who played a critical role in the Allied victory during World War II.

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan designated Aug. 14 as National Code Talkers Day. The Navajo Code Talkers Act came into force in 2000 and in 2001, the Navajo Code Talkers were honored with Congressional Gold and Silver medals.

Code Talkers refers to an elite group of U.S. Marines who developed an unbreakable code using their native language.

The Navajo Code Talkers participated in all the assaults led by the U.S. Marines including, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Peleliu and Iwo Jima, in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945.

The Code Talkers played a vital role during these operations and conveyed messages by telephone and radio using their native language. The Japanese were unsuccessful in unearthing the messages as they could never manage to break the code.

Though the exact number of Navojo Code Talkers who served in the U.S. Marines is unknown, it is estimated that more than 400 Navajo men were recruited during World War II. There are only four Code Talkers who are alive today -- John Kinsel Sr., Samuel Sandoval, Thomas H. Begay and Peter MacDonald.

In March, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation making National Navajo Code Talkers Day a legal state holiday every year on Aug. 14.

"The Navajo Code Talkers are American heroes. They assisted on every major operation involving the U.S. Marines in the Pacific theatre, using their native language to come up with an unbreakable code. More than 400 Code Talkers answered the call to serve our nation, and Arizona is grateful for their dedication to protecting our nation. I’m proud to sign legislation that makes National Navajo Code Talkers day an official holiday, and I thank Senator Peshlakai for leading on this initiative," he had said at the time.

Philippine and US Marines taking part in a joint  exercise in San Antonio, Zambales province, in 2014
Philippine and US Marines taking part in a joint exercise in San Antonio, Zambales province, in 2014 AFP / TED ALJIBE