The unit was composed largely of Mexican Americans and Native Americans from 20 different tribes. Despite experiencing widespread discrimination in their civilian lives, the Bushmasters still signed up to defend their country and unload a metric ton of Latino and Native strategy and skill across the Pacific.

The Bushmasters were instrumental in attaining victory during their first major engagement in New Guinea’s Battle of Lone Tree Hill.

During the Battle of Lingayan Gulf in the Philippines, they captured two Japanese artillery pieces that had stopped the invasion force’s advance, earning them the highest American and Filipino awards an Army unit can receive.

The Bushmasters’ motto of “Cuidado” served them well in the jungles of the Pacific and continues to be a fitting parental warning to kids who won’t stop jugando de mano.


Steph Amaya Mora (she/her/hers) is the Arizona Digital Partner Organizer, based in Phoenix, Arizona. She's Mexican and Salvadoran-American journalist who has volunteered and helped organize with local groups throughout her professional career. She has experience writing stories and producing podcasts for Ability360, the Center for Independent Living in Phoenix, servicing people with disabilities and promoting the center. She has a bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University.