The US Army tradition of naming helicopters after Native American Tribes (something that was once an official regulation) dates to 1947 and General Hamilton Howze who felt that helicopters were meant to attack the flank and fade away…in the tradition of the Plains Indian tribes.
US Army Aviation was centered in Fort Sill Oklahoma, which has a substantial Native American population.
When the Cobra attack helicopters were named, the Native American tribes inquired why it wasn’t named after a tribe. The Army responded by saying that it was avoiding potential offense by naming an outright weapon of war after a tribe.
The tribes responded by declaring there were many tribes proud of their warrior heritage whose members would love having attack choppers like the Apache named after them.