WASHINGTON — Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issued a memorandum on Thursday that approved a plan to rename nine Army bases, two Navy ships and more than 1,100 other items commemorating Confederate officers.
Beginning on Dec. 18, 2022, the Department of Defense will start its plan to rename assets across the country, including hundreds of streets, buildings and other assets.
Among the changes is the renaming of nine Army posts: Forts Benning and Gordon in Georgia; Forts Lee, A.P Hill and Pickett in Virginia; Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Rucker in Alabama, Fort Polk in Louisiana and Fort Hood in Texas, according to Military Times.
Navy ships USS Chancellorsville and USNS Maury will also be renamed to a name to be decided by the secretary of the navy.
Austin said that the Naming Commission, which first met in 2021, completed its analysis and provided him with recommendations to remove all DOD assets with “the names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America (commonly referred to as the ‘Confederacy’) or any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America.”
Following the change, some Army bases will be named after Black soldiers and women for the first time.
Below are some of the proposed base names released in May:
- Fort Benning — Fort Moore
- Fort Gordon — Fort Eisenhower
- Fort Bragg — Fort Liberty
- Fort Hood — Fort Cavazos
- Fort Picket — Fort Van Barfoot
- Fort Lee — Fort Gregg-Adams
- Fort A.P Hill — Fort Walker
- Fort Polk - Fort Johnson
- Fort Rucker - Fort Novosel
Austin — the nation’s first Black Pentagon chief — thanked the Naming Commission for the 18 months of work in the memo.
I thank the Commission for its tremendous work and dedication, its determination to respond to the directives of our elected representatives in Congress, and its sensitivity to the concerns and emotions raised by this important discussion. The Commission’s thorough and historically informed work has put the Department on a path to meet Congressional intent — and to remove from U.S. military facilities all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederacy. The Commission has chosen names that echo with honor, patriotism, and history — names that will inspire generations of Service members to defend our democracy and our Constitution.— Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Implementation of the Naming Commission's Recommendations
It will cost the Pentagon an estimated $62.5 million to implement the recommendations.
The complete list of assets to be renamed can be found here.
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