A bipartisan commission announced potential new names today for nine Army bases that are currently named for Confederate officers, which it will officially send to Congress by Oct. 1.
The fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act directed the Pentagon to create a "Naming Commission" to review military bases and other equipment that honor the Confederacy. Authority to rename the bases lies with the Defense Department, which is supposed to implement the changes by Jan. 1, 2024.
The following bases will be renamed, according to the commission’s plan:
- Ft. Benning, GA, would be renamed Ft. Moore
- Ft. Bragg, NC, would be renamed Ft. Liberty
- Ft. Gordon, GA, would be renamed Ft. Eisenhower
- Ft. A.P. Hill, VA, would be renamed Ft. Walker
- Ft. Hood, TX, would be renamed Ft. Cavazos
- Ft. Lee, VA, would be renamed Ft. Gregg-Adams
- Ft. Pickett, VA, would be renamed Ft. Barfoot
- Ft. Polk, LA, would be renamed Ft. Johnson
- Ft. Rucker, AL, would be renamed Ft. Novosel
Ft. Belvoir, VA, did not meet the criteria for renaming established by Congress, according to the commission. But the commission “will recommend the Department of Defense conduct its own naming review of the post.”
National Guard installations are under state control, so the commission does not plan to recommend new names for those that honor Confederate leaders.
The final report to Congress will include naming recommendations for two Navy vessels, “along with many other items,” according to the Naming Commission.
“Today’s announcement highlights the Commission's efforts to propose nine new installation names that reflect the courage, values, sacrifices, and diversity of our military men and women,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement today.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) also praised the commission’s work.
“This list is but a first step in addressing Confederate symbolism in the U.S. military, a process that is more than symbolic,” Smith said. “This process has created a new opportunity to foster a more inclusive environment for our service members by remembering and acknowledging our country’s history while honoring the valor and sacrifice of our service members and their families.”