WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Congressionally mandated commission announced on Tuesday its recommendations for changes to the names of nine U.S. Army bases that currently honor the Confederacy and Confederate leaders.
The recommended changes, if implemented, would name bases in honor of Black, Hispanic and female American heroes, including Mary Edwards Walker, the only woman to win the Medal of Honor for her service as a surgeon during the Civil War. They are:
* Fort Benning, Georgia – rename Fort Moore after Lieutenant General Hal and Julia Moore.
* Fort Bragg, North Carolina – rename Fort Liberty after the value of liberty.
* Fort Gordon, Georgia – rename Fort Eisenhower after General of the Army Dwight Eisenhower.
* Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia – rename Fort Walker after Dr. Mary Walker
* Fort Hood, Texas – rename Fort Cavazos after General Richard Cavazos
* Fort Lee, Virginia – rename Fort Gregg-Adams after Lieutenant General Arthur Gregg and Lieutenant Colonel Charity Adams
* Fort Pickett, Virginia – rename Fort Barfoot after Technical Sergeant Van T. Barfoot
* Fort Polk, Louisiana – rename Fort Johnson after Sergeant William Henry Johnson
* Fort Rucker, Alabama – rename Fort Novosel after Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael J. Novosel, Sr.
The commission, which has no power to change the names on its own, said it will complete a written report for Congress by Oct. 1. Under previous legislation passed by Congress, the Pentagon will be required to implement changes by 2024, it said.
The United States has been re-examining its history and removing segregationist symbols across the country following the May 25, 2020, murder of George Floyd, a Black man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
That re-examination has extended to the U.S. military, which quickly issued a de facto ban on displaying the Confederate flag at U.S. military installations. Congress then passed legislation requiring changes to base names, despite fierce opposition from then-President Donald Trump.
Confederate flags and base names can be offensive to many Americans, who see them as reminders of the enslavement of Black Americans and a symbol of white supremacy.
(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Leslie Adler)