The process of removing names from military installations, ships and other items that were inspired by Confederates and adopting new names is underway.
The Pentagon announced on Thursday that William A. LaPlante, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainability, directed the Department of Defense to move forward with implementing the renaming recommendations made by the Commission on the Naming of Items last summer.
The DoD said in an announcement that naming bases after Confederates had been done during “the height of the Jim Crow Laws in the South,” in an effort to garner support from the South and without consideration for Black service members.
“All this changed in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd in 2020,” the announcement said. “Many people protested systemic racism and pointed to Confederate statues and bases as part of that system.”
DEFENSE SECRETARY AUSTIN ORDERS RENAMING OF MILITARY BASES WITH CONFEDERATE TIES
The commission released its recommendations in a three-part final report to Congress in August and September.
As per the recommendations, many well-known bases and items will receive new names. For example, Fort Bragg in North Carolina – named after Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg – will be renamed Fort Liberty. Fort Gordon, Georgia, named for senior Confederate officer John Brown Gordon, will become Fort Eisenhower, in honor of Army General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Fort Hood, Texas, originally named for Confederate officer John Bell Hood, will be known as Fort Cavazos, after Gen. Richard Cavazos, the first Hispanic man to earn a four-star rank in the US Army.
NAMING COMMISSION RECOMMENDS ARMY AND NAVAL ACADEMIES SCRAP NAMES OF CONFEDERATE ALUMNI
These are just a few of the nine bases set for renaming. Among other renamings are locations at the US Military Academy named for Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and PGT Beauregard.
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Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin accepted all the recommendations, which must now be put into effect by the end of this year.