The Naming Commission has whittled down its list to 87 possible new names for U.S. military installations named after Confederate commanders during the Civil War.
The debate around the DoD's various properties honoring Confederate officers resurfaced following the killing of George Floyd in 2020 by police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His death sparked a nationwide movement against racism, police brutality, and racial injustice throughout American society. Specifically, the question of renaming the Army's installations named for Confederates was revisited.
In response, the Department of Defense tapped four people to serve as its representatives on the commission studying the naming of military bases and other DoD items commemorating the Confederate States of America.
Army installations named for Confederates include Fort Rucker in Alabama; Forts Benning and Gordon in Georgia; Camp Beauregard and Fort Polk in Louisiana; Fort Bragg in North Carolina; Fort Hood in Texas; and Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Fort Lee, and Fort Pickett in Virginia.
Camp Beauregard and Forts Benning, Bragg Gordon, and Lee were established during World War I while the other forts – Hill, Hood, Pickett, Polk, and Rucker - were established in the 1940s, according to the U.S. Army Center of Military History.
Among the names on the list are Army Gen. Colin Powell, the nation’s first Black secretary of state; abolitionist and Civil War spy Harriet Tubman; and Army Gen. Omar Bradley, a field commander during World War II.
Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe, who was killed in Iraq in Oct. 2005. and recently awarded the Medal of Honor, was also included on the list. As was Dwight Eisenhower and Medal of Honor recipients Alvin York, Audie Murphy, Vernon Baker, Mitchell Red Cloud, Tibor "Ted" Rubin, Henry Johnson, Mary Walker, and Gary Gordon and Randall Shughart.
“The names of our military installations should appropriately reflect the courage, values, and sacrifices of our diverse military men and women, with consideration given to the local or regional significance of names and their potential to inspire and motivate our service members,” the commission stated.
The names on the list are the result of a year-long solicitation of the public by the commission, which will present its final report to Congress by Oct. 1. The commission received around 34,000 proposals.
To read the full list of names, visit here. states,
Reach Julia LeDoux at Julia@connectingvets.com.