Panel recommends new names for Georgia’s Fort Benning, other Army bases

WASHINGTON (AP/41NBC/WMGT) — An independent commission is recommending new names for nine Army posts that now commemorate Confederate officers.

Among their recommendations: Fort Bragg in North Carolina would become Fort Liberty and Fort Gordon in Georgia would become Fort Eisenhower.

The recommendations are the latest step in a broader effort by the military to confront racial injustice, most recently in the aftermath of the May 2020 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The list recommends naming bases for the first time after women and Black soldiers.

The Commission is making the following renaming recommendations to Congress for nine Army posts currently named after Confederate officers:

  • Fort Benning, Georgia – rename as Fort Moore after Lt. Gen. Hal and Julia Moore.

  • Fort Bragg, North Carolina – rename as Fort Liberty after the value of liberty.

  • Fort Gordon, Georgia – rename as Fort Eisenhower after General of the Army Dwight Eisenhower.

  • Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia – rename as Fort Walker after Dr. Mary Walker.

  • Fort Hood, Texas – rename as Fort Cavazos after Gen. Richard Cavazos.

  • Fort Lee, Va. – rename as Fort Gregg-Adams after Lt. Gen. Arthur Gregg and Lt. Col. Charity Adams.

  • Fort Pickett, Virginia – rename as Fort Barfoot after Tech. Sgt. Van T. Barfoot.

  • Fort Polk, Louisiana – rename as Fort Johnson after Sgt. William Henry Johnson.

  • Fort Rucker, Alabama – rename as Fort Novosel after Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael J. Novosel, Sr.

Statement from the Naming Commission Chair

The Naming Commission sought to find names that would be inspirational to the Soldiers and civilians who serve on our Army posts, and to the communities who support them.

We realized that we had more heroes than we did bases to name. And we were overwhelmed with the greatness of the American Soldier – from those who gave their entire adult lives to the Army, to those who sacrificed themselves in valorous acts. We were reminded that courage has no boundaries by man-made categories of race, color, gender, religion, or creed.

From privates to generals, we found hundreds of military members who exemplified the core values of the Army. As we visited installations, we were touched by the contributions of the Soldiers’ families and community groups who support them. They work faithfully and tirelessly alongside our military members.

Our goal was to inspire today’s Soldiers and the local communities with names or values that have meaning. We wanted names and values that underpin the core responsibility of the military, to defend the Constitution of the United States. We wanted names and values that evoke confidence in all who serve. Confidence that by emulating those whose names are on the installations, we too can rise to every challenge, overcome every obstacle, achieve excellence, and, if necessary, sacrifice our lives for this country and her people.

These names we are recommending embody the best of the United States Army and America.

– ADM Michelle J. Howard (U.S. Navy, ret.)

Reaction

Rep. Rick Allen (GA-12) released the following statement:

“From the moment this renaming initiative was announced, our team has worked side-by-side with members of the local community to ensure that, if the base had to be renamed, its new name would reflect both the history of this area as well as the significance of Fort Gordon’s mission.

“We made it clear to the Naming Commission that, should the base be renamed, our community hoped it would become Fort Eisenhower – in reference to the former president’s deep ties to the Augusta area. I am glad the Commission has taken this feedback into account in its recommendation.”

Categories: Across the Nation, Georgia News