The United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin has signed off on the decision to rename nine military bases named after Confederate officers, including the Fort Bragg name change to Fort Liberty.
The Department of Defense issued a release Thursday, saying that Austin agreed with the findings of the Naming Commission, and has ordered change processes to begin at the end of a mandatory waiting period. As we reported earlier this year, Fort Bragg is set to be renamed Fort Liberty.
“The installations and facilities that our Department operates are more than vital national security assets,” Austin said in a memo issued Thursday. “They are also powerful public symbols of our military, and of course, they are the places where our Service members and their families work and live. The names of these installations and facilities should inspire all those who call them home, fully reflect the history and the values of the United States, and commemorate the best of the republic that we are all sworn to protect.”
The installations that will undergo name changes are:
- Fort Bragg, North Carolina – Fort Liberty
- Fort Gordon, Georgia – Fort Eisenhower
- Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia – Fort Walker
- Fort Hood, Texas – Fort Cavazos
- Fort Lee, Virginia – Fort Gregg-Adams
- Fort Pickett, Virginia – Fort Barfoot
- Fort Polk, Louisiana – Fort Johnson
- Fort Rucker, Alabama – Fort Novosel
The changes were brought about by a commission that Congress established in 2021. It’s goal was to remove names and symbols that honored the Confederate Army.
Austin said that the changes should happen no later than January 1, 2024. Working groups are being formed at each installation – including Fort Bragg – with the goal of having a plan for each name change in place by November 18, 2022.
“I concur with all of the Naming Commission’s recommendations, including the renaming plan,” Austin said in the memo. “In the words of Admiral Michelle M. Howard, the Naming Commission’s chair, the commission’s goal was to inspire Service members and military communities ‘with names or values that have meaning.’ The Department’s implementation of the Commission’s recommendations will do just that – and will give proud new names that are rooted in their local communities and that honor American heroes whose valor, courage, and patriotism exemplify the very best of the United States military.”