Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III approves renaming of military bases

The announcement comes after Congress passed legislation in late 2020 requiring the military bases named after confederate soldiers be renamed.

The Department of Defense has approved the renaming of nine military bases that honor confederate officers, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. 

The announcement comes after Congress passed legislation in 2020 requiring military bases to rename camps currently named for confederate soldiers, including Fort Gordon and Fort Benning. A taskforce was established last year to analyze the names of nine installations in former confederate states and change those names within three years, theGrio reported. 

The Naming Commission submitted its recommendations to Congress in August, theGrio reported via The Associated Press. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III stated in a recently released memo that the DoD accepted the recommendations, according to The AJC.

U.S. Soldiers Train In Fort Benning
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III has approved the renaming of nine military bases that currently honor confederate soldiers. (Photo by Barry Williams/Getty Images)

There is a 90-day waiting period until implementation, and Austin ordered the renaming and removals completed no later than Jan. 1, 2024.

The cost to rename the nine Army bases is $21 million, according to the commission, 13 News Now reports. The process of removing all confederate monuments and signs will likely cost taxpayers roughly $62 million. This would include rebranding several police vehicles and emergency services vehicles, according to The AP.

“The Commission has chosen names that echo with honor, patriotism, and history — names that will inspire generations of Service members to defend our democracy and our Constitution,” said Austin in the memo.

Fort Lee in Prince George County, Virginia is among the list of name changes that the commission recommended. The base is currently named after Robert E. Lee but its new name — Fort Gregg-Adams — honors two Black American military pioneers: retired Lt. Gen. Arthur Gregg and the late Lt. Col. Charity Adams, 13 News Now reports. When Gregg left the Army, he was the second highest-ranking Black officer, while Adams was the first Black woman in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps.

Below is the commission’s full list of recommended name changes, according to

  • Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia renamed Fort Walker for Dr. Mary Walker
  • Fort Bragg, North Carolina renamed Fort Liberty for the American value of liberty
  • Fort Benning, Georgia renamed Fort Moore for Lt. Gen. Hal Moore and his wife, Julia
  • Fort Gordon, Georgia renamed Fort Eisenhower for General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Fort Hood Texas reamed Fort Cavazos for Gen. Richard E. Cavazos
  • Fort Lee, Virginia renamed Fort Gregg-Adams for Lt. Gen. Arthur J. Gregg and Lt. Col. Charity Adams
  • Fort Pickett, Virginia renamed Fort Barfoot for Tech. Sgt. Van Barfoot
  • Fort Polk, Louisiana renamed Fort Johnson for Sgt. William Henry Johnson.
  • Fort Rucker, Alabama renamed Fort Novosel for CW4 Michael J. Novosel Sr.

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