Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday signed off on an independent commission’s recommendations to remove from U.S. military facilities, “all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederacy.”
“The installations and facilities that our Department operates are more than vital national security assets. 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.” Austin wrote in a memo to senior officials on Friday. “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.”
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Beginning on Dec. 18, 2022, the Department of Defense will begin renaming assets across the country, including hundreds of streets, buildings and other assets.
Among the changes is the renaming of nine Army posts: Forts Benning and Gordon in Georgia; Forts Lee, A.P Hill and Pickett in Virginia; Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Rucker in Alabama, Fort Polk in Louisiana and Fort Hood in Texas.
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According to the commission’s report, Fort Benning will be named Fort Moore; Fort Polk will be renamed Fort Johnson; Fort Bragg will become Fort Liberty; Fort Gordon will become Fort Eisenhower; Fort Hood will become Fort Cavazos; Fort Lee will become Fort Gregg-Adams; Fort Pickett will become Fort Barfoot; Fort Rucker will be renamed to Fort Novosel.
Navy ships USS Chancellorsville and USNS Maury will also be renamed. Carlos Del Toro, the secretary of the Navy, will decide on the new names.
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The federally mandated Naming Committee estimated the undertaking to cost as much as $62.5 million, according to Stars and Stripes.