House Panel Proposes $1M to Start Renaming Bases That Honor Confederates
The renaming commission plans to finalize the list in fall 2022.
Renaming U.S. Army posts that honor Confederates will take time and money, and lawmakers are looking to help with the latter in a draft 2022 funding bill.
The House Appropriations Committee wants to give the Army $1 million to start removing names of traitorous leaders and officers from installations, buildings, roads, and streets, according to a press release Tuesday.
The list of things to be renamed and the plan to do so is the work of the Naming Commission—formally, the Commission on the Naming of Items of the Department of Defense that Commemorate the Confederate States of America or Any Person Who Served Voluntarily with the Confederate States of America.
Eight people were appointed to the Congressionally mandated commission, including Michelle Howard, a retired Navy admiral and the commission’s chair; Bob Neller, the former Marine Corps commandant; and Ty Seidule, a retired Army brigadier general and former history professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
In May, the commission announced that it would visit 10 Army installations that might need new names: Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Rucker, Alabama; Forts Benning and Gordon in Georgia; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Polk, Louisiana; and Forts A.P. Hill, Belvoir, Lee, and Pickett in Virginia. The commission will also visit West Point in New York and the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland.
Scores, and perhaps hundreds, of streets, buildings, and pieces of equipment that carry names related to the Confederacy will also be reviewed, and not just those in the Army. Two ships that could be considered are the USS Chancellorsville, named after a battle the Confederates won, and the USNS Maury, named after Matthew Maury, who helped found modern oceanography and fought for the Confederacy, USNI News reported.
The commissioners will be meeting with community leaders to understand “local sensitivities” that they will incorporate into their assessments and studying the historical context for the naming of the assets.
A report of what they recommend should be renamed and the associated costs must be submitted by Oct. 1, 2022, according to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said Lonnie Bunch was on the Naming Commission. He was appointed to it but withdrew for personal reasons.
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