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Military to proceed with changing the names of bases honoring Confederate generals

The Pentagon has directed the military to proceed with plans to rename nine Army bases and hundreds of other items whose names honor the Confederacy. 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin previously approved the recommendations submitted by the congressionally-mandated Naming Commission, and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment William A. LaPlante on Thursday instructed the military to begin the renaming process. 

The Defense Department must implement the commission's recommendations by the end of the year. 

Renaming ceremonies for the nine bases named after Confederate generals will take place over the course of the year, officials say, but work to take down Confederate iconography elsewhere has already begun. 

West Point announced it would start implementing the commission's recommendations over the academy's winter break by removing a portrait of Robert E. Lee in Confederate uniform, a bust of Lee, and a bronze triptych that has an image of a hooded Ku Klux Klan member.  

The recommendations in the Naming Commission's final report specified new names for nine bases:  

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

  • Fort Bragg, N.C. – rename Fort Liberty after the value of liberty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The bases are the largest items the Naming Commission recommends renaming, but it has also listed more than 1,000 items in the military's inventory that should be renamed, removed, or modified. 

The commission recommended specific new names only for the bases but has provided a list of possible names the services can choose from when renaming other items. That list includes names like former Secretary of State Colin Powell and recent Medal of Honor recipient Ralph Puckett.

The Naming Commission estimated it would cost $62.5 million to implement all of the changes. 

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