Renaming Army bases linked to Confederates could cost $21 million, commission report estimates
Stars and Stripes August 9, 2022
WASHINGTON — Renaming nine Army bases linked to the Confederacy could cost more than $21 million, according to a report to Congress by a commission appointed to study the issue.
Congress mandated last year that an appointed Naming Commission come up with potential new names for the nine installations that now honor Confederate generals from the Civil War. The report, delivered to Congress on Monday, breaks down the costs and processes of selecting and implementing the name changes.
The commission in May released the new names for the bases, which are all in former Confederate states and were named during the 1910s and 1940s amid the South’s Jim Crow era.
Costs are associated with “renaming or removing names, symbols, displays, monuments, or paraphernalia that commemorate the Confederate States of America or any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America,” according to the report.
These are the bases, their suggested new names and cost estimate to make the changes:
— Fort Bragg, N.C., to Fort Liberty — $6,374,230
— Fort Polk, La., to Fort Johnson — $1,390,240
— Fort Benning, Ga., to Fort Moore — $4,928,574
— Fort Gordon, Ga., to Fort Eisenhower — $580,000
— Fort A.P. Hill, Va., to Fort Walker — $1,982,227
— Fort Hood, Texas, to Fort Cavazos — $1,539,885
— Fort Pickett, Va., to Fort Barfoot — $322,900
— Fort Rucker, Ala., to Fort Novosel — $1,526,645
— Fort Lee, Va., to Fort Gregg-Adams — $2,396,600
Now that the report has been delivered to Congress, lawmakers will vote whether to approve the names, which will then go to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to carry out the renaming formally, according to the commission.
The commission also in its report said “hundreds” of other Defense Department assets “such as roads, buildings and paraphernalia” will need to be renamed. It suggested using some of the names not used from its list of 461 “worthy, high-caliber” candidates as options.
Some of those names include former Secretary of State and Army Gen. Colin Powell, Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe, former General of the Army Omar Bradley and the first Black female sergeant major in the Army, Command Sgt. Maj. Mildred Kelly.