Fort Bragg in North Carolina will be renamed “Fort Liberty” following a decision by a Congressional commission that was set up to provide new names for U.S. military bases originally named in commemoration of Confederates.
Fort Bragg is one of nine bases on a list released by the commission Tuesday that will impact military installations in several states, including Texas and Virginia, where Fort A.P. Hill will become Fort Walker, after Dr. Mary Walker, a civilian surgeon in the Civil War who received the Medal of Honor.
Fort Hood, Texas, will become Fort Cavazos after Gen. Richard Cavazos, the Army’s first Hispanic 4-star general. The post was originally named for Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood.
Gordon Army post in Georgia will be renamed Fort Eisenhower. And, Fort Bragg, which was originally named after Gen. Braxton Bragg — generally considered one of the most mediocre military leaders during the Civil War — will now be named after the value of liberty.
Fort Benning, Ga. will become Fort Moore after Army Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, who was played by Mel Gibson in the Vietnam War movie “We Were Soldiers.” The Naming Commission said the post also recognizes Lt. Gen. Moore’s wife, Julia Moore, who was a strong advocate for military families.
Commission members visited the installations last year for “listening sessions” with military commanders and community leaders. They received more than 34,000 submissions related to naming activities, officials said.
“This was an exhaustive process that entailed hundreds of hours of research, community engagement, and internal deliberations,” retired Navy Adm. Michelle Howard, the chair of the Naming Commission, said in a statement. “This recommendation list includes American heroes whose stories deserve to be told and remembered; people who fought and sacrificed greatly on behalf of our nation.”
Other posts on the list include Fort Lee, Va., which will be renamed Fort Gregg-Adams; Fort Pickett, Va., which will be renamed Fort Barfoot; Fort Polk, La., which will become Fort Johnson and Fort Rucker, Alabama which will be referred to as Fort Novosel.
The Naming Commission developed a short list of potential new names for the nine installations before they met a second time with community groups for their input.
“We listened very carefully to local sensitivities,” said retired Army Brig. Gen. Ty Seidule, the vice-chairman of the Naming Commission. “We had so many heroes that we could have chosen from.”
The Naming Commission will submit its final report to Congress by October 1, 2022, with its plans to rename, remove or modify any Department of Defense property with a name that can be linked to the Confederacy.
The Secretary of Defense is expected to sign off on the final list of approved names by January 2024.