Pentagon chief gives green light to change military bases named after Confederate generals

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has given the go-ahead to change the names of some 1,111 Confederate-related military facilities and installations, according to a new memo released Thursday.

Following a final report from the Naming Commission – which last month proposed renaming or deleting the more than 1,100 items that fall under the purview of the Department of Defense – Austin agreed with all of the recommendations of the commission “and is committed to implementing as soon as possible,” Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement.

At the heart of the effort were nine Army bases currently honoring Confederate generals, which the commission earlier this summer came up with alternate titles for.

“The facilities and facilities 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 said in the memo. “The names of these facilities and facilities should inspire all who call them home, fully reflect the history and values ​​of the United States, and commemorate the best of the republic we are all sworn to protect.”

The effort comes after 18 months of work by the Naming Commission, including “extensive consultations with experts, historians and the communities rooted in the bases in question.”

The plan will remove from the U.S. military names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederacy or anyone who served in the Confederacy.

Once implemented, the commission’s plan “will yield proud new names who are rooted in their local communities and who honor American heroes whose bravery, courage and patriotism exemplify the best of the United States military,” it said. writes Austin.

The Pentagon chief ordered DOD leaders and the military to begin implementation in December after a 90-day waiting period, as set out in last year’s annual defense authorization bill. , according to the press release.

In total, it will cost the Pentagon about $62.5 million to implement the final report’s recommendations, according to the commission.

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