The Confederate renaming commission has narrowed down tens of thousands of recommendations into a list of about 100 new namesakes for nine Army posts originally named in honor of Confederate troops.
Some of them will be familiar to anyone who has followed along on the renaming saga, including Roy Benavidez, Hal and Julia Moore and Alwyn Cashe. Others will be familiar for their notoriety as high-ranking military and civilian leaders, including Dwight D. Eisenhower and Colin Powell.
“It’s important that the names we recommend for these installations appropriately reflect the courage, values and sacrifices of our diverse military men and women,” retired Navy Adm. Michelle Howard, chair of the Naming Commission, said in a release Thursday. “We also are considering the local and regional significance of names and their potential to inspire and motivate our service members.”
The choices were narrowed down from more than 34,000 submissions, including 3,670 unique names, according to the release. The names were gathered both from an online form and from site visits to the posts to speak with troops there and surrounding community leaders.
The posts on the list include Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Rucker, Alabama; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Fort Benning and Fort Gordon in Georgia; and Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Lee and Fort Pickett in Virginia.
Fort Belvoir had been on the list when the commission stood up, but not because there was a Confederate general named Belvoir. The post was originally named Camp A. A. Humphreys when it opened in 1917, but was changed to Belvoir in 1935 at the request of a Virginia congressman who wanted to commemorate the historical Belvoir plantation it used to be.
The Naming Commission decided that renaming Fort Belvoir doesn’t specifically fall in line with its mandate under the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, but it will recommend that the Defense Department undertake its own process to rename it, according to the release.
The next step will be more site visits to discuss options with installation leaders, before a final list of recommendations goes to Congress by Oct. 1. After that, the Army has another year to make the changes final.
The commission is also considering a wide range of other things to rename, including the cruiser Chancellorsville and the oceanographic survey ship Maury. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee will also likely be stripped from roads, buildings and specifically a handful of commemorations at the U.S. Military Academy, his alma mater.
At the Naval Academy, Buchanan House, the superintendent’s quarters, Buchanan Road and Maury Hall have all been considered for renaming.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.