RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The first part of a three-part final report concerning the renaming of nine military bases has been submitted to Congress.
The renaming will change names of military bases named after people with Confederate ties.
The Naming Commission Final Report recommends new names for Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Rucker, Alabama; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Forts Benning and Gordon in Georgia; and Forts A.P. Hill, Lee and Pickett in Virginia.
Fort Bragg received the largest number of recommendations with 4,224 submissions. The Naming Commission ultimately decided on Fort Liberty as the new name recommendation.
The report from the commission noted the base was named for Braxton Bragg, a slave owning plantation owner considered one of the worst generals of the Civil War. They found he was known to be “temperamental, a harsh disciplinarian, and widely disliked in the pre-Civil War U.S. Army and within the Confederate Army by peers and subordinates alike throughout his career.”
The report estimated more than 50 assets would have to be modified to reflect the new branding. The report took inventory on items ranging from building signage, vehicle decals, streets and historical markers that would have to be rebranded. The cost of the name change is estimated to cost tax payers $6,374,230 for Fort Bragg alone.
That estimate was as of March. It’s unclear how inflation costs may impact that estimate.
Changing Fort Bragg’s name would cost the Department of Defense more than any other base. The second highest cost would be with Fort Benning at $4.9 million. All together, DOD estimated the cost to change the name of all nine bases would be a little more than $21 million.
In April, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Transportation told CBS 17 it could cost them $2 million to change signage on the highways and interstates across the state.
The report also revealed other names potentially considered for the installation. Those names were of people rather than values which was what was ultimately chosen for Ft. Bragg. Those people included:
- 1LT Vernon Baker
- MSG Roy Benavidez
- SSG Félix M. Conde-Falcón
- LTG James Gavin
- MSG Gary Gordon & SFC Randall Shughart
- CPL Rodolfo Hernández
- COL Robert Howard
- GEN Colin Powell
- GEN Matthew Ridgway
- GEN Roscoe Robinson, Jr.
“Ultimately, all these soldiers fought in an Army established to provide for the common defense and to secure the blessings of liberty,” the report said. “The value of liberty is a uniting factor throughout our Army’s history. In its greatest fights, the Army and its Soldiers have risked their lives for the defense of liberty so it may flourish, and all Soldiers should aspire to emulating that tradition.”
If approved, Fort Liberty would be the only base not named for a person. The commission said no value was more essential to the country and its military than liberty.
“In the twenty-first century, liberty remains the central tenet of America and its Army. Liberty graces our currency and our landmarks, and is essential to our founding documents,” the commission said.