By the beginning of 2024, military facilities connected to the Confederate States of America will be renamed, the Department of Defense announced last week.
Officials revealed plans to rename nine American military bases, two American Navy ships, and over 1,000 individual items on U.S. military installations.
According to Task and Purpose, Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told media on Thursday that “William LaPlante Assistant secretary of Defense for Sustainment and Acquisition had ordered all DOD organizations to start full implementation of the Committee on Changing the name of Items of the Department of Defense, a.k.a. the Naming Committee and all those recommendations.”
At Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, workers have already started to disassemble the 108-year-old monument depicting Southern soldiers marching to battle with slaves following behind.
“The secretary is sure that the services are and will continue to take it seriously,” Ryder said, according to Military.com. “I believe we are confident, you know, that each of the services has clear guidelines in terms of exactly what it is they need to focus on.”
The entire cost of the project was kept a secret by Ryder. However, the final report of the Naming Commission estimated the sum to be around $62.5 million.
The nine Army outposts in Southern states, including forts Benning, Bragg, Gordon, Hood, Polk, Rucker, A.P. Hill, Pickett, and Lee, which were named after Confederate leaders, will have their names changed using around $21 million of the budget.
For example, the panel might suggest changing Fort Bragg’s name to Fort Liberty.
According to reports, commission officials have suggested renaming Benning to Fort Moore in honor of Vietnam War Lt. Gen. Hal Moore.
Commission authorities named the USS Chancellorsville and the USNS Maury even though they haven’t yet given the two Navy ships new names.
According to Military.com, the USNS Maury was given the name in honor of Matthew Fontaine Maury, a former Navy officer who sailed for the Confederacy and gave the USS Chancellorsville its name following the Confederate army’s victory in a Civil War fight.
A total of $41 million of the funds will go toward different streets, signage, buildings, and route names.
The declaration follows the removal of statues and other items last month that “commemorate or memorialize the Confederacy” by West Point Academy administrators.
The 220-year-old United States Military Academy announced that it had started a “multi-phase” removal process over the holiday break to get rid of all 13 references and monuments that, according to West Point, honor the Confederacy. These include a bust and portrait of former West Point Superintendent Gen. Robert E. Lee.
The withdrawal follows a Department of Defense (DOD) directive issued in October that was required by the National Defense Authorization Act.
Following the passing of George Floyd in May 2020, there was a widespread backlash against Confederate memorials around the country, leading to the removal of countless statues. The statue of Lee, the largest Confederate monument on public display in the United States, was demolished in Richmond, Virginia, in September 2021.
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