A new report reveals the price tag for renaming nine U.S. Army bases honoring Confederate leaders and officers, according to the Associated Press.
The Naming Commission released its last report on recommending the new Army base names to Congress on Monday (August 8). The rebranding would also apply to many installations at these sites, including hospital doors, street signs, water towers, recycling bins, and more. Officials say it would cost $21 million to overhaul everything.
The report outlined the recommended name changes for these bases as well as scathing descriptions of the Confederate figures they're named after. For example, it would cost $6.3 million to rename Fort Bragg in North Carolina to Fort Liberty, which includes rebranding 45 police vehicles and 15 emergency vehicles, according to officials.
The base was named after Baxton Bragg, who's described as a "slave-owning plantation owner and senior confederate army officer" in the report. He's “considered one of the worst generals of the Civil War; most of the battles he was involved in ended in defeat and resulted in tremendous losses for the confederate army; highly consequential to the ultimate defeat of the confederacy,” the commission wrote.
Other bases recommended for renaming include Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Lee, and Fort Pickett in Virginia; Fort Gordon in Georgia, Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Polk in Louisiana, and Fort Rucker in Alabama. The descriptions and accomplishments of these Confederate figures would be erased from these locations, as well.
These efforts are part of a law passed by Congress back in 2020 in the wake of George Floyd's murder that same year and subsequent calls for racial equity across the country. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, backed the name changes during congressional testimony in 2020. He argued that bases honoring Confederate "traitors" would be a dark reminder to Black soldiers that these rebel leaders enslaved their ancestors.
“The American Civil War … was an act of treason at the time against the Union, against the Stars and Stripes, against the U.S. Constitution — and those officers turned their backs on their oath,” Milley said, per Politico. “Now, some have a different view of that. Some think it’s heritage. Others think it’s hate.”
The Naming Commission will address assets in military academies and places within the Department of Defense in later installments to their final report. The secretary of defense is expected to implement the commission's plan no later than January 1, 2024.