Cost to rename military bases estimated at $21 million

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The federal commission that recommended last spring renaming forts Gordon and Benning in Georgia and seven other military bases named for Confederate leaders has completed its work.

The Naming Commission submitted the third and final portion of its report to Congress Monday, recommending hundreds of Confederate-inspired street and building names for renaming or removal.

In May, the commission recommended renaming Fort Gordon near Augusta for former President and World War II military leader Dwight Eisenhower and renaming Fort Benning near Columbus for Lt. Gen. Hal Moore and his wife Julia. Moore’s 32 years of service in the Army included commanding combat troops in Vietnam.

Other military bases slated to receive new names include Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Rucker in Alabama; Fort Polk in Louisiana, and forts A.P. Hill, Lee and Pickett in Virginia.

The commission visited the installations last year for listening sessions with military commanders and community leaders to gain feedback including preferences for new names. The panel received more than 34,000 submissions for renaming, including 3,670 unique names.

The commission estimates it will cost $21 million to rename the nine bases and $62.5 million to implement the recommendations in the full report.

The annual defense bill in 2021 created the commission, composed of eight volunteers chosen by the defense secretary and Congress, and gave it until Oct. 1 to submit its recommendations. The commission was given $2 million to complete the task.

“We finished on time, spending only a quarter of the money authorized by Congress and returning $1.7 million to the taxpayers,” said retired Army Brig. Gen. Ty Seidule, the panel’s vice chairman.

Besides the new base names, the commission also recommended renaming two Navy ships – the USS Chancellorsville, named for a battle the Confederates won in 1863, and the USNS Maury, named after a commander in the Confederate Navy.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.


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