ATLANTA – Georgia’s Fort Gordon and Fort Benning are among nine Army bases that will be getting new names.
The Naming Commission, which Congress created last year to rename military installations named for historical figures with ties to the Confederacy, has developed a list of fewer than 100 names it is considering. The panel will make recommendations to the U.S. House and Senate Armed Services committees by Oct. 1.
Fort Gordon near Augusta is named for John Gordon, who served as a general in the Confederate Army and went on to become Georgia’s governor. Gordon presided at the formal surrender of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox, Va., in April 1865.
Fort Benning south of Columbus was named for Henry Benning, who was a leader in Georgia’s secessionist movement before the Civil War. Like Gordon, he was a general in the Army of Northern Virginia commanded by Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Other Army bases due to be renamed 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 and to gain feedback including preferences for new names. During the listening sessions and a public comment period, the panel received more than 34,000 submissions for renaming, including 3,670 unique names.
“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,” said retired Navy Admiral Michelle Howard, the chair of the Naming Commission. “We also are considering the local and regional significance of names and their potential to inspire and motivate our service members.”
Suggestions for new names include former President and five-star Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, abolitionist Harriet Tubman, former Gen. and Secretary of State Colin Powell and World War II Gens. Omar Bradley and George Marshall, who also served as secretary of state and secretary of defense.
This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.