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Military starts process of renaming bases, assets which honor Civil War Confederate figures

An independent commission recommended the changes, which Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved.

WASHINGTON — 157 years after the Civil War ended, the U.S. military is poised to remove all mention of the Confederacy at all of its bases and other assets.

After 18 months of study, the armed forces are about to enact a plan to rename nine Army posts and two Navy ships, and remove or modify a 17-page list of Defense Department assets named to honor the Confederacy.

An independent commission recommended the changes, which Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved Thursday via memo.

RELATED: Renaming Army bases that honor Confederates would cost $21 million

"After reviewing the report, the Secretary has concurred with all the naming commission's recommendations and is committed to implementing them as soon as possible," Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder said at a Pentagon news conference Thursday.

He continued: "Secretary Austin is grateful for the work of the commission and thanks them for their dedicated efforts and recommendations that will give proud new names that are rooted in their local communities ad that honor American heroes whose valor, courage and patriotism exemplify the very best of the U.S. military."

The nine Army bases to be rebranded include Fort Lee, Pickett and A.P. Hill in Virginia, all named after Confederate generals.

Additionally, the Secretary of the Navy will rename the guided missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville and the oceanographic survey ship USNS Maury.

Fort Lee in Prince George County, Virginia will no longer be named after Robert E. Lee with its new name, Fort Gregg-Adams.

The name honors retired Lt. Gen Arthur Gregg, who left the Army as the second-highest ranked Black officer at the time, and the late Charity Adams, the first Black woman in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps.

Fort A.P. Hill in Caroline County, Virginia will become Fort Walker in memory of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, an American abolitionist, prohibitionist, prisoner of war and surgeon. She was the only woman to ever receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Fort Pickett near Blackstone, Virginia will become Fort Barfoot in memory of Col. Van Thomas Barfoot, a Congressional Medal of Honor winner during World War II.

The Defense Department has until Jan. 1, 2024, to complete all renaming and removals.

The commission estimates that the cost of just renaming the nine Army bases will be $21 million.

The total cost of removing all monuments, changing signage and other renaming efforts is expected to cost taxpayers roughly $62 million. 

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