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Commission offers new names for U.S. Army bases named for Confederate leaders

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Commission offers new names for U.S. Army bases named for Confederate leaders
The Congressional Naming Commission recommended Tuesday renaming Fort Hood in Texas after former U.S. Army Gen. Richard Cavazos, the first Hispanic-American to hold the rank of general. Image courtesy of the Congressional Naming Commission

May 24 (UPI) -- The congressional Naming Commission submitted its list Tuesday of suggested name changes for nine U.S. Army facilities currently named for Confederate leaders.

Changes recommended by the panel include renaming Fort Hood in Texas after former Army Gen. Gen. Richard Cavazos, the first Hispanic-American promoted to brigadier general.

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The native Texan achieved the rank in 1973, and later was promoted to serve as commander of the 9th Infantry Division. In 1982, he became the first Hispanic-American four-star general.

The House allocated $1 million in 2020 to rename U.S. Army facilities named after Confederate leaders from the Civil War.

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The panel also recommended North Carolina's Fort Bragg be renamed Fort Liberty.

"Perhaps no value has proved more essential to the United States of America and the history of its military than Liberty. Our Army was founded to achieve the ideal of liberty," reads a statement issued by the panel, which gives a detailed explanation of each of the recommendations.

Also notable was the recommendation to rename Fort Gordon in Georgia after former president and general Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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"The Naming Commission sought to find names that would be inspirational to the soldiers and civilians who serve on our Army posts, and to the communities who support them," said retired U.S. Navy Adm. Michelle J. Howard, who chaired the panel.

"We realized that we had more heroes than we did bases to name. And we were overwhelmed with the greatness of the American Soldier -- from those who gave their entire adult lives to the Army, to those who sacrificed themselves in valorous acts.

"We were reminded that courage has no boundaries by man-made categories of race, color, gender, religion, or creed. From privates to generals, we found hundreds of military members who exemplified the core values of the Army.

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"As we visited installations, we were touched by the contributions of the Soldiers' families and community groups who support them. They work faithfully and tirelessly alongside our military members."

Other recommendations include renaming Fort Benning in Georgia to Fort Moore, after former Lt. Gen. Hal Moore and his wife, Julia.

Fort Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia would become Fort Walker, after Dr. Mary Walker, who volunteered during the Civil War.

Fort Lee, also in Virginia, would be renamed Fort Gregg-Adams after former Lt. Gen. Arthur Gregg and former Lt. Col. Charity Adams.

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Alabama's Fort Rucker would become Fort Novosel after former Army aviator Michael Novosel Jr., who was shot down piloting a helicopter during the Vietnam War.

Fort Polk in Louisiana would be renamed Fort Johnson, after former Army Sgt. William Henry Johnson, while Virginia's Fort Pickett would become Fort Barfoot, after former Tech. Sgt. Van T. Barfoot.

The renaming recommendations will be in the commission's final report, which is due to Congress by Oct. 1.

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