WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Naming Commission tasked with recommending new names for nine Confederate namesake military bases has released cost estimates associated with the initiative.
Estimated costs to remove the names honoring the Confederacy — including signs, paver stones and memorials on site — Fort Benning in Georgia will be one of the costliest at approximately $5 million, according to the commission.
The commission expects renaming efforts at Fort Bragg in North Carolina to top the list with preliminary costs estimated at $6.3 million.
In May, the commission proposed renaming Fort Benning to Fort Moore in commemoration of Lt. Gen. Hal and Julia Moore.
The panel explained that during Hal Moore’s 32-year military career he oversaw and led the post-war transition to the all-volunteer Armed Forces that the U.S. has maintained since, and also worked to stem racial strife and reduce drug abuse among his soldiers.
Julia Moore was involved delivering telegrams carrying news of death or injury and also attended the funerals of the men in her husband’s command. Her complaints to the Pentagon led to the creation of casualty notification teams as well as survivor support networks.
In addition to the base name recommendation, the commission’s report provides a list of suggested names for each base to rename other Confederate name-associated assets on base and suggests donating removed items to local historical societies, museums and veteran associations.
The commission report estimates a $580,000 cost to rename Confederate-named assets at Fort Gordon in Georgia.
Fort Eisenhower is the recommended name to replace Fort Gordon and aims to commemorate 34th U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower’s service as an Army general.
Eisenhower entered West Point as a cadet in 1911 and continued to rise in the military and eventually led combined ground, air and sea forces on D-Day in the greatest amphibious landing in history, according to the commission.
In Alabama, Fort Novosel is the proposed new name for Fort Rucker in commemoration of Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael J. Novosel Sr.
The cost estimated for the base renaming and other Confederate namesakes on base are estimated at $1.5 million.
Novosel served more than 40 years in the Army; he is known for various heroic actions in aviation. Most notably, his actions in saving a group of wounded and surrounded South Vietnamese soldiers, the commission reports.
According to the William M. "Mac" Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, the naming commission must submit its final report to Congress by Oct. 1 with recommendations to remove, rename or modify “names, symbols, displays, monuments and paraphernalia” within the Department of Defense that commemorate the Confederacy.
The commission’s 104-page report — which details the commission’s methodology, candidate research and reasons for its final selections — for all nine bases can be found at https://www.thenamingcommission.gov/report.