The Department of Defense said last week that Pentagon officials began working on renaming military infrastructure tied to the Confederate States of America by the start of 2024.
Officials announced plans to rename nine U.S. Army bases, two U.S. Navy ships, and more than 1,000 items on American military installations.
“Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment William LaPlante, today directed all DOD organizations to begin full implementation of the Commission on the Naming of Items of the Department of Defense, a.k.a. the Naming Commission and those recommendations,” Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters on Thursday, according to Task and Purpose.
Crews have already begun disassembling the 108-year-old monument of Southern troops marching to war with enslaved people following along at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
“I think we are confident, you know, each of the services has clear instructions in terms of what it is that they need to focus on, and where the secretary is confident that the services are and will continue to take that seriously,” Ryder said as reported by Military.com.
Ryder did not disclose the total cost of the project. However, the Naming Commission’s final report calculated the amount to be approximately $62.5 million.
About $21 million of the funding would be directed toward renaming the nine Army bases located in Southern states named after Confederate figures, including forts Benning, Gordon, Bragg, Hood, Rucker, Polk, A.P. Hill, Pickett, and Lee.
The commission will recommend new names for the bases, such as renaming Fort Bragg to Fort Liberty.
Commission officials have reportedly recommended Benning be renamed Fort Moore, after Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, who served during the Vietnam War.
Although commission officials did not provide new names yet for the two Navy ships set to receive a new title, commission officials identified the USS Chancellorsville and the the USNS Maury.
The USS Chancellorsville received its name after the Confederate army won a Civil War battle, while the USNS Maury was named after Matthew Fontaine Maury, who left the Navy to sail for the Confederacy, Military.com reported.
Approximately $41 million of the funding will be designated for various roads, signs, buildings, and street names.
The announcement comes after West Point Academy officials removed monuments and references last month that “commemorate or memorialize the Confederacy.”
The 220-year-old U.S. military academy said it had begun a “multi-phase” process over the holiday break to remove all 13 references and monuments that West Point says honor the Confederacy, including a portrait and bust of former West Point Superintendent Gen. Robert E. Lee.
The removal is in response to an October order from the Department of Defense (DOD) mandated in the National Defense Authorization Act.
A massive outcry against Confederate monuments hit the nation following the death of George Floyd in May of 2020, resulting in numerous statues being taken down. In September of 2021, the largest Confederate monument on display in the U.S., a statue of Lee, was taken down in Richmond, Virginia.
Zach Jewell contributed to this report.