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Fort Bragg Renamed Fort Liberty in Major Transformation

Fort Bragg, one of the world's largest military installations, sheds its Confederate namesake and becomes Fort Liberty. A significant step toward inclusivity in the U.S. Army.

Fort Bragg Renamed Fort Liberty

Fort Bragg, one of the world’s largest military installations, is set to undergo a significant transformation. In an effort to distance itself from its Confederate namesake, the base will be renamed Fort Liberty. This momentous occasion is part of a broader initiative by the Department of Defense aimed at creating a more inclusive environment for current and prospective Black service members within the U.S. Army.

The movement to rename military installations honoring Confederate soldiers gained momentum following the widespread George Floyd protests in 2020, which were accompanied by powerful demonstrations of the Black Lives Matter movement. These events brought attention to the presence of Confederate monuments and raised questions about the names of military bases. In response, Congress established a naming commission tasked with visiting these bases and gathering input from the surrounding communities.

While other military bases are set to be renamed after notable Black soldiers, U.S. presidents, and trailblazing women, Fort Bragg, located in North Carolina, will be transformed into Fort Liberty. During a commission meeting, retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Ty Seidule explained that the name Liberty was chosen to symbolize the enduring American value cherished by the nation.

The cost associated with this renaming endeavor, affecting one of the world’s most populous military bases, is estimated to reach approximately $6.37 million. Originally named in 1918 after Gen. Braxton Bragg, a Confederate general known for his ownership of slaves and his ineffective leadership during the Civil War, the choice to rename the base is also supported by historical perspectives. Bragg’s poor reputation among historians, coupled with the fact that the original naming process for military bases neglected the involvement of Black residents, further solidified the need for change.

Isiah James, a senior policy officer at the Black Veterans Project, views the renaming of military bases as long overdue and hopes that it will pave the way for more substantial improvements for Black service members. James argues against celebrating figures associated with slavery and secessionism, as it sends a disheartening message to Black soldiers who encounter reminders of those who sought to keep them as property.

According to the law, the secretary of defense is obligated to implement the proposed changes put forth by the naming commission no later than January 1, 2024. James, drawing from his own experiences as a former U.S. Army infantry squad leader stationed at Fort Cavazos (previously known as Fort Hood, named after Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood), recalls instances of racism that deeply impacted him during his military service. He shares that he was made to feel like a spectacle when his platoon leader insisted on taking pictures with people who had never encountered a person of his stature before. Moreover, James reveals that his drill sergeant would make him kneel during conversations, explicitly displaying disrespect due to his race.

While the renaming of Fort Bragg may not have an immediate impact on young soldiers stationed there, James believes that it will have a collective effect on society as a whole. He regards this name change as a positive step forward for America, recognizing that while the country has made mistakes in the past, it possesses the ability to rectify them and move towards a more inclusive and equitable future.

Claire Goul
Claire Goul
If you want all the tech related stuff dumb downed for you, Claire Goul is your go to person. She is a technology aficionado. She is currently studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and writes about what is hot, new and fresh in the astonishing world of gadgets.
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