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Abolitionist and union army member Harriet Tubman, and George Marshall, America’s foremost soldier during World War II, could replace Confederate generals who grace the names of Army bases.
Also on the list from the Naming Commission, released Thursday, is former President Dwight Eisenhower, who commanded U.S. troops in World War II and warned against the growing influence of the U.S. military-industrial complex. Congress mandated the commission in the annual defense authorization bill (Public Law 116–283) for fiscal 2021, over former President Donald Trump’s veto.
The commission proposed 87 people to honor on at least nine Army bases instead of Confederate generals, with the final decision due to Congress by Oct. 1.
“The list of potential new names for these installations reflects the rich diversity of our military’s history, recognizing men and women who have upheld our shared values and fought to preserve and protect our union,” said Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.), who championed the provision as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, together with his Senate Armed Services counterpart, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
The list includes Gary Gordon and Randall Shughart, special operators posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions during the Battle of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. Their actions were depicted in Mark Bowden’s book “Black Hawk Down.”
Also on the list are Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe, who in 2005 fought to save his soldiers in Iraq from a Bradley vehicle hit by an explosive device, even as it was engulfed in flames; Colin Powell, who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was Secretary of State at the start of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and Audie Murphy, the Army’s most highly decorated soldier in World War II.
The Army bases considered for renaming include Fort Benning and Fort Gordon in Georgia; Fort Rucker, Alabama; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Hood, Texas; and Forts A.P. Hill, Lee, and Pickett in Virginia.
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