In a sweep by the U.S. Department of Defense to rename military bases that were marked by the monikers of Confederate soldiers, Fort Bragg will officially become Fort Liberty Friday.
Located 93 miles west of Wilmington, the largest Army base by population is one of nine to undergo a name change. The move was announced in the aftermath of 2020 George Floyd protests, which also saw numerous Confederate statues come down nationwide.
In 2021 Congress established a commission in the National Defense Authorization Act to look at bases that had Confederate names and begin research into their switch. Its members visited the areas and personnel, as well as community members in base towns, to garner feedback.
The Fayetteville base is the only one to not be named after a person — some of the other bases are carrying names of Black soldiers, for instance. Instead, Fort Bragg will become Fort Liberty, chosen since “liberty remains the greatest American value,” retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Ty Seidule told CBS News.
“Some Army bases, established in the build-up and during World War I, were named for Confederate officers in an effort to court support from local populations in the South,” according to a release from the DOD.
Fort Bragg was named after a Confederate general who owned slaves. From Warrenton, North Carolina, Gen. Braxton Bragg is reported to have been hot tempered and an ineffective leader; he oversaw troops that lost key Civil War battles.
The name change is expected to cost more than $6 million, according to a commission report completed last October.
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