WASHINGTON, D.C. – Going forward consider this possible new name for North Carolina’s largest military base: Fort Liberty.

That’s among the recommendations for nine bases the Department of Defense’s Naming Commission is making to Congress, the commission announced on Tuesday.

Fort Bragg has more than 50,000 military personnel. (CBS 17 file photo)

The commission, chaired by retired Navy Adm. Michelle Howard, was formed under the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, to submit recommendations to remove rename or modify “names, symbols, displays, monuments and paraphernalia” within the Department of Defense that commemorate the Confederacy.”

This includes any “base, installation, street, building, facility, aircraft, ship, plane, weapon, equipment or any other property owned or controlled by the Department of Defense.”

The commission of eight volunteers selected by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Congress made these recommendations:

  • Fort Bragg – rename as Fort Liberty after the value of liberty.
  • Fort Benning, Ga. – rename as Fort Moore after Lt. Gen. Hal and Julia Moore.
  • Fort Gordon, Ga. – rename as Fort Eisenhower after General of the Army Dwight Eisenhower.
  • Fort A.P. Hill, Va. – rename as Fort Walker after Dr. Mary Walker.
  • Fort Hood, Texas – rename as Fort Cavazos after Gen. Richard Cavazos.
  • Fort Lee, Va. – rename as Fort Gregg-Adams after Lt. Gen. Arthur Gregg and Lt. Col. Charity Adams.
  • Fort Pickett, Va. – rename as Fort Barfoot after Tech. Sgt. Van T. Barfoot.
  • Fort Polk, La. – rename as Fort Johnson after Sgt. William Henry Johnson.
  • Fort Rucker, Ala. – rename as Fort Novosel after Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael J. Novosel, Sr.  

The commission also reviewed Fort Belvoir, Va., which was named after U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Andrew A. Humphreys in 1917 and renamed in 1935 after the Colonial-era plantation that once stood on its grounds. The commissioners determined Belvoir does not meet the criteria for change under the authorizing act but recommended the Department of Defense review the name, the release said.

“This was an exhaustive process that entailed hundreds of hours of research, community engagement and internal deliberations,” Howard said in the release. “This recommendation list includes American heroes whose stories deserve to be told and remembered; people who fought and sacrificed greatly on behalf of our nation.”

The commission visited all the installations in the past year, and the public submitted more than 34,000 names, about 3,670 of them unique. Howard said she believes that every selected name “either originated from, or resonated with, the communities we engaged at the bases; and certainly were all suggested by members of the American public at large. So this list is as much, if not more, theirs as it is ours.”

Fort Bragg, home of the Airborne, was founded in 1942 just west of Fayetteville. It has 52,280 active-duty soldiers and employs more than 12,000 civilians and engineers.