Stripping the names of Confederate generals from the front gates at nine Army posts won’t cost as much as the Navy’s new guided missile frigate — about $1.2 billion per ship — but it won’t be cheap either.
According to the new report by the congressionally-mandated Naming Commission, it will cost the taxpayers at least $21 million to carry out the task. The price tag includes removing offending names of Confederate generals like Braxton Bragg and John Bell Hood from any street signs or buildings on the posts.
Fort Bragg in North Carolina, the home of the 18th Airborne Corps and the Army’s Special Forces, will cost $6.3 million to re-brand, while Fort Pickett in Virginia will be the least expensive at about $300,000. The Naming Commission picked Fort Liberty as the new name for Fort Bragg while Fort Pickett will be known as Fort Barfoot after World War II Medal of Honor recipient Van T. Barfoot.
Fort Pickett is named for Confederate General George Pickett, best known as one of the leaders of the futile charge during the Battle of Gettysburg that bears his name.
Naming Commission officials pushed back against charges that they are trying to “erase history” by renaming the Army posts. President Trump even vetoed a major defense policy bill in part to protest the re-naming, but was overridden by Congress. In their report, commissioners wrote that “changing what is commemorated, however, is not the equivalent of erasing history.”
“The American Civil War remains one of our most prominently told national stories,” they wrote. “Despite the incredibly deadly nature of the conflict, the Civil War occupies an incredibly ‘safe’ spot in our national historical memory.”
Still to be released are Part II of the final report, which will address any Confederate-named assets at the United States Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis; and Part III, which will look at any Department of Defense items not covered in the first two reports.
It will be up to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to approve or reject the recommendations from the Naming Commission