A federal commission charged with reviewing and replacing the names of signs, streets, memorials and monuments at U.S. military bases with ties to the Confederacy, released a list of 750 potential targets for renaming.
It marks the latest effort by the Pentagon to reckon with its long history of honoring namesakes tied to the racist rebel army that fought in the Civil War.
The exhaustive list by the Naming Commission, as the Pentagon group is colloquially known, identifies hundreds of items named for Confederate leaders, officers and conflicts spotted at military bases across more than a dozen states, with the majority of them in the South.
It also points to street signs at military bases in Germany as well as Navy vessels stationed in Japan as having names tied to Confederate leaders and battles. The vast majority of the listings, over 700 of them, were on Army posts, followed by roughly 30 at Navy bases and just under a dozen at Air Force installations.
"This list is subject to change as we continue our work with the Department of Defense to identify all such assets across the service branches and the department," the Naming Commission said in a press release.
The Commission will review the 750 items and will decide whether they need to be included in a report scheduled to be issued to Congress by Oct. 1.
Retired Adm. Michelle Howard, the chair of the Naming Commission, said in the press release that the list will be updated as the group continues to uncover the history of different names on military bases.
"This work is vital to understand the scope and estimated cost of renaming or removing Confederate-named assets, and will enable us to provide the most accurate report possible to Congress," Howard said.
The list highlights streets, civil works, buildings, paintings, vessels, signs and the names of the military installations themselves.
While a vast majority of the listings are street names and signs, there are some Army and Navy ships named for Confederate battles, figures and officers. They include:
Army Ship Names
- LCU-2027 Mechanicsville
- LCU-2025 Malvern Hill
- LCU-2022 Harpers Ferry
- LCU-2004 Aldie
- LCU-2011 Chickahominy
Navy Ship Names
- USS Hunley (decommissioned)
- USS Stonewall Jackson (decommissioned)
- The crest of USS Shiloh (CG-67)
- USS Chancellorsville (CG-62)
- USNS Maury (T-AGS-66)
- The crest of USS Vella Gulf (CG-72)
It's not clear why the USS Hunley -- named after an engineer who pioneered the first hand-powered submarine for the Confederate States of America -- and the USS Stonewall Jackson, named in honor of the infamous Southern general, are on the list. Both vessels were decommissioned in the mid-1990s.
The list also includes buildings and streets at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, such as Lee Barracks, named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, such as Maury Hall, named after Confederate naval officer Matthew Maury.
Earlier this month, the Naming Commission released a list of substitutions for Army installations and is slated to hand over a final plan to Congress by October to rename Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Rucker, Alabama; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Fort Benning and Fort Gordon in Georgia; and Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Lee and Fort Pickett in Virginia.
The nearly 100 potential replacement names on the list introduced by the commission on March 17 included the late Secretary of State Colin Powell, D-Day field commander Gen. Omar Bradley and World War II supreme Allied commander in Europe turned president Dwight Eisenhower.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the first Black person to serve in that position, is expected to announce new names for some of the country's most iconic military facilities in 2023.
The full list of 750 items that are being evaluated is available here.
-- Thomas Novelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.