Contemporary National Guard units that were a part of the Confederacy and waged war against the United States during the Civil War will have to relinquish their battle streamers from guidons this year, according to an internal Army memo reviewed by Military.com.
The move is consistent with recommendations from the congressionally mandated Naming Commission, a committee formed to examine the Pentagon's references honoring rebels who seceded from the United States, largely to preserve and expand slave labor.
At least 48 units from mostly southern National Guard units have been directed to remove Confederate battle streamers from their units' guidons, which serve as ceremonial flags often held by a soldier in a formation. Streamers hang on top of a unit's flag and are awarded for participating in wars or specific battles ranging from the colonial era to the Global War on Terrorism. In total, there are 491 streamers set to be removed.
Units with the most Confederate combat decorations include the 116th Infantry Regiment and 183rd Cavalry Regiment of the Virginia National Guard, which made up part of the so-called Stonewall Brigade, a large military formation commanded by Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. Following battlefield success in the early days of the Civil War, most of Jackson's troops died throughout the conflict, with only about 200 of the 6,000 original troops surviving the war.
But the Naming Commission did not recommend all Confederate references be scrapped from the military. Units that are part of the 29th Infantry Division, known best for its legendary battle storming the beaches of Nazi-occupied France in World War II, wear a patch that includes a blue-and-gray yin and yang. The patch was introduced during World War I to symbolize the merger of units with old Confederate and Union ties who would fight together in Europe. Military.com was first to report that the division will keep its patch.
In October, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin backed the commission's recommendation to rename nine Army bases that currently honor Confederates, including Fort Polk, Louisiana, which will be named after Sgt. William Johnson, a Black Medal of Honor recipient. Fort Bragg, North Carolina, home to the Army's Airborne and special forces, is the only base that will not be renamed after a major military figure; instead, it will be renamed Fort Liberty. Those name changes are expected to be finalized within a year.
Here are the units that are being directed to remove Confederate battle streamers:
Alabama Army National Guard: 44 streamers from 4 units.
- HHD, 31st Chemical Brigade (Tuscaloosa, AL): 10.
- HHD, 161st Medical Battalion (Mobile, AL): 11.
- 167th Infantry Regiment (Talladega, AL): 13.
- 711th Support Battalion (Mobile, AL): 10
Georgia Army National Guard: 69 streamers from 13 units.
- HHC, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Macon, GA): 5.
- 116th Army Band (Marietta, GA): 2.
- 118th Field Artillery Regiment (Savannah, GA): 6.
- HQ Battery, 1st Battalion, 118th Field Artillery Regiment (Savannah, GA): 7.
- Battery A, 1st Battalion, 118th Field Artillery Regiment (Springfield, GA): 1.
- Battery B, 1st Battalion, 118th Field Artillery Regiment (Brunswick, GA): 2.
- 121st Infantry Regiment (Winder, GA): 5.
- HHC, 148th Support Battalion (Macon, GA): 10.
- Company C, 148th Support Battalion (Macon, GA): 5.
- Company G, 148th Support Battalion (Winder, GA): 9.
- 214th Field Artillery Regiment (Elberton, GA): 5.
- HHC, 878th Engineer Battalion (Augusta, GA): 7.
- 1788th Quartermaster Company (Hinesville, GA): 5.
Kentucky Army National Guard: 46 streamers from 4 units.
- 138th Field Artillery Regiment (Lexington, KY): 7.
- 149th Infantry Regiment (Barbourville, KY): 13.
- 201st Engineer Battalion (Ashland, KY): 13.
- 623d Field Artillery Regiment (Glasgow, KY): 13.
Louisiana Army National Guard: 54 streamers from 3 units.
- 141st Field Artillery Regiment (New Orleans, LA): 24.
- 156th Infantry Regiment (Abbeville, LA): 17.
- 769th Engineer Battalion (Baton Rouge, LA): 13.
Maryland Army National Guard: 7 streamers from 1 unit.
- 175th Infantry Regiment (Dundalk, MD): 7.
Mississippi Army National Guard: 10 streamers from 1 unit.
- 155th Infantry Regiment (McComb, MS): 10.
Missouri Army National Guard: 9 streamers from 1 unit.
- Company B, 1st Battalion, 138th Infantry Regiment (Bridgeton, MO): 9.
North Carolina Army National Guard: 7 streamers from 1 unit.
- 120th Infantry Regiment (Wilmington, NC): 7.
South Carolina Army National Guard: 54 streamers from 5 units.
- 118th Infantry Regiment (Mount Pleasant, SC): 14.
- 132d Military Police Company (Columbia, SC): 3.
- 263d Air Defense Artillery Regiment (Anderson, SC): 17.
- 679th Engineer Detachment (Chester, SC): 10.
- 751st Support Battalion (Eastover, SC): 10.
Texas Army National Guard: 31 streamers from 2 units.
- 141st Infantry Regiment (San Antonio, TX): 26.
- 143d Infantry Regiment (Fort Worth, TX): 5.
Virginia Army National Guard: 156 streamers from 12 units.
- 111th Field Artillery Regiment (Norfolk, VA): 13.
- Battery A, 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment (Hanover, VA): 5.
- Battery B, 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment (Norfolk, VA): 1.
- HHC, 116th Brigade Combat Team, 29th Infantry Division (Staunton, VA): 18.
- 116th Infantry Regiment (Lynchburg, VA): 19.
- 180th Engineer Company (Powhatan, VA): 20.
- HHT, 2d Squadron, 183d Cavalry Regiment (Portsmouth, VA): 12.
- 224th Aviation Regiment (Sandston, VA): 18.
- 229th Engineer Battalion (Fredericksburg, VA): 11.
- 229th Military Police Company (Manassas, VA): 14.
- 276th Engineer Battalion (Petersburg, VA): 14.
- HHC, 429th Support Battalion (Danville, VA): 11.
West Virginia Army National Guard: 4 streamers from 1 unit.
- 201st Field Artillery Regiment (Fairmont, WV): 4.
-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.