My previous blog post, about Confederate names in the military, entitled "Naming Commission" Recommends Drastic Erasure Of Confederate (American) History was published October 6. The very same day, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin officially approved the commission's recommendations.
So it's official, and not surprising. Confederate names have to go.
From Secretary Austin's memorandum:
The installations and facilities that our Department operates are more than vital national security assets. They are also powerful public symbols of our military, and of course, they are the places where our Service members and their families work and live. The names of these installations and facilities should inspire all those who call them home, fully reflect the history and the values of the United States, and commemorate the best of the republic that we are all sworn to protect.
To uphold these values and respond to the will of the United States Congress, and pursuant to section 370 of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 , I established the Commission on the Naming of Items of the DoD that Commemorate the Confederate States of America or Any Person Who Served Voluntarily with the Confederate States of America (the Naming Commission). After 18 months of work, including extensive consultations with experts, historians, and the communities rooted in the bases in question, the Naming Commission has completed its analysis and has provided me with recommendations in its final report, including its plan pursuant to subsection ( c )( 4) of section 370 (the renaming plan) to remove from all assets of the DoD "the names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America (commonly referred to as the 'Confederacy') or any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America."
I concur with all of the Naming Commission's recommendations, including the renaming plan... I fully support the efforts and recommendations of the Naming Commission on this important matter, and I am committed to implementing all of the Commission's recommendations as soon as possible, subject to the expiration of the 90-day waiting period mandated by section 370(g), and no later than January 1, 2024. To that end, I direct the relevant DoD and Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Component heads to begin planning for implementation of the Commission's recommendations immediately.
Although the Department will not implement the renaming plan prior to the expiration of the 90-day waiting period on December 18, 2022, several of the Naming Commission's recommendations - including those related to changes to the Department's memorialization and naming processes - are not subject to the Congressional waiting period. I therefore direct the relevant DoD and OSD Component heads to begin to implement those recommendations immediately.
[MEMORANDUM FOR SENIOR PENTAGON LEADERSHIP OCT -6 2022 DEFENSE AGENCY AND DOD FIELD ACTIVITY DIRECTORS — SUBJECT: Implementation of the Naming Commission's Recommendations, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Department of Defense, Oct. 6, 2022]