Fort Moore, Fort Liberty, and Fort Cavazos are 3 of the 9 Army posts that will all be renamed by the end of 2023. So far, 8 have already been renamed as you have probably noticed online or in your local area, especially if you live at one of these posts. The last Army post will be renamed before January 2024.
Why are the posts being renamed?
Congress established the Naming Commission in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 with the goal to provide removal and renaming recommendations for all DoD items, “that commemorate the Confederate States of America of any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America.”
The Commission issued its first report in May of 2022 and finished its mission in October of 2022. The military posts started changing their names in 2023 and have until the beginning of 2024 to make the change.
Name changes like this can be confusing, even if there is a very good reason to make them. However, these were needed changes and we will now be able to honor others that have served their country in a heroic way, from the Civil War to more modern times.
So which Army installations changed their names? And what did they change them to?
Fort Benning is now Fort Moore
Fort Moore is located near Columbus, Georgia, and is named after Lieutenant General Hal Moore and his wife Julie Moore. The couple was portrayed in the movie, We Were Soldiers. Moore served in the military for 32 years after graduating from the US Military Academy in 1945. He wrote the book,We Were Soldiers Once…and Youngwhich the movie was based on.We Were Soldiersdepicts the first major battle of the Vietnam War in the la Drang Valley. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross after that fight. His wife Julie was a big advocate for the military community and helped change the way the Army delivered the casualty messages. Hal passed away in 2017, and Julie in 2004. Fort Benning became Fort Moore in May of 2023.
Fort Bragg is now Fort Liberty
Located just outside of Fayetteville, NC, Fort Liberty is the only post not changing its name to a person, but instead to an idea. The post will be named after the word “liberty” which is an American and military value. Fort Bragg became Fort Liberty in June of 2023.
Fort Hood is now Fort Cavazos
Located near Killeen, TX, Fort Cavazos is named after General Richard E. Cavazos. He was born in 1929 in Kingsville, TX, and was the first Hispanic 4-Star General in the US Army. He served in the military for 33 years, including during the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was stationed at Fort Hood in the 1950s and retired from the Army in 1984. Cavazos passed away in 2017. Fort Hood was changed to Fort Liberty in May of 2023.
Fort Lee is now Fort Gregg-Adams
Located near Petersburg, VA, Fort Gregg-Adams is named after two people. Gregg for Lieutenant General Arthur J. Gregg, and Adams for Lieutenant Colonel Charity Adams, two Black officers, and trailblazers for equality in the US Army.
Gregg enlisted in the Army in 1946 at just 17 years of age. He established himself as an outstanding logistician and in 1979 became the Army’s first Black officer to serve as a Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics. He was also the highest-ranking Black Army officer when he retired from the military in 1981. In his 90s, he is also the only one being honored that is still alive today.
Adams was the first Black officer in the Women’s Army Auxillary Corps during WW2 and led the first predominantly Black Women’s Army Corps unit to serve overseas. But the time retired she became the highest-ranking Black woman at the time. She passed away in 2002. Fort Lee became Fort Gregg-Adams in April of 2023.
Fort Picket is now Fort Barfoot
Located near Blackstone, VA, Fort Barfoot is named after Colonel Van T. Barfoot, who was a recipient of the Medal of Honor during WW2. Barfoot enlisted in the Army in 1940 and served in the military for 34 years, including time in Korea and Vietnam. Although he was never an official member of the Choctaw Nation, his grandmother was. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 92. Fort Picket became Fort Barfoot in March of 2023.
Fort Rucker is now Fort Novosel
Located in Dale County, AL, Fort Novosel is named after Chief Warrant Officer Michael J. Novosel Sr., who is a Medal of Honor recipient. He joined the Army Air Corps in 1941 when he was 19 years old. During World War II he flew B-29 Superfortress bombers. After the war he remained in the Reserves, serving as a part of the newly formed Air Force while in Korea. During Vietnam, he volunteered for active duty as a warrant officer and helicopter pilot since the Air Force had too many senior officers at the time. In October of 1969, he saved 29 men and received the Medal of Honor and in total flew over 2,500 extraction missions in Vietnam. He served in Army Aviation until 1984 and passed away in 2006. Fort Rucker became Fort Novosel in April of 2023.
Fort A.P. Hill is now Fort Walker
Located near Bowling Green, VA, Fort Walker is named after Dr. Mary Edwards Walker who was an American abolitionist, prohibitionist, prisoner of war, as well as a surgeon. She is the only woman to ever receive the Medal of Honor. Dr. Walker was born in 1832 and earned her medical degree in 1855. She was hired by the Union Forces and was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland and later the 52nd Ohio Infantry. She became the first woman surgeon in the US Army and was captured by the Confederates as a POW until she was released during a prisoner exchange. She received her Medal of Honor after the Civil War for treating the wounded in battle and across enemy lines but in 1917, the award was rescinded. In 1977 it was restored by President Jimmy Carter. She passed away in 1919 after supporting the Woman’s Suffrage Movement. Fort A.P. Hill became Fort Walker in August of 2023.
Fort Polk is now Fort Johnson
Located near Leesville, LA, Fort Johnson is named after Sergeant William Henry Johnson, who was a Black World War I hero. Johnson enlisted in the US Army in 1917 and was assigned to an all-black national guard unit that later became the 369th Infantry Regiment. In May of 1918, he single-handly stopped the German forces from approaching the main French line. He was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Palme, which is France’s highest award for Valor. He passed away in 1929 and was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart in 1996 and the Distinguished Service Cross in 2002. Fort Polk became Fort Johnson in June of 2023.
Fort Gordon is now Fort Eisenhower
Located in Augusta, GA, Fort Eisenhower is named after former President and General of the Army, Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 1911, he accepted an appointment at West Point and graduated in 1915. He was then posted to Fort Sam Houston in Texas. While he did serve in the Army during WWI, he never went overseas. He did, however, receive a Distinguished Service Medal for his work at home. Over the years he rose through the ranks and became the General of the Army in 1944 and later became the new Chief of Staff of the Army after the war. He served as the 34th President from 1953 to 1961. He was then reinstated to the rank of General of the Army after his Presidency. He passed away in 1969. Fort Gordon will become Fort Eisenhower in October of 2023.
While getting used to new names can take some time, these name changes are for the better and gives us the chance to honor a few more American heroes.