After the Marine Corps banned the public display of the Confederate battle flag, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy is open to discussing changing the names of U.S. bases named after Confederate leaders.
"The Secretary of the Army is open to a bipartisan discussion on the topic," Army spokesperson Col. Sunset Belinsky said in a statement Monday, according to Politico.
The George Floyd protests have "made us start looking more at ourselves and the things that we do and how that is communicated to the force as well as the American public," according to an Army official, per the report.
The Army had previously maintained "the naming of installations and streets was done in a spirit of reconciliation, not to demonstrate support for any particular cause or ideology," Task & Purpose reported, citing a statement made earlier this year. "The Army has a tradition of naming installations and streets after historical figures of military significance, including former Union and Confederate general officers."
Secretary McCarthy, along with Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville and Army Sergeant Major Michael Grinston, acknowledged a changing of position was coming in a statement last week, per Politico.
"Over the past week, the country has suffered an explosion of frustration over the racial divisions that still plague us as Americans, and because your Army is a reflection of American society, those divisions live in the Army as well," they wrote. "We feel the frustration and anger.
"We need to work harder to earn the trust of mothers and fathers who hesitate to hand their sons and daughters into our care."
Among the bases facing renaming:
- Fort Bragg, North Carolina
- Fort Gordon, Georgia
- Fort Benning, Georgia
- Fort Pickett, Virginia
- Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia
- Fort Lee, Virginia
- Fort Polk, Louisiana
- Camp Beauregard, Louisiana
- Fort Hood, Texas
- Fort Rucker, Alabama
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