Trump says he 'will not even consider' renaming US military bases that honour Confederate rebellion leaders

Pfc. Joshua Cowden / 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment /DVIDSThe XVIII Airborne Corps Headquarters at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, June 28, 2019.
  • President Donald Trump on Wednesday threw cold water on recent proposals to rename nearly a dozen US military bases named for Confederate leaders.
  • “My Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations,” Trump said, adding that renaming bases that honour Confederate rebellion leaders would somehow be disrespectful to the US military.
  • Some former military leaders who commanded the bases in question have been open to renaming them.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday threw cold water on recent proposals to rename nearly a dozen US military bases that reference Confederate leaders.

“These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom,” Trump said in a tweet. “The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars.”

“Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations,” Trump said, adding that renaming bases that honour Confederate leaders would somehow be disrespectful to the US military. “Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our military!”

Senior US military leaders have recently floated the idea of renaming several of the military bases, including Ft. Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina, which is named for Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg, and Ft. Lee in Prince George County, Virginia, which is named for Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Defence Secretary Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy announced they were willing to discuss the renaming of the bases on a “bipartisan” basis, a US Army spokesperson said. US Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also supported the Army’s discussion on the issue, CNN reported Tuesday.

The Army previously told military news organisation Task & Purpose in February that it had no plans to “rename any street or installation,” and that they were named “in a spirit of reconciliation, not to demonstrate support for any particular cause or ideology.”

The change in tone comes as the country grapples with racial tensions following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died during his arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25.

Other retired military officials have been open to the suggestion of renaming the military bases. Retired US Army Gen. Paul Eaton, the former commander of the US Army infantry school at Ft. Benning, said on Twitter it was “bad policy that such important Army posts be named after traitors.”

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