Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper ready to hold “bipartite conversation” about the renaming of a dozen major bases and facilities named after Confederate military commanders, according to a army official.
But Trump tweeted, “These monumental and very powerful bases have become part of a great American heritage, and a … …. story of victory, victory and freedom. 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 renaming these magnificent and legendary military installations. ”
Army facilities named after Confederate leaders include Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas and Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia. Military bases across the country continued to bear the names of Confederate military commanders, even in the midst of intense outside pressure to rename them.
Peaceful protests calling for justice and addressing racial inequality dominated the United States following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, prompting many to reconsider the status quo.
In a statement released on Monday, the military confirmed that McCarthy and Esper were “open to a bipartisan discussion on the subject”, but added that “each military installation is named after a prominent soldier in our military history. ”
“As a result, the historical names represent individuals, not causes or ideologies,” the statement said.
A defense official told CNN that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley “fully supports the discussion and the efforts of Secretary McCarthy, as the statutory authority, to explore this matter.”
CNN’s Ryan Browne and Barbara Starr contributed to this report.