Frequently Asked Questions
Which military bases will be renamed? What will the new names be?
The Commission made the following renaming recommendations to Congress for nine Army posts currently named after Confederate officers:
While there are yet other installations with names linked to the Confederacy, the Commission was empowered to make recommendations only for Department of Defense assets. This means the Commission could not consider new names for National Guard installations – for example, Camp Beauregard, Louisiana and Camp Maxey, Texas – which fall under the operational control of their respective state governments.
A list of DoD assets included in the final report is available here.
Did the Commission recommend a new name for Fort Belvoir?
The Commission reviewed Fort Belvoir, Virginia – originally named after U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Andrew A. Humphreys in 1917 and renamed in 1935 after the Colonial-era plantation that once stood on its grounds – and determined it does not meet the criteria provided in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act for a renaming recommendation. The Commission recommends the Department of Defense conduct its own naming review of the post. Full details on the decision are available in the third part of the Commission's report to Congress.
When will the installation names actually be changed?
Per Section 370 of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, the Secretary of Defense is expected to “implement a plan submitted by the commission” no later than Jan. 1, 2024, three years after the NDAA became law. While we anticipate that renaming activities would take place around that time-frame, the role of the commission is strictly to provide recommendations, not execute activities on behalf of DoD.
Who is ultimately responsible for the final naming decisions?
The Commission made its recommendations to Congress in a final report as mandated in the FY2021 NDAA. From there, the Secretary of Defense has the authority to direct base renaming.
How were the recommended names selected for installations?
The Commission received more than 34,000 submissions about renaming through community engagements and a public comment period via its website. Analysis of the recommendations identified 3,663 unique names among the submissions for potential use. Using criteria detailed in Part I of the final report, and aided by extensive research by a team of historians, the Commission reviewed the list and conducted deliberations to narrow it down to less than 100 total names. Commissioners then engaged the same groups they met in 2021, this time via virtual listening sessions March-April 2022, before deliberating final name recommendations and making their selections based on its established criteria in early May 2022.
What criteria were considered for new names?
The Commission established criteria focused on ensuring the names considered for military installations appropriately reflected the courage, values, sacrifices and demographics of the men and women in our armed forces, with consideration given to the local or regional significance of names and their potential to inspire and motivate service members. Full details are included in Part I of the Commission's final report.
What other kinds of things will be removed or renamed?
The Commission was directed to establish criteria to rename or remove “names, symbols, displays, monuments and paraphernalia” that commemorate the Confederacy. In addition, any “base, installation, street, building, facility, aircraft, ship, plane, weapon, equipment or any other property owned or controlled by the Department of Defense” was reviewed. A list of DoD assets reviewed by the Commission is available here and more details are included in the final report.
Are Confederate grave markers subject to removal?
No. Section 370 of the 2021 NDAA specifically excludes grave markers from removal. The Commission did not recommend disturbing remains or modifying grave markers in any way. The Commission was charged with further defining what constitutes a grave marker and those considerations were included in the final report to Congress.
Did the Naming Commission report to Congress or the Secretary of Defense?
We were a Congressional Commission that reported to the House Armed Services Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee.
What were the specific duties of the Naming Commission?
Ultimately, we were charged with providing recommendations to Congress for the removal or renaming of DoD assets that commemorate the Confederate States of America or those who voluntarily served with the Confederacy. We delivered our written report to the House Armed Services Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee, which included a list of identified assets, the costs to remove or rename them, and the criteria and methods we developed to identify those assets.
The complete duties of the Commission, as written in the William "Mac" Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2021, were:
Assess the cost of renaming or removing names, symbols, displays, monuments, or paraphernalia that commemorate the Confederate States of America or any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America;
Develop procedures and criteria to assess whether an existing name, symbol, monument, display, or paraphernalia commemorates the Confederate States of America or person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America;
Recommend procedures for renaming assets of the Department of Defense to prevent commemoration of the Confederate States of America or any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America;
Develop a plan to remove names, symbols, displays, monuments, or paraphernalia that commemorate the Confederate States of America or any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America from assets of the Department of Defense, within the timeline established by this Act; and
Include in the plan procedures and criteria for collecting and incorporating local sensitivities associated with naming or renaming of assets of the Department of Defense.
Who served on the Commission?
The eight members of the Naming Commission appointed by the administration and Congress are:
What was the actual name of the Naming Commission?
Per the William "Mac" Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for 2021, it was officially the “Commission on the Naming of Items of the Department of Defense that Commemorate the Confederate States of America or Any Person Who Served Voluntarily with the Confederate States of America."
We were more commonly referred to as the "Naming Commission."