Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) led a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis urging him to begin the process of renaming military installations across the country that are named for Confederate figures. The letter is co-signed by 21 other Members, including House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (WA-09).
“As a veteran, I know what a high honor it is to have military installations named for heroic Americans,” Said Thompson. “It is an honor that no Confederate figure should enjoy. Their actions and ideology were repugnant and they should not be celebrated by the country they fought to dissolve.”
The 22 Members note that these installations are named for individuals who do not represent the best of the United States Military, and they call on Secretary Mattis to use his power as the Secretary of Defense to rename the installations.
“Several of our installations bear the name of figures who fought against our Nation as part of the Confederacy. These designations only serve to promote a dark and divisive time in our history and do not uphold the best of our country,” the Members wrote. “In your role as Secretary, we ask that you begin a process to reevaluate the naming of these installations and develop a plan to rename them to better honor the true spirit of our Nation.”
In the letter, the Members also commit to working with Secretary Mattis to ensure he has the necessary resources to initiate and complete the renaming process.
The United States currently operates 10 military installations across the country named for Confederate figures: Camp Beauregard, LA; Fort A.P. Hill, VA; Fort Benning, GA; Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Gordon, GA; Fort Hood, TX; Fort Lee, VA; Fort Pickett, VA; Fort Polk, LA; and Fort Rucker, AL.
Read the full letter here.