President Trump: No Renaming of Military Bases

President Trump issued a statement Wednesday against the movement to rename U.S. military bases named for Civil War generals who fought for the Confederacy. The campaign to rename the bases gained new momentum this week as part of the Maoist-American cultural revolution that has seen statues toppled by mobs or taken down by Democrat officials, movies and TV shows being taken offline or canceled and people forced out their jobs for having the wrong opinion.
Trump’s statement comes after Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy said this week through a spokesperson they were open to renaming the bases (via Politico):
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy is now “open” to renaming the service’s 10 bases and facilities that are named after Confederate leaders, an Army spokesperson told POLITICO, in a reversal of the service’s previous position.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper also supports the discussion, the spokesperson said.
“The Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Army are open to a bi-partisan discussion on the topic,” Army spokesperson Col. Sunset Belinsky said in a statement Monday…
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany read President Trump’s statement to reporters at the start of Wednesday’s press briefing.
Trump also tweeted the statement:
“It has been suggested that we should rename as many as 10 of our Legendary Military Bases, such as Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Benning in Georgia, etc. These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a…history of Winning, 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 the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations……Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military!”
Disgraced former CIA Director and retired Army General David Petraeus wrote an article published by the Atlantic on Tuesday titled, Take the Confederate Names Off Our Army Bases (excerpt):
As I have watched Confederate monuments being removed by state and local governments, and sometimes by the forceful will of the American people, the fact that 10 U.S. Army installations are named for Confederate officers has weighed on me. That number includes the Army’s largest base, one very special to many in uniform: Fort Bragg, in North Carolina. The highway sign for Bragg proclaims it home of the airborne and special operations forces. I had three assignments there during my career. Soldiers stationed at Bragg are rightly proud to serve in its elite units. Some call it “the Center of the Military Universe,” “the Mother Ship,” or even “Hallowed Ground.” But Braxton Bragg—the general for whom the base was named—served in the Confederate States Army.
The United States is now wrestling with repeated instances of abusive policing caught on camera, the legacies of systemic racism, the challenges of protecting freedoms enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights while thwarting criminals who seek to exploit lawful protests, and debates over symbols glorifying those who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. The way we resolve these issues will define our national identity for this century and beyond. Yesterday afternoon, an Army spokesperson said that Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy is now “open to a bipartisan discussion” on renaming the bases. That’s the right call. Once the names of these bases are stripped of the obscuring power of tradition and folklore, renaming the installations becomes an easy, even obvious, decision…
…But Confederate leaders are different from these other examples not simply in degree, but in kind: Plainly put, Lee, Bragg, and the rest committed treason, however much they may have agonized over it.* The majority of them had worn the uniform of the U.S. Army, and that Army should not brook any celebration of those who betrayed their country.
A long-standing maxim for those in uniform is that one should never begin a war without also knowing how to end it. And this is a kind of war—a war of memory. The forts named for Confederate generals were established before the formulation of the rules now codified in Army Regulation 1-33, which sets the criteria for memorializing soldiers. But, as is so often the case when the Army is found to have fallen short of its elemental values, it also possesses the remedy. While the regulation states, “Rememorializing or rededicating actions are strongly discouraged, and seldom appropriate,” it also outlines a clear administrative process to follow when they are. This is the moment to pursue that process…
Petraeus’ article has an embarrassing correction appended at the end, “This article previously included Fort Jackson in a list of military installations named after Confederate generals. Fort Jackson is in fact named after President Andrew Jackson.”
Background: NPR reports the bases and their names came from World War I (excerpt):
It was the summer of 1917. America had declared war on Germany a few months earlier, and young men were streaming into the Army by the tens of thousands.
So the U.S. War Department rushed to create new camps and bases around the country for all the soldiers who would soon go to war. A July 2 memo to the Army Chief of Staff spelled out how to choose names for the new facilities. It was titled: “Names for cantonments, National Army, and camps, National Guard.”
The memo said the bases and camps would be named after Americans — preferably those with short names, to “avoid clerical labor.” The military would choose the names of “Federal commanders” for facilities in the North, the memo stated, and “Confederate commanders for camps of divisions from southern states.”…
More background via Task and Purpose (excerpt):
As the Army looked to grow exponentially after America’s entry into World War I, the War Department sought out land to build new training posts. Installations to train hundreds of thousands of new recruits sprang up all across the country. And the Army — with input from local communities, depending upon location — named each post. (Sidenote: My great grandfather worked as a carpenter and helped build Camp Grant, named after Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, outside Rockford, Illinois, in 1917 before he was drafted.)
Installations in the South tended to be named after local rebel heroes — either by the community that still took their Confederate heritage seriously, or by the Army, which believed that Confederate history was a part of its own. The Army still believes that on some level, given how they require current Army National Guard units in Southern states to display Confederate battle streamers…
…After the war (WWII), the Army formalized how it named posts, forts, and installations through a board called the Army Memorialization Board. Governed by Army regulations, this board was charged with ensuring all Army post names met at least one of five criteria. Someone who was so honored would need to be:
“a national hero of absolute preeminence by virtue of high position,
an individual who held a position of high and extensive responsibility (Army and above) and whose death was a result of battle wounds,
an individual who held a position of high and extensive responsibility and whose death was not a result of battle wounds,
an individual who performed an act of heroism or who held a position of high responsibility and whose death was a result of battle wounds, and
an individual who performed an act of heroism or who held a position of high responsibility and whose death was not a result of battle wounds.”
The Army, evidently, concluded each C.S.A. name met at least one of these criteria…

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