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Brown - Bacon Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Rename Military Installations Honoring Confederate Leaders

Washington, June 11, 2020

Brown - Bacon Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Rename Military Installations Honoring Confederate Leaders

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Vice Chair and 30-year Army veteran, Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) and 29-year Air Force veteran, Congressman Don Bacon (NE-02) introduced bipartisan legislation to establish a firm process to rename military installations honoring leaders of the Confederacy within a year.

Military leaders, active-duty troops, veterans, civil rights organizations and every day Americans have long called for changing the names of these installations and acknowledging that the cause for which they fought was wrong. Recent, highly visible instances of racial violence and racism have underscored the immediate need for change. Last week, the Marine Corps and Navy banned the Confederate battle flag from all installations, ships and aircraft. 

The legislation would form the National Commission on Modernizing Military Installation Designations. The Commission, composed of individuals appointed by service secretaries as well as members of Congress, will review and make recommendations for renaming installations and department property which have designations not in line with the values of this country or the mission of the United States military.

“The symbols and individuals that our military honors matter. It matters to the Black soldier serving at an installation honoring the name of a leader who fought to preserve slavery and oppression. It matters to the culture of inclusivity and unity needed for our military to get the job done,” said Congressman Anthony Brown. “Removing these names will be another step in an honest accounting of our history and an expression that we continue to strive to form a more perfect union.”

“As the most diverse and integrated part of American society, it is only right that our installations bear the names of military heroes who represent the best ideals of our Republic,” said Congressman Don Bacon. “We owe this to ourselves, to our military, our veterans, and to every American who will answer the call.  Now is the time to embrace our values, ‘that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.’”

The U.S. Army currently has 10 bases and facilities named after leaders of the Confederacy. On Monday, Secretary of Defense Mark P. Esper and Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy said they were “open to a bipartisan discussion on the topic” of removing Confederate names from the bases. This legislation would put those words into action. 

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