Fort Bragg in North Carolina and other bases bearing Confederate names must be renamed within three years, according to a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2021.
The $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act passed the House earlier last week and the Senate on Friday. It includes a three percent pay raise for military members.
President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the legislation over its provision to change the names of bases named after Confederates and an unrelated Internet provision. Nevertheless, the defense bill passed the House and Senate by veto-proof majorities. This could foil a Trump veto in the final weeks of his presidency.
Camp Bragg was established in 1918. It was named after North Carolina Gen. Braxton Bragg.
General Bragg had served in the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War. He was then a general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. In 1922, Camp Bragg became Fort Bragg.
“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,” Trump had written in a series of tweets in June.
“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!”
Fort Bragg is one of the most prominent bases named after a Confederate officer.
If NDAA is indeed vetoed, significant decisions would have to be delayed. These range from how many Virginia-class attack submarines and F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to buy to the size and scope of a special fund to deter China in the Pacific.
The White House labeled the push to pass the NDAA as “politically motivated attempts… to rewrite history and displace the enduring legacy of the American Revolution with a new left-wing cultural revolution.”
Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to pass the legislation.
Besides Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas, and Fort Benning in Georgia seven other U.S. military bases named after Civil War Confederate generals. All of the bases in question are Army bases, and all are located in southern states.
Base names aren’t the only controversial change surrounding Confederate figures of the Civil War. Additionally, statues that honor Confederate leaders have been removed around the country. Notable among them was the removal of General Jackson’s statue from the Virginia Military Institute after allegations of racism on the campus.