Fort Bragg no more, Fort Liberty is official.
The Department of Defense announced on Oct. 6 that Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III issued a memo accepting the recommendations of a congressionally authorized commission to rename U.S. military installations honoring Confederate soldiers.
The Naming Commission, which first met in 2021, completed its analysis earlier this year with recommendations to remove all Department of Defense assets with “the names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America or any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America.”
Fort Bragg was identified as the Army installation named after Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg.
The commission recommended changing Fort Bragg’s name to Fort Liberty.
The Department's implementation of the Commission's recommendations will do just that - and will give proud new names that are rooted in their local communities and that honor American heroes whose valor, courage, and patriotism exemplify the very best of the United States military,” Austin’s memo stated.
The word “Liberty” can be found in the 82nd Airborne Song, and the value of liberty is deeply connected with the military.
Beginning on Dec. 18, the Department of Defense will start its plan to rename assets. On Fort Bragg, this includes a number of streets, buildings, equipment, uniforms, databases, police vehicles, recycling bin decals, plaques, the USASOC Memorial Wall, the Parade Field, the 82nd Airborne Museum, and the Hendrick Stadium Memorial Wall.
However, according to Austin's mandate, some of the commission’s recommended changes, such as altering the Department of Defense’s memorialization and naming processes, will be implemented immediately, according to Austin’s mandate.
It will cost the Pentagon an estimated $62.5 million to implement the recommendations. The cost estimation for Fort Bragg – soon-to-be Fort Liberty – is $6,374,230. The most expensive military installation to rename.
The Department of Defense has until Jan. 1, 2024, to complete all renaming and removals at the installations.