The Congressional Naming Commission has removed Fort Belvoir from its list of Army installations that were named to commemorate the Confederacy. The post was originally named after Union Brig. Gen. Andrew A. Humphreys, but renamed for the slave plantation of Lord Fairfax, Belvoir, in 1935.
Commission: Fort Belvoir’s name remains, for now
The Naming Commission, tasked with choosing new names for Army installations that had been named for Confederate generals, has removed Fort Belvoir from consideration, according to a commission announcement this morning.
A couple of Virginia installations are still in the selection; Fort A.P. Hill in Caroline County and Fort Pickett in Nottoway County.
Additionally, the list includes Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Rucker, Ala.; Fort Polk, La. and Fort Benning and Fort Gordon in Georgia.
The commission had reviewed Fort Belvoir, originally named after U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Andrew A. Humphreys in 1917. The post was renamed in 1935 after the Colonial-era plantation that once stood on its grounds. The commissioners determined Fort Belvoir does not meet the criteria provided in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act for a renaming recommendation, but a commission spokesman tells InsideNoVa the commission will recommend the Department of Defense conduct its own naming review of the post, based on results of the commission’s historical research.
The commission visited the installations last year for listening sessions with military commanders and community leaders to gain feedback on their process, preferences for new names and an understanding of local sensitivities. Commissioners will engage those same groups via virtual listening sessions in coming weeks before deliberating on final name recommendations.
During last year’s listening sessions and a public comment period via its website, the commission received more than 34,000 submissions for renaming, which included 3,670 unique names. The commissioners arrived at the current list of less than 100 names through careful review and deliberation.
“It’s important that the names we recommend for these installations appropriately reflect the courage, values and sacrifices of our diverse military men and women,” said retired Navy Admiral Michelle Howard, the chair of the Naming Commission. “We also are considering the local and regional significance of names and their potential to inspire and motivate our service members.”
The list of potential new base names can be seen at thenamingcommission.gov/names
Paul Lara covers the military beat. Reach him at email@example.com