Photo by Paul Lara

Fort Belvoir is one of several Virginia installations to be visited by the Pentagon's renaming commission this year

Input sought for new military base names, including Fort Belvoir

The commission tasked with recommending new names for nearly a dozen military installations honoring Confederate leaders is seeking citizen input on what to name Fort Belvoir and three other Virginia Army posts: Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Lee and Fort Pickett.

The eight-member commission, including two retired Army general officers and a former drill sergeant, was mandated by the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, said retired Navy Adm. Michelle Howard, the commission chair.

On its website, the naming commission says its role is to recommend names that exemplify U.S. military and national values. “The names of our military installations should appropriately reflect the courage, values, sacrifices and diversity of our military men and women, with consideration given to the local or regional significance of names and their potential to inspire and motivate our service members.”

The law contains a detailed three-year process for renaming or removing Confederate names from U.S. military installations. Army forts named for Confederate generals will be the first step, but the law also eventually applies to ships, buildings, streets, parks, monuments or any other display.

Anyone wishing to suggest a name to the commission may go online, choose an installation, and provide a suggested new name. Justifications for the proposed name can also be provided but are not required.

The commission will recommend new names, but the final authority lies with the secretary of defense, Howard said. The commission’s final report is due Oct. 1, 2022, and the plan must be implemented by Jan. 1, 2024.


Paul Lara