Mentioning Fort Bragg, Fort Hood and Fort Benning by name, Trump tweeted on Wednesday that the “Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage” and “history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom.”
“My Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations,” he added.
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…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 10, 2020
“Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military!” the president concluded.
Braxton Bragg, Henry Benning and John Bell Hood were all generals who fought for the Confederacy during the 1861-65 war that broke out over the eleven Southern states’ secession from the US. Military bases set up in the South during the build-up for the First World War that started in 1917 were all named after Confederate generals, as per guidance from the Department of War.
Calls to rename the bases have come as part of the latest push against Confederate symbols, one of the many demands of “racial justice” activists. It follows the nationwide protests against the police killing of George Floyd, an African-American man in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Though the officers involved were quickly fired and charged with murder, the protests turned violent and spread from Minneapolis to all major US cities.
A number of Confederate monuments have already been dismantled over the past week. The US Marine Corps has outlawed the use of any Confederate symbols in its ranks, while the Navy is preparing a similar ban. The sole African-American NASCAR driver has demanded the flag be purged from racing, which is very popular in the American south.
Previously, activists pushed for renaming the bases in the wake of the 2015 mass shooting at a Charleston, South Carolina black church perpetrated by the self-admitted white supremacist Dylann Roof. The Army declined, saying that the historic names “represent individuals, not causes or ideologies” and that the naming “occurred in the spirit of reconciliation, not division.”
Fort Bragg, North Carolina is the largest military base in the world and the home of the 82nd Airborne. Fort Benning in Georgia is the site of armor and infantry training schools. Fort Hood in Texas has historically been the training grounds for US tankers, and is currently the home of the 1st (armored) Cavalry Division.