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Possible name change ahead for Ft. Benning

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 8:28 PM EDT
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FT. BENNING, Ga. (WTVM) - Efforts are underway to rename Fort Benning as well as nine other Army bases in the United States named after Confederate leaders.

“Fort Benning is about the soldiers,” said Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson.

“Whatever we call this place, does not change any of that,” added Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe.

Standing strong since Fort Benning’s creation in 1918, is its name - which honors General Henry Benning who fought alongside the Confederates in the 1800s.

But with the passage of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act comes change for military installations named after confederate leaders.

“Whether we are in favor of it or not, it is going to occur,” Mayor Henderson said.

According to a majority of Chattahoochee Valley residents who took our online poll on if Fort Benning should be renamed, an overwhelming majority of people say no.

With the creation of the National Defense Authorization Act is a “naming commission” that wants input from local leaders on what Fort Benning should be renamed to, according to the Department of Defense.

“There will be participation from local community leaders in this discussion, as it goes forward,” said Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe.

Fort Benning says the naming commission will be touring Fort Benning in late July. At that time, they will seek insight from local leaders on names.

Possible options include Col. Ralph Puckett, Jr, Lt. Gen. Hal Moore or George C. Marshall.

Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson says no matter what Fort Benning is renamed to, it’s core values and mission won’t change. “You can call it anything you want, but it is still about the soldiers. It’s about the central mission of training our future fighting force.”

The commission will brief the House and Senate Armed Services committees on its progress and recommendations by October 1 this year.

It will then present a final briefing and written report to the armed services committees on October 1, 2022.

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