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Military Base Renaming: DoD Wokeness Gone Mad

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Liberal logic at the Pentagon:  When faced with possible eminent nuclear war on two continents, ignore the lack of current military preparedness, capability, training, deadlined equipment and sagging enlistments…just change the political window curtains by renaming military posts.


The Department of Defense is moving quickly to unnecessarily and inappropriately spend time and money to rename iconic Army military bases.  For a DoD what has not won a war in nearly eighty years, and may be headed to a nuclear confrontation with Russia and possibly China, domestic political correctness should be the last item on the list of preparing and planning to prevent or, if necessary to fight and win a war.

The “Congressional Naming Commission,” to facilitate this urgent defense priority, is led by of all inappropriate people a retired female Navy Admiral,  Michelle Howard.  After expending $2 million dollars and 16 months of deliberation the commission has concluded their initial findings and are now focused on the actions to rename nine historic Army bases.  The rational for this extraneous and inadvisable wokeness is as exaggerated as, “…removing the names of traitors from our military posts.”

As low I.Q. but politically woke Liz Pocahontas Warren stated recently on the Senate floor:

The Confederate soldiers who betrayed the United States to fight for the Confederacy were fighting for the institution of slavery. Plain. Simple. Ugly. It is time to put the names of those leaders who fought and killed U.S. soldiers in defense of a perverted version of America where they belong, as footnotes in our history books, not plastered on our nation's most significant military installations.


The posts were named over the last 150 years since the civil war.  The original intent was to name the military posts for military heroes regardless of whether they served for the Union or Confederacy. The conciliary memorial gesture of the naming of posts in the southern U.S. was to help bind up the nations wounds by respecting and honoring their heroes. 

Over the many decades since the naming of the subject posts, the names themselves have taken on a special meaning and a long and memorable history to those trained and prepared there to serve and fight our nation’s battles. 

Former President Donald Trump publicly and vigorously opposed the idea during his time in office, saying that changing the names ignored the history of the military sites and dishonored the troops that served at each.

The argument by the pro-change woke individuals, particularly within the military, might be that “…we can prepare for our military mission at the same time we perform this function to improve diversity, inclusion and equity and remove the Confederate racists who fought against the Union.”  In other word, the military can walk and chew gum at the same time.   Just the single recent debacle in withdrawing from Afghanistan proves just the opposite.  The DoD currently cannot plan, strategize or then safely execute a logical operational withdrawal from 20 years in combat in that country.  DoD leadership under Brandon has obviously and disastrously forgotten how to train and lead a military to victory.


That same badly led military is now considerably more obsessed with political correctness than military preparedness.

The estimated cost for name changes at and around just one Army Post, Ft. Bragg, now to become Ft. Liberty, is in excess of $7 million.  That does not account for the tens-of-thousands of hours for military and military civilian employees required to administer and physically change signage, order new forms and stationery, for the military cartographers to make the necessary “corrections and updates,” to modify and update numerous webpages, change on-post “horribly” offensive names of streets, buildings, weapons ranges, etc., etc.  All this not only cost precious defense dollars, estimated to be as much as $100M per each of the nine Army posts, but also requiring those soldiers and military employees to spend time away from training, training and logistics support, serving soldiers and their families hard hit by Biden’s inflation and mis-directed spending. 

At my alma mater, and that of generations of Infantrymen, Ft. Benning, is soon to be renamed Ft. Moore, the recent new entry façade cost in excess of $20 million.  This grandiose entry is a grossly ostentatious embarrassment of inappropriately expended tax dollars that should have been better used to train Infantry soldiers.  With that level of past expenditure in mind, think of the excessive cost to be spent just on the changes to the massive entry necessary to accommodate the name change. 


All those dollars spent on political correctness would go a long way to buy ammunition for soldier training as well as spare parts to keep ancient tactical vehicles, artillery pieces and aircraft functional.

DoD and the Naming Commission have done much to obfuscate the total cost of this unnecessary “window dressing” and installation of socially sensitive base names from those of us paying the freight for it all.  We will see what is actually reported, and probably nowhere near the total costs, soon when the  final report is due to Congress by Oct. Under the law, the Secretary of Defense is expected to implement the commission's plan no later than January 1, 2024.

It is past time for our military to properly and intently focus on mission preparedness to defend this nation rather than wasting precious time, labor and limited tax dollars on window dressing for political purposes. 

Bill Wenger is a retired commercial real estate executive, college professor, and U.S. Army Infantry Airborne Ranger Colonel. He voluntarily served four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan after initial military retirement. He served 42 years commissioned service. He earned five Master’s Degrees and has taught National Strategic Planning, the Operational Level of Warfare, business and U.S. History.  His latest book is on Amazon:  The Key to American Independence: Quantifying Foreign Assistance to the American Revolution.


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