The Pentagon said this week it will need more authority from Congress to continue the Naming Commission’s work identifying and rebranding installations and real estate assets around the world that are named after Confederate leaders, according to Army Times.
Congress authorized the commission through the defense authorization process.
Although that legislation “contemplates that the commission may recommend that the defense secretary assign or modify names of real property, it does not authorize the secretary to implement those recommendations,” DOD officials wrote in new legislative requests to Congress. “Absent special legislation… this lack of clarity impedes the secretary’s ability to meet the obligation to implement the recommendations.”
DOD says that without that authority, it could strip the old names but not finalize the new ones. The issue has the potential to be a divisive midterm year topic in some states and districts.
The commission recently released a list of more than 750 assets it may recommend renaming, as On Base reported. It also shared a list of potential names it culled from tens of thousands of public submissions, as shared in On Base.
The commission plans to make visits to the impacted bases before it recommends any changes.
Army photo from 2014 by Heather Graham-Ashley