Fort Lee Is Renamed

Names of two Black officers will replace that of a 'traitor' at US Army base
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2023 7:28 AM CDT
Fort Lee Is Renamed
A sign marks one of the entrances of the U.S. Army base Fort Lee Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, in Petersburg, Va.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Fort Lee in Virginia, named for Confederate army Gen. Robert E. Lee, has been renamed Fort Gregg-Adams in honor of two Black officers who made "significant contributions" to the US Army. Over a 36-year career, Lt. Gen. Arthur Gregg "rose from the rank of private to three-star general," becoming the first Black officer in the Army to reach three-star rank, according to the Army, which he helped desegregate, including at Fort Lee, per CNN. Lt. Col. Charity Adams also helped usher in more racial inclusivity. The first Black officer in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, she led the sole unit of mostly Black women to serve overseas during World War II. The unit ensured mail was delivered to and from soldiers, per ABC News.

"Both Soldiers excelled in the field of sustainment and made significant contributions to #USArmy history," the Army said in a tweet. "We're proud to honor the courage, sacrifice, and diversity of these distinguished Soldiers." Gregg "will be the only living person in modern Army history to have an installation named after him," the Army noted. "I hope that this community will look with pride on the name Fort Gregg-Adams and that the name will instill pride in every soldier entering our mighty gates," Gregg said during Thursday's renaming ceremony, per ABC. He noted Adams' "performance in getting the mail delivered in a very chaotic environment has made the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion a legend that gets bigger every day."

The Defense Department last year approved proposals to remove the names of Confederate officers from nine military bases, including Fort Lee and Fort Hood. Retired Navy Adm. Michelle Howard, who chaired the Naming Commission, tells PBS News Hour that "the people who fought for the Confederacy were traitors—they waged war against the United States—so those names should be removed or replaced with people who have remained faithful to the United States." Gregg and Adams "epitomize the professional qualities we seek in every leader who wears the uniform of the United States Army," said Maj. Gen. Mark Simerly, the renamed fort's commanding general, per ABC. (More Fort Lee stories.)

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