Feb. 12 (UPI) — Four representatives were named on Friday to serve on a commission to identify Confederate names and symbols in the Defense Department.
Retired Navy Adm. Michele Howard, retired Marine Corps Gen. Bob Neller, American Enterprise Institute foreign and defense policy director Dr. Kori Schake and U.S. Military Academy emeritus professor of history and retired Brig. Gen. Ty Seidule were named to the commission by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
The commission has been mandated by Congress to explore potential name changes to Defense Department property bearing the names of luminary figures of the Confederate States of America.
“Each of these individuals possesses unique and relevant experience, in and out of government, that I know will inform this important effort,” Austin said in a press release.
“I am enormously grateful for their willingness to serve the nation again, and I thank them in advance for the wise counsel I am confident they will provide.”
In June, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps ordered the removal of Confederate symbolism, notably the Confederate flag, from all Navy facilities.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley also endorsed efforts in June to “explore the issue” of renaming 10 U.S. Army bases honoring Confederate military leaders.
Examinations of racial injustice brought the issue to public attention in 2020, starting a conversation about displays of iconography of the Confederate States of America, the rebelling and ultimately losing side in the Civil War, spurring the Pentagon to ban them.
The panel will serve under rules mandated by Congress in the Fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which charges it to develop plans to replace the names while “incorporating local sensitivities associated with the naming or renaming of assets.”