FORT BRAGG, N.C (WNCN) – Fort Bragg was officially redesignated as Fort Liberty in a ceremony at the North Carolina military installation on Friday.
“The name changes, the mission does not change,” base spokesperson Cheryle Rivas said.
The U.S. Department of Defense had announced plans to rename Fort Bragg in January after concluding its Naming Commission Process. Defense Sec. Lloyd J. Austin III accepted the renaming recommendations months earlier in September 2022, after a push to rename military installations that had been named after confederate soldiers.
Fort Bragg, as it was previously known, had been named for North Carolina Confederate General Braxton Bragg, a slave-owner and a figure associated with the loss of key Civil War battles.
The Black Lives Matter demonstrations that erupted nationwide after the killing of Georg Floyd by a white police officer, coupled with ongoing efforts to remove Confederate monuments, turned the spotlight on the Army installations.
A naming commission created by Congress visited the bases and met with members of the surrounding communities for input.
The new name, Fort Liberty, honors “the heroism, sacrifices, and values of the Soldiers, Service Members, Civilians, and Families who live and serve with this installation,” Fort Bragg officials wrote in a March news release.
“We view this as the next chapter in our history and look forward to honoring the stories of our military heroes from every generation and walk of life,” the statement continued.
The cost to rename Fort Bragg — one of the largest military installations in the world by population — will total about $8 million, Col. John Wilcox said Friday. Most front-facing signage has been changed but the process is ongoing.
Fort Polk in Louisiana will be the next installation to change its name June 13 to Fort Johnson, in honor of Sgt. William Henry Johnson. The naming commission’s proposed changes must be implemented by Jan. 1.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.