Obviously the US isn’t going to name a federal building in Oklahoma after Timothy McVeigh, nor is it going to name a sky scraper in NYC after Osama bin Laden. My how times have changed!
Not so very long ago American military bases and ships were attacked viciously using information warfare tactics and conspicuously named for those who wanted America to be destroyed.
Even more to the point, history had been systematically erased through the process of gifting honors to immoral and disgraceful enemies of the state (rather than heroes and role models who served to protect America from its enemies).
Now a Naming Commission is taking suggestions for how to remove these attacks on American identity, undo obvious damage to morale, and reverse the systemic erasure of history.
The Naming Commission has the important role of recommending names that exemplify our U.S. military and national values. We are determined to gain feedback and insight from every concerned citizen to ensure the best names are recommended. To accomplish this monumental task, we are engaging with local, city, state and federal leaders and communities. We also encourage all interested citizens to submit naming recommendations…
Here is a quick list of suggestions to help get things rolling:
- USS Chancellorsville –> Captain Donnie Cochran
First African American Blue Angels commanding officer
- Fort Bragg –> Captain Silas S. Soule
In September 1864, Soule and his commanding officer, Major Edward Wynkoop, participated in the Smoky Hill peace talks with Cheyenne and Arapaho Peace Chiefs. Later, he traveled with Wynkoop and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Chiefs to Denver for a meeting at Camp Weld with Governor and ex-officio Superintendent of Indian Affairs John Evans and Chivington. Soule’s presence at both of these important peace meetings reinforced the decisions he made at Sand Creek on November 29, 1864, when he showed extraordinary courage in refusing to participate in the massacre of the peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho. During the attack, Soule and his company of soldiers refused to fight and in the days following the massacre, Soule wrote the chilling and explicit letter [documenting crimes and] one of the first to testify against Chivington during the Army’s investigation in January 1865.
- Fort Benning –> Gen. Oliver W. Dillard
Graduate of Fort Benning, Commanding General United States Army having served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Fifth African American flag officer in Army, first black intelligence general, National Intelligence Hall of Fame. Distinguished Service Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Silver Star, Legion of Merit (2 Oak Leaf Cluster), Bronze Star (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Purple Heart, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Good Conduct Medal, and Combat Infantryman Badge (2nd Award).
- Fort Lee –> President Ulysses Grant
- Fort Hood –> Lee Roy Young Jr
The first Black law enforcement officer to serve as a Texas Ranger in the agency’s 165-year history. His great-grandfather was a Black Seminole and fought in three Seminole Indian wars (the largest slave rebellion in American history). From the small town of Del Rio as a child he decided he wanted to be a Ranger. He joined the Navy and served four years during the Vietnam War. After serving he earned a college degree from the University of Texas and began his law enforcement work, eventually working as a trooper and criminal investigator. In 1985, he took up the challenge of trying to become a Ranger. Three years later he was accepted and began investigating some of the state’s most notorious crimes. After retiring in 2003, Young opened his own private investigation agency.
- Fort Pickett –> Army Col. Ruby Bradley
Army’s most highly decorated nurse. As a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, she was the third woman in Army history to be promoted to the rank of Colonel. She earned 34 medals for her service during World War II and the Korean War.
- Fort Rucker –> Lieutenant Willa Brown
- USNS Maury –> Ensign Jane Kendeigh
- Lieutenant Colonel Charles Calvin Rogers
Known as a leader who led from the front, Rogers went where the action was most intense, rallying troops and personally directing and redirecting the howitzer fire. He ran from position to position, even assuming a place on one fire team that had been diminished by casualties; engaged in close-range firefights; and was wounded multiple times during the three assaults. After being wounded so seriously that he could no longer fight himself, he continued calling encouragement and reassurance to his troops. Due in no small part to his courageous leadership, 1st Battalion prevailed and the NVA force was repelled. On May 14, 1970, President Richard Nixon bestowed the Medal of Honor on LTC Charles Rogers, making him the highest-ranking Black soldier to ever be awarded the Medal of Honor. Rogers continued his service and rose to the rank of Major General, making him the highest-ranking Black Medal of Honor recipient. He worked diligently for race and gender equality in the military before he retired from the Army in 1984, after 32 years of service
“The mere act of breaking the negro’s chains was the act of Abraham Lincoln…. But the act by which the negro was made a citizen of the United States and invested with the elective franchise was pre-eminently the act of President Grant” — Frederick Douglas, 1876
Willa became a founding member of the National Airmen’s Association of America (NAAA), the first Black aviators’ group. She served as the national secretary and president of the Chicago branch of the NAAA, whose main objective was to pursue the participation of African Americans in aviation and aeronautics, as well as bringing African Americans into the armed forces. The work of both the school and the NAAA gained traction with the onset of World War II, as a serious shortage of experienced pilots made headlines across the country. A 1939 Time Magazine article on the topic mentions Willa and the NAAA, giving a national platform for their proposed solution to the problem: train African American men to become pilots! Willa advocated tirelessly for desegregation in the military, and her school finally became part of the government-funded CPTP, the Civilian Pilot Training Program (later the WTS, War Training Service Program), established to provide the country with enough experienced aviators to improve military preparedness. It allowed for participation of African Americans on a “separate-but-equal” basis. Willa was named federal coordinator for the CPTP in Chicago and, while the Coffrey School was not allowed to train pilots for the Army, it was chosen to provide African American trainees for the pilot training program at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. This program led to the creation of the famed Tuskegee Airmen and Willa was directly responsible for training over 200 future Tuskegee Airmen and instructors.
First naval flight nurse to fly evacuation mission to an active combat zone (Okinawa) she also served at Iwo Jima helping to evacuate 2,393 Marines and sailors. Of the 1,176,048 total of military patients evacuated in these dangerous flights during war, only 46 died en route.