How the political tide shifts in a week! On June 6, I reflected on what it means to be Southern-born and to reject the “Lost Cause” of the Confederacy. That seemed to match the general zeitgeist: only a few days later, Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed changing the names of U.S. military bases named after C.S.A. commanders. The resolution was passed in the Senate Armed Services Committee, and was backed by Senator (and decorated veteran) Tammy Duckworth. Secretary of Defense Mike Esper has voiced support for this change as well.
My birthplace, Fort Bragg, was named for Confederate General Braxton Bragg. I understand the conciliatory attitude of the Union when they allowed state governments to choose the names of new military bases within their respective jurisdictions. Unfortunately, some indignant white supremacists chose to name this vast base after a commander who was not only a Confederate, but also incompetent.
There are many American soldiers who trained and served at the base, and fought bravely for the United States. There are many Medal of Honor recipients associated with the base, who better deserve to be memorialized by our military, such as Army Sergeant First Class Bennie Gene Adkins. However, I agree with War on the Rocks commentators Quinn and Fritz that probably the most appropriate choice would be to rename the base for General Roscoe Robinson Jr. In addition to his great service record, he served at the base itself as commander the 82nd Airborne Division. My dad was serving in the 82nd when I was born on the base, so I have a special affinity for the 82nd.
I would be honored to re-state that I was born at Camp Robinson.