WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (SC-06) and Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) urged Admiral Michelle Howard, Chair of the Naming Commission at the U.S. Department of Defense, to rename Fort Lee in Central Virginia after Lt. General Arthur J. Gregg. This recommendation follows an independent commission organized by the Members, which agreed that the military base should be rededicated as Fort Gregg.
“You have been tasked with the critical and long-overdue responsibility of beginning the process of renaming military installations honoring individuals who took up arms against the United States to preserve the institution of slavery. This change is long overdue,” the Members wrote in a letter. “The Armed Forces of the United States exemplify the values, identity, and diversity of our nation, and it is imperative that the names of military installations, ships, buildings, and other property reflect that as well.”
Lt. General Gregg was a thirty-five-year veteran of the U.S. Army, a celebrated military logistician, and a barrier-breaker for African American armed forces. He worked to combat racial and institutional barriers for minority servicemembers. Upon his retirement in 1981 as the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, he was the highest-ranking minority general, and the second-highest ranking Black servicemember to date.
“By establishing Fort Gregg, the Army would not only honor a pioneer in military leadership and logistics, but also honor the legacy of all Black servicemembers who offered the best of themselves to a nation that did not always show them the same respect nor recognize their value,” the letter continues.
The U.S. Army post and headquarters is currently named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee, a prominent leader of the Confederacy in Virginia, who fought to preserve slavery and uphold institutional racism in the United States.
Read Whip Clyburn’s and Rep. McEachin full letter here.