Top general calls Confederacy an ‘act of treason’ & wants military to look at bases named after rebels – The Sun
ARMY General Mark Milley called the Confederacy an “act of treason” and wants the US military to take a “hard look” at renaming bases after rebels.
Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday that the Confederacy violated the Constitution.
During the Civil War, Confederate soldiers fought the United States to preserve slavery.
"It was an act of treason at the time against the Union, against the Stars and Stripes, against the US Constitution," Milley said.
"And those officers turned their back on their oath."
Milley also said the military should look into changing the names of 10 Army bases that are named after Confederate soldiers — like Fort Hood in Texas.
Last month, President Donald Trump said his administration would “not even consider” renaming the bases.
But, Milley said on Thursday: "We've also got to take a hard look at the symbology, the symbols, things like the Confederate flags and statues and bases.”
"There is no place our armed forces for manifestations or symbols of racism, bias, or discrimination."
The Army general said he’s ordered a commission for the military to explore changing the base names, and noted that minorities comprise roughly 43 percent of the country's armed forces.
"For those young soldiers that go on to a base, Fort Hood or Fort Bragg or wherever, named after a Confederate general, they can be reminded that that general fought for an institution of slavery that may have enslaved one of their ancestors," Milley said.
Recalling when he was a young soldier at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Milley said a staff sergeant told him “he went to work every day at a base that represented a guy who enslaved his grandparents."
Milley said of the Confederacy: "Now some have a different view of that. Some think it's heritage; others think it's hate."
On June 10, Trump tweeted of the 10 Army bases named after Confederates: “These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom.”
“The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars.”
“Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.”
Trump’s remarks came days after Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said they were “open to a bipartisan discussion” of renaming the bases.
Esper said on Thursday before the committee: “There is a process underway, by which we affirm what types of flags are authorized on US military bases.”
“I want to make sure that we have an approach that is enduring and that could withstand legal challenge but that unites us and most importantly helps build cohesion and readiness.”
The other bases honored by the Confederacy include Fort AP Hill, Fort Pickett, and Fort Lee in Virginia, Camp Beauregard and Fort Polk in Louisiana, Fort Benning and Fort Gordon in Georgia, and Fort Rucker in Alabama.
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