Trump stands fast, will not rename Army posts named for Confederate generals

The president is not a fan of rewriting history.

Image Credit: U.S. Army

Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy may not be in office too much longer. Why? Because, contrary to the subsequently expressed wishes of his boss-President Trump, in a Stalinist move designed to appeal to a PC audience, McCarthy expressed interest in changing the name of Army posts (other services have “bases”, the Army has “posts”) from their present names (these specific posts are named after Confederate generals) to other less martial labels.

But the president is adamant in his stance for history and U.S. military tradition. In tweets on Wednesday afternoon, Trump called the posts “Hallowed Grounds” that helped train troops to win two world wars. His administration “will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations…These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom. Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations. Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military!”

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But just two days ago, U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said he is open to the Orwellian memory hole of an idea. Bad move Mr. Secretary. An army officer leaked this to the press, “We must recognize history is important, but we must come together and have some sort of open discussion about race. This week highlighted the need to start understanding those feelings, and the Army secretary is open to considering changing the names of these bases named for Confederate generals.” Maybe McCarthy should have called the White House first.

Other officers and noncoms joined the political lead of the Secretary, “Over the past week, the country has suffered an explosion of frustration over the racial divisions that still plague us as Americans. And because your Army is a reflection of American society, those divisions live in the Army, as well,” McCarthy wrote in a sanctimonious and ahistorical statement, with Army Chief of Staff General James McConville and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston also making sure to put politics above U.S. Army lore.

At certain ranks the rarified air is filled less with military respect for unit cohesion and more with an eye to the latest press release or rioter demand. As such, they continued, “We feel the frustration and anger. We need to work harder to earn the trust of mothers and fathers who hesitate to hand their sons and daughters into our care.” “Care”? Funny, they called it something else when I was in the Army.

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And no doubt they feel that “frustration and anger” from their posh Pentagon E-Ring offices. I bet the joint is just oozing with heart on the sleeve political soldiers looking to make points with the media and with Democrats who the soldiers are duty bound to forget hate their guts. Maybe the assorted bemedalled PC warriors and bureaucratic hangers on should consider the position on U.S. military service that probably permeates the ranks of the rioters of Antifa, or their media cheerleaders, before they so supinely accede to their demands.

It is thus a very good thing that their Commander-in-Chief is putting the country and its history first. The Secretary and the generals? They, given Trump’s follow on statement, may have just tried to take a public relations bridge too far.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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