While Fort Bragg, North Carolina will be renamed later this year, some social media users are still mulling why it won’t be renamed after a person.
Earlier this month, a Reddit user asked the question that many others have pondered, “Why is Fort Bragg the only one getting an abstract name instead of being named after a person?”
The 2021 National Defense Authorization Act mandated the Naming Commission to identify assets, including Army installations, that commemorate the Confederacy.
Fort Bragg is currently named after Gen. Braxton Bragg, a Confederate general associated with being a slave owner and losing battles during the Civil War.
The local post is among nine Army installations identified for a name change.
What’s being said on social media
In response to the Reddit post about Fort Liberty, users chimed in.
“You can’t name the center of the universe after a single person,” one user wrote.
Another person speculated that the decision to rename Fort Bragg to Fort Liberty was because the U.S. Army Special Operations Command and 82nd Airborne Division “wanted it named after one of their guys and neither could agree on one.”
“The Naming Commission was like, “Fine, if you babies can’t compromise, you’re gonna be Fort Liberty,” the user said.
Another user shared a similar sentiment.
“They were like, ‘We’re gonna turn this Naming Commission around if you can’t agree and get along.’”
A few Reddit users referenced Liberty Mutual Insurance’s commercials.
“Liberty Bibberty,” two people commented.
Others said they would have preferred the home of the airborne and Special Forces to be renamed after Medal of Honor recipient Master Sgt. Roy Benavidez, who was a top 10 consideration by the Naming Commission.
“I’m just gonna call it Fort Benavidez,” one person wrote.
One individual said Benavidez “seemed like the perfect choice,” since he served in both Special Forces and the 82nd Airborne Division.
Another agreed. “Getting the post named after Roy should’ve trumped all disputes between 82nd and USASOC,” they wrote.
But why is it being called Fort Liberty?
In a June letter to the editor, retired Maj. Gen. Rodney Anderson said he participated in stakeholder meetings about the renaming process.
“The task and purpose of the soldiers, families, paratroopers and operators who live among us is to be the liberators,” Anderson wrote.
At the final meeting, Anderson said the group of 50 community leaders “concluded that Fort Liberty was the right choice.”
According to the Naming Commission’s report to Congress, “Fort Liberty symbolizes the U.S. Army’s defense of liberty.”
The word liberty, the report states, is featured in the 82nd Airborne Division’s song and is part of the Army Special Forces’ motto.
In May, the commission announced that after community stakeholder meetings, it was recommending renaming Fort Bragg to Fort Liberty, which Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin agreed with.
Col. John Wilcox, Fort Bragg’s garrison commander, said in a radio interview last month that he expects the name change to happen in June.
*Editor’s Note: This article was published as part of a content-sharing agreement between Army Times and The Fayetteville Observer.