Fort Lee officially gets its new name, Fort Gregg-Adams, next month
FORT LEE – Farewell, Lee. Hello, Gregg-Adams.
Fort Lee announced on Facebook Thursday that it will take on its new name of Fort Gregg-Adams late next month in a post ceremony. The by-invitation ceremony will be livestreamed on the post’s Facebook page.
“We are proud to honor these American heroes who inspire hope and whose courage, dignity, patriotism and service exemplify the very best of the U.S. military and instill tremendous pride in sustainment professionals everywhere,” the post said on its website.
The Prince George County military installation, which began life in World War I and became a full-fledged Army post in 1950, has borne the “Lee” name since its inception. It honored Robert E. Lee, a Virginia native and former U.S. Army colonel who later became commander of the Confederate forces during the Civil War.
Amidst the nationwide unrest of the early 2020s over racial discrimination particularly in the criminal justice system, Congress attached a clause to the Defense Authorization budget package that mandated military posts named for Confederate war heroes to be changed in order to continue receiving funds. Fort Lee, Fort Pickett and Fort A.P. Hill were the Virginia installations affected by the legislation.
In May 2022, the Pentagon’s Naming Commission approved renaming Fort Lee after retired Lt. Gen. Arthur Gregg and the late Charity Adams, a World War II colonel who led the first and only unit of predominantly Black women in the 6888th Central Postal Directory in England.
More:Fort Gregg-Adams: Military panel recommends renaming Fort Lee for trailblazing Black officers
“We are deeply honored to have Lt. Gen. Arthur Gregg and Lt. Col. Charity Adams as the new namesakes for our installation,” Fort Lee commander Maj. Gen. Mark Simerly said in a statement
Former U.S. Rep. Donald McEachin, D-Virginia, led the effort to rename the post. While he had not considered Adams at the time, McEachin pushed for naming it after Gregg, a family friend and military logistics guru who began his military career at segregated Fort Lee in the mid-20th century and rose to become one of the highest-ranked military officers who also was a minority.
Sadly, McEachin did not live to see next month’s ceremony, as he died last November of complications from cancer. Gregg, however, is in his 90s and is expected to attend the ceremony.
Fort A.P. Hill and the other military posts designated for name change are also expected to rebrand on that day. Fort Pickett, which is under the command of the Virginia Army National Guard, was changing its name to Fort Barfoot in a ceremony Friday at the installation near Blackstone.
Bill Atkinson (he/him/his) is an award-winning journalist who covers breaking news, government and politics. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @BAtkinson_PI.
This article originally appeared on The Progress-Index: Virginia military post officially changes name next month