You can credit — or blame — politics for the reason why several military installations in Southern states are named for Confederate generals. Early in the 20th century, as the government sought to amass vast acreage for these bases, it appeased Southerners by naming these areas after generals familiar to the populace at the time.

And so in 1918 we had Camp Bragg, named for Braxton Bragg, a general considered by his peers and historians to be more a bumbler than a great commander. He lost most of his battles and was eventually relieved of his command in 1863.

After bearing the Bragg name for more than 100 years, the Army installation stretching across parts of six North Carolina counties will soon change its name, along with several others. The federal government has mandated removal of the old Confederate names, so Forts Bragg, Hood, Benning, Lee and several others will get new names.

A commission is taking input and will eventually come up with new names, emphasizing individuals who exemplified both U.S. military and national values. U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, whose district includes Fort Bragg, has proposed keeping the Bragg name but simply naming it after Edward S. Bragg, a Union general and four-term congressman — from Wisconsin.

There are far better names available with unique attachments to North Carolina. We recommend three finalists: George Marshall, Omar Bradley or Hugh Shelton.

The Case for Marshall

Gen. George C. Marshall was a legendary man with a resume that backs up that word. No less than Winston Churchill called Marshall “the organizer of victory” for his efforts leading Allied forces to their success in World War II.

Marshall, who attained the prestigious five-star rank, was a key planner during World War I and, during World War II, coordinated Allied efforts in Europe and the Pacific. He was an Army chief of staff under two presidents, Roosevelt and Truman. Time Magazine twice bestowed upon him its “Man of the Year” honor.

Marshall was a secretary of defense and secretary of state. In the post-war era, he advocated a massive and sweeping plan for rebuilding Europe which later bore his name: the Marshall Plan. That work led to his being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953.

As for his local connections, Marshall and his second wife kept a winter cottage here. They spent 15 years in Pinehurst living at Liscombe Lodge on Linden Road. He would often be seen riding on the streets and golf courses on horseback. He is an honorary member of the Tin Whistles, the prestigious men’s golf organization founded in Pinehurst.

The Tufts family, who founded Pinehurst, honored the general with a large granite monument, which is located in Marshall Park about 20 yards from the brick walkway parallel to Carolina Vista.

Or Bradley, or Shelton

Omar Bradley, the last to attain the rank of five-star general, stands as one of the great field commanders of World War II. As the war got started, he oversaw transformation of the 82nd Infantry Division into the first American airborne division, which is based at Fort Bragg.

He commanded several high-profile campaigns for the Army and ultimately oversaw 1.3 million men, the largest collection of soldiers ever to serve under one field commander.

Hugh Shelton, who attained the rank of four-star general, is a North Carolina native, born in Tarboro and a graduate of N.C. State University. His service began with two tours in Vietnam, and his commands included time over the 82nd Airborne Division and Special Operations Command.

Shelton became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1997 and led the planning of the Kosovo War in 1999. Shortly before his retirement in October 2001, he began the planning that eventually grew to the nation’s global war on terror.

However the naming commission ultimately proceeds, these are three excellent candidates that Moore County would be proud to have as a “neighbor.”

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(6) comments

Patricia Punch

I totally agree. Leave the name alone along with all the other bases in our country.

Kent Misegades

I still think “Fort P.C.” would be appropriate. Or why not “Fort Taliban” ? Just like the Taliban, the useful idiot PC crowd is being used by the Democrat elites to wipe out history they don’t like to subjugate their opposition.

Marcianne Lewandowski

How about we save $7 million tax dollars and leave the name alone? This is our history folks. Dont whitewash it. Learn from it.

Thomas Mattocks

I agree 110% Marcianne!

Mary Strasser

I couldn't agree more!

Conrad Meyer

Although I agree Marcianne, be careful what you wish for. Sleepy joey will use the $7 million in "savings" to help justify the trillion dollar infrastructure bill. Only two days ago joey tweeted that "My Build Back Agenda cost zero dollars."

SMH - you can't make this type of stuff up.

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