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Army renames Virginia fort after woman who treated Union soldiers during Civil War

Virginia, (Qnnflash) – In a significant move, the U.S. Army has rebranded Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia to Fort Walker, establishing it as the first military installation to be exclusively named after a woman.

A ceremony held on Friday marked the base’s renaming in tribute to Dr. Mary E. Walker. Dr. Walker’s legacy is rooted in her selfless service during the Civil War, where she provided medical care to wounded Union soldiers in field hospitals. Her dedication earned her the prestigious Medal of Honor, making her the sole woman in history to receive the highest military honor from the United States Armed Forces.

Originally named after Confederate soldier Gen. Ambrose Powell Hill Jr., a native of Virginia, Fort Walker’s new designation is part of a series of changes based on recommendations from The Naming Commission. This commission was established in 2021 after Congress overruled the veto of the annual defense spending bill by the then-President, Donald Trump.

In October of the previous year, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin gave the green light for the renaming of nine U.S. bases, acting upon recommendations presented in May. This initiative began in response to the resurgence of discussions on racial injustice and protests in 2020, which brought attention to the contentious issue of honoring Confederate generals within the military.

The process of renaming military bases commenced in January, and several installations have already undergone re-designation. For instance, Fort Lee was renamed Fort Gregg-Adams in April to pay homage to two influential Black Army pioneers. Similarly, Fort Hood was changed to Fort Cavazos in May, honoring Richard E. Cavazos, the first Hispanic general to hold a four-star rank in the U.S. military, and Fort Polk was renamed Fort Johnson in June after a World War I Medal of Honor recipient.

The deadline for the complete rebranding of all bases is set for the beginning of 2024. This comprehensive endeavor is part of a broader commitment to fostering inclusivity, diversity, and a reflection of the nation’s values within the military’s infrastructure and culture.

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