Update: Mel Gibson released a video to speak about the renaming of Fort Benning. Gibson and Hal Moore became good friends during the filming of the movie, We Were Soldiers, in which Gibson portrayed him during the Battle of Ia Drang.
New York Daily News
The Army has officially renamed Fort Benning in Georgia to Fort Moore in honor of Lt. Gen. Harold “Hal” Moore and his wife, Julia Moore. The couple made “meaningful and lasting contributions” to the Army, officials said in a statement.
Gen. Moore served from 1945 to 1977 with a number of assignments in different countries, including during the Battle of Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam in 1965, which was dramatized in the film “We Were Soldiers.”
Julia Moore “was equally distinguished as a leader of Army family programs who changed how the military cares for the widows of fallen Soldiers,” the Army said. It wasn’t until after her lobbying that the Army began sending a uniformed soldier and chaplain to notify families of battlefield fatalities. Previously families were notified by telegram.
Hal Moore also oversaw the service’s personnel policy and installed the Army’s first major equal opportunity rules.
“Each man must be continually provided fair treatment and equal opportunity, within appropriate regulations, to rise to as high a level of responsibility as his talent and diligence will take him,” he wrote in a memo, according to military.com.
Both Moores are buried at the base’s cemetery.
Maj. Gen. Curtis Buzzard praised the Moores during a ceremony Thursday.
“Lt. Gen. Hal and Julie Moore were courageous leaders and visionaries whose lives exemplify duty, honor, country, and each time we pass through the gates, their legacy will inspire us,” Buzzard said.
The fort’s new sign was also unveiled Thursday.
The new designation comes days after Fort Hood was renamed Fort Cavazos after Gen. Richard Cavazos, the first Hispanic four-star general in the Army. Fort Pickett in Virginia was redesignated Fort Barfoot in March.
The new names are among nine bases being renamed to remove any reference to the Confederate States of America’s military and its leaders, an ongoing Defense Department effort.
Fort Moore, a massive training base near Columbus, Georgia, was originally named after pro-slavery and pro-secession Confederate Gen. Henry Benning. It opened in 1918.
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