Ft. Polk ‘Listening Session’ planned to discuss name change

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Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 10:15 AM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - A public meeting is set with the commission charged with renaming Ft. Polk and other military installations around the country. That meeting will be held at the Warriors Club at Fort Polk at 1:15 p.m on November 18.

Leesville Mayor Rick Allen, who is also the chairman of Ft. Polk Progress, told News Channel 5 that he’s learned the meeting should run roughly one hour. He expects a huge turnout.

The Naming Commission, which is an eight-person commission comprised of political and retired military leaders, plans to present recommendations to congress by next October on which names should replace those at nine U.S. army installations.

In addition to Ft. Polk, posts like Ft. Benning, Ft. Bragg, and Ft. Hood are on the list.

The name changes were mandated by congress in the 2021 “National Defense Authorization Act”, which was vetoed by President Trump. Congress overrode the veto the first of this year.

“I understand both sides of this,” Mayor Allen said. “Much of the reason I’m registered as an independent and not a Republican or a Democrat is that I feel like I can get more done from the middle. I have chosen to take a neutral position and try to figure out how to capitalize on a positive out of this. The only way that I see to to do that is to put that positive message out there. Ft. Polk has not always had the greatest reputation. It’s an opportunity for us to rebrand Ft. Polk.”

Once all of the new names are chosen, officials have said they’ll all go into effect at once in January 2024.

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