AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A local army post now has a new name. For decades it was known as Fort Gordon but just a few hours ago that all changed – to Fort Eisenhower.
Friday’s redesignation ceremony included music, ceremonial unveilings and a special guest speaker – Susan Eisenhower, General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s granddaughter.
Leaders of newly-named Fort Eisenhower tell us that today not only marks a name change, but also a move to incorporate the Eisenhower name into training.
“Absolutely, we will make sure that we’re incorporating his namesake into training, so that they understand – especially our cyber center folks,” said Sgt. Maj. Michael Starrett, Command Sergeant Major. “They understand where it started…how we got from where we were to where we are today.”
Susan Eisenhower says she believes her grandfather would have been proud of this honor.
“I think he would be extremely pleased that a post like this one that is so central to the future security of our country is named in his honor,” said Ms. Eisenhower. “But he would be thinking a lot about the people who are working here, I could tell you that. That’s just the way he was.”
Described as “a man of family and purpose”, General Dwight D. Eisenhower is one of only two U. S. presidents reinstated to the U. S. Army after leaving office.
Fort Eisenhower is the last military base to be renamed in the country- part of a push to rename Department of Defense facilities named after Confederates.
“This community just rallied behind this name,” said Admiral Michelle Howard (retired). “So that’s another reason why I’m happy…because it was such a choice among those wearing green and those wearing ties.”
“When I talked to the mayors of North Augusta, of Grovetown, of Augusta…we are all in this together,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Stanton, Commanding General. “It gives us something that we can unify our community behind and continue to live under the model that General and President Eisenhower set.”
Admiral Howard called it a ‘wonderful day’.
“As an African-American, I can tell you,” said Howard. “This man, as a Commander in Chief, what he did in Little Rock guarding those nine kids to uphold the Supreme Court decision to integrate schools resonates with me.”
Ms. Eisenhower tells us she feels certain her grandfather would see this moment as a commitment to the future of the nation.
“It’s a new step forward for our country,” said Eisenhower. “To begin to understand that there are always great traditions but we have to move into the future. And we move into the future as the United States of America.”
October 14th, 2023 would have been General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 133rd birthday – this redesignation day is certainly an exciting way to celebrate.