MILITARY MATTERS: Welcome to Fort Benning Sign Switched to Fort Moore

Published: May. 3, 2023 at 11:03 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A week from now, Fort Benning will officially change its name to Fort Moore. Signs are already being switched, including an iconic one this week.

“It makes me remember all the times that I’ve come through this gate, thousands of times,” Fort Benning Garrison Commander COL Colin Mahle said.

The signs are everywhere that Fort Benning is becoming Fort Moore. We were there as workers switched the letters on one of the most visible signs, on the way to the Army installation, near the National Infantry Museum. The Garrison Command team, responsible for soldiers and families on post, says the transition is an emotional one.

“I couldn’t be more proud to be part of this iconic change into Army values, family values,” Garrison Command Team CSM Michael Sanchez said.

More than 300 signs on the Army post need to be changed, half of those already changed, the rest being done on Thursday May 11th when it officially becomes Fort Moore.

It’s been Fort Benning for 105 years – and for those who say they’ll always call it that, one Colonel says, no matter the name, they’re still committed to the same mission: producing greatly trained combat soldiers.

“Nothing’s changing on Fort Benning. Ranger school isn’t getting any easier, Airborne school isn’t getting any easier. This is an opportunity for us to align with a contemporary family moving forward, such an inspirational leader, Hal Moore and his wife Julia,” COL Mahle told us.

CSM Sanchez added, “I think we absolutely hit the lottery ticket per se. We’re the only installation that’s being honored with a name for a husband and spouse team.”

Fort Moore is being named for Vietnam War hero Lieutenant General Hal Moore and his very involved wife Julia, both buried on Fort Benning. And the signs are just the start of the changes.

“We have 3 roads that are changing: Fort Benning Road here will be changing to Legacy Boulevard, for example. We have two other roads on Post, Dixie Avenue and Stonewall Road that’ll be changing as well,” COL Mahle said. “All of our police and fire badges on post all say Fort Benning on them. We’ve already got the new ones in now, the ones that say Fort Moore. That’s a reimbursable cost.”

He tells us, the total cost to the Department of Defense is an estimated $5 million overall to make changes at all nine U-S Army posts - named for Confederate leaders - being rebranded, as mandated by Congress.

“What it means most to me is it shows a bit of history...and future,” COL Mahle also told us.

It’s a new name that Fort Benning leaders hope inspires future generations that will serve, as they cover up the changed “Welcome to Fort Moore” sign until it’s unveiled for all next week.