In a move mandated by Congress that began in 2021 in an effort to cut ties to Confederate figures from history, the Federal government has embarked on a national campaign to rename several Army installations.  Fort Polk, in Leesville, Louisiana, is the latest to get a new moniker.  Ft. Polk was originally named after Lt. General Leonidas Polk, a Confederate commander.

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Other U.S. Army bases to be renamed include North Carolina's Fort Bragg, changed to Fort Liberty, Georgia's Fort Benning, is now Fort Moore, and Texas' Fort Hood, now called Fort Cavazos.  As of Tuesday, Fort Polk will now be known as Fort Johnson.

According to

Fort Johnson was established in 1941 as Camp Polk to support the innovative 1940 Louisiana Maneuvers where thousands of Soldiers trained for combat during World War II. That mission – to provide realistic, relevant, and rigorous training to deploying units – still exists today. In addition to training over half of the Army's Infantry Brigade Combat Teams, we support the Operations Group; 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division; 32nd Hospital Center; 1st Battalion, 5th Aviation Regiment; the 46th Engineer Battalion; the 519th Military Police Battalion; Bayne Jones Army Community Hospital, the Fort Johnson DENTAC, and the 705th EOD Detachment.

Sgt. William Henry Johnson was a World War I Medal of Honor recipient from North Carolina who served in the 369th U.S. Infantry Regiment.  Johnson received several military awards posthumously, including the Purple Heart in 1996, the Distinguished Service Cross in 2003, and most recently, the Medal of Honor in 2015.

“Sgt. William Henry Johnson embodied the warrior spirit, and we are deeply honored to bear his name at the Home of Heroes,” said Brig. Gen. David W. Gardner, commanding general of the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, in the press release.


Former President Theodore Roosevelt called Johnson one of the five bravest Americans to serve in World War I.

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