US Army open to considering removal of Confederate leaders’ names from bases

US Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy is said to be open to holding a "bipartisan conversation" about renaming nearly a dozen major bases and installations that bear the names of Confederate military commanders, according to an Army official. (Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images)

(CNN) – US Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper are said to be open to holding a "bipartisan conversation" about renaming nearly a dozen major bases and installations that bear the names of Confederate military commanders, according to an Army official.

The official said that though McCarthy believes he has the potential authority to unilaterally rename the installations, there would need to be consultation with the White House, Congress and state and local governments.

In a statement Monday, the Army confirmed that McCarthy and Esper are "open to a bipartisan discussion on the topic" but added that "each Army installation is named for a soldier who holds a significant place in our military history."

"Accordingly, the historic names represent individuals, not causes or ideologies," the statement said.

Army installations named after Confederate leaders include Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas and Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia.

The news come as the country continues to see widespread protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed last month in police custody in Minneapolis.

Protesters have demanded justice for Floyd and have sought to draw attention to decades of police brutality toward black Americans as a result of what they say is institutionalized racism in law enforcement agencies.

As a result, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced earlier this month plans to remove a statue honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Richmond's historic Monument Avenue.