The cost of renaming Fort Polk in Vernon Parish is going to set taxpayers back by more than $1 million dollars, at least that's the best guess estimate from the commission tasked with that particular order. The Naming Commission Report suggests that the price tag to rename Fort Polk will be about $1.3 million which is a small fraction of the $21 million in total the commission expects to spend renaming Fort Polk and eight other bases around the country.

Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images
Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images
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The names of those bases are being changed because of their connection to the confederacy. For example, Fort Polk was not named after United States President James K. Polk which many people assume it was. It was named for Leonidas Polk, a confederate general who was a slave-owning bishop, according to the Naming Commissions findings. 

The new name for Fort Polk, at least the one that has been offered up for consideration by the Department of Defense is Fort Johnson. In this case, the military installation would be named in honor of William Henry Johnson. Johnson, an African-American, earned a medal of honor for his service in World War I.

Public Doman via Army.mil
Public Doman via Army.mil
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Sergeant Johnson was a badass in every sense of the word. He earned the nickname "Black Death" for his heroics in the first World War.

FtPolkNews via YouTube
FtPolkNews via YouTube
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The reasons the cost of renaming the base is so expensive actually make sense when you stop and think about it. Think of all the signs, street signs, building names, even letterhead, business cards, and stationary, all of that will have to be changed to reflect the new name and that does not come cheap.

The Secretary of Defense is reviewing the suggested name change for Fort Polk and the other eight installations whose names were deemed inappropriate. A decision to formalize the Naming Commission's findings is expected in late 2023 or by the beginning of 2024.

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