FORT BENNING, Ga. (WRBL) — Before the end of the year, Fort Benning’s name will be changed to Fort Moore, in honor of Lt. General Hal Moore and his wife, Julia.
Friday at Fort Benning, post officials and four of the five Moore children talked about the upcoming name change.
Fort Benning is one of nine Army posts named for former Confederate generals to renamed.
That renaming has to be completed by Jan. 1, 2024.
At Fort Benning, the process is well underway. The exact date it will happen has not been announced.
The Army has not said how much that renaming process will cost.
Maneuver Center of Excellence Commander Maj. Gen. Curtis Buzzard puts the name change into perspective.
“Later this year, we will formalize the name of this installation as Fort Moore in what may be the most culturally significant event of my Army career,” Buzzard said.
Garrison Commander Col. Colin P. Mahle said post officials are working on the mechanics of the name change.
“The installation has undertaken a full review of all assets that reference the Benning name,” he said. “This includes real property, buildings, roads, and signs, as well as our online footprint products – web pages and social media.”
And that’s just the beginning of it.
“In addition to these physical updates, we must also engage in a comprehensive outreach and communication campaign to ensure all stakeholders, including our military members, their families, and the surrounding community are informed of the change and understand its full significance,: Mahle said.
The name change is imminent.
And four of Hal and Julie Moore’s five children spent time on the post Friday talking about their parents – and this honor.
Hal and Julia Moore were an Army one-two punch. He was in the war zone taking care of the troops in Korea and Vietnam.
She was stateside taking care of business. Caring for her family – and the families of those serving alongside her husband.
David Moore was asked what his mother would think about Fort Benning bearing her name.
“Little ol’ me? It’s about me,” he said, imitating his mom’s voice.
It’s about them. And David says his dad would have reluctantly accepted the honor.
“I would say if my father were to know of this recommendation and was to know it was only about him, he would vehemently disagree and oppose it,” David Moore said. “However, given his humility, and given his love for his wife and the Army family, knowing that this renaming now provides the opportunity to honor Julia, and by honoring her, a spouse who followed him and who was devoted to him, devoted to his soldiers and never really got her due.”
That would have swayed him, David said.
“To realize that base renaming opportunity honor her, what she represents, her values, and lifts the Army family in terms of visibility and importance I believe he would approve of that,” David said.
And Steve Moore said this is about what his parents stood for.
“It is the character and service they represent,” he said. “If people, see the name of Fort Moore on the sign out there. That’s what we want them to think about. Not Hal. Not Julia. Values, character, service, and the sacrifice.”
Buzzard spent significant time with the Moore children this week and walked away convinced Hal and Julia Moore stood tall for Army vaules.
“Hearing the stories on a personal level just reinforced the character of the Moores and their legacy of service family and community that embodies the best of the Army,” he said.
And the Moores stand in the gap for many Army families over many years, Greg Moore said.
“We are a military family,” Greg said. “And what that means is our parents tried to raise us as the most normal, conventual family possible within the most abnormal circumstances that military life can provide. That is the terror of separation, potential death, and loss.”
One of the Army values stressed at Fort Benning is character.
“Character also gives our soldiers the strength and determination to face and overcome challenges that come with serving your country,” Buzzard said. “The Moores exemplified this very description of character. And lived our Army’s values. They served our country with honor, displaying a level of courage, humility, and dedication that is truly exceptional.”
And Cecile Moore Rainey says her mom was a critical piece of Team Moore.
“From my mother’s standpoint, moving 28 times in 32 years,” Cecile said. “I moved 14 times in 18 years; adaptability comes to mind. You really as a military family has to adapt to so many different things, making new friends. A new on-post, off-post. You just don’t know what you are going to be up against.”
Hal and Julia Moore rest in the same grave on the Main Post Cemetery, not far from the entrance to the post that will soon be named for them.
The children visited the cemetery before leaving post. The Moores are buried near many of the men who died in the famed battle of Ia Drang Valley.
“They are all around here,” David said. “Look for November 14-17, 1965.”
That 1965 fight in Vietnam was the subject of the 2002 movie “We Were Soldiers” and the book by Gen. Moore and Journalist Joe Galloway “We Were Soldiers Once … And Young.”