Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller on Friday appointed Sean McLean, a White House associate director; Joshua Whitehouse, a White House liaison to the Defense Department; Ann Johnston, acting assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs; and Earl Matthews, principal deputy general counsel for the Army.
They will serve on the ponderously-named Commission on the Naming of Items of the Department of Defense that Commemorate the Confederate States of America or Any Person Who Served Voluntarily with the Confederate States of America.
The remaining members of the eight-member panel will be appointed by the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.
The commission, charged with renaming 10 Army bases that honor Confederate leaders within three years, is mandated under a $740 billion defense policy bill that went into effect when Congress voted on New Year’s Day to override Trump’s veto.
President Trump has argued that stripping Confederate names from military bases means washing away history. President-elect Biden supports removing the names as vestiges of racism.