December 02, 2020

Duckworth Commends Marine Corps and Navy on Efforts to Respect Black Servicemembers by Removing Confederate Symbols From Military Installations


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – At today’s U.S. Senate Armed Services (SASC) Subcommittee on Readiness, Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) commended General David H. Berger, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Admiral Michael H. Gilday, Chief of U.S. Naval Operations, for their leadership in removing the Confederate flag from Navy and Marine Corps installations. Duckworth also discussed readiness and operational logistics systems in the Indo-Pacific region with these military leaders. Video of Duckworth’s remarks at the Hearing is available here.

“General Berger and Admiral Gilday’s courageous decisions to remove the Confederate flag from Navy and Marine Corps installations led the way for other military services in a move that I felt displayed great concern for all Marines and Sailors,” Duckworth said. “It is imperative for our military readiness that all of our Servicemembers feel welcome and valued, which is why we must ban displays of the Confederate flag and show respect to our Black servicemembers who already face well-documented barriers to service in the military and inclusion in the ranks.”

In early June, Duckworth called on the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard Bureau to ban the display of the Confederate flag following the decisive action by Berger, who Duckworth wrote to later in the month commending his leadership on prohibiting the public display of the Confederate flag on USMC installations. Prior to his confirmation, Duckworth also pressed General Dan Hokanson, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, to commit to banning displays of the Confederate flag.

President Trump has recently threatened to veto the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) if it doesn’t abolish Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and scrap a bipartisan provision that would rename military bases named after Confederates, jeopardizing pay and benefits for troops and their families that have bipartisan support and have already passed the House and the Senate.