Top U.S. Marine Orders All Confederate Symbols Be Removed From Corps Bases

The commandant of the Marine Corps has ordered that all symbols connected to the Confederacy be removed from Marine installations, according to reports.

Commandant General David Berger is said to have instructed that all Marine bases remove any "Confederate-related paraphernalia" worldwide, reported Task and Purpose.

The directive was sent out as part of a memo, seen by Military.com, in which Berger demanded several initiatives be put in place, including finding ways to place more women in combat positions and to update their recruitment policies to prohibit those with prior domestic abuse convictions.

Many of the new policies were revealed by Berger via Twitter on Friday.

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"While I am aware of the good work already being done across the force in support of my planning guidance implementation, these are some of my most important matters for immediate execution," he tweeted.

The line in the memo about the confederate symbols being removed also tweeted out by military analyst B. A. Friedman.

"Last week, the Commandant of the Marine Corps directed specific tasks be reviewed or addressed by Headquarters Marine Corps staff," Captain Monica Witt, communication strategy officer for Marine Corps, told Newsweek in a statement.

"Many of the tasks were published on Twitter Friday. Other tasks not published previously are mostly administrative matters.

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"Any official policy decisions, changes or implementation plans will be published via appropriate orders and messages."

The decision arrives amid long-running debates about the prominence of Confederate flags and monuments in states such as the Carolinas.

A renewed push for the removal of Confederate statues was brought on in the wake of the mass shooting of a black church in Charlestown by white supremacist Dylann Roof, who was pictured posing with a Confederate flag on social media prior to the attack.

The order also arrives after a survey conducted by the Military Times revealed 36 percent of active-duty troops say they have personally witnessed examples of white nationalism or racist ideology from service members within their ranks in the last few months.

The poll was conducted after a string of incidents in which Marines were investigated over their alleged neo-Nazi ties.

In 2018, Lance Cpl. Vasillios Pistolis was kicked out of the Marine Corps and sentenced to 28 days confinement and reduction in rank after he was found to have attended the white supremacist "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"We have the need within the country to try and create as much unity as possible and to suppress white nationalism and racism within the ranks of the military because, every once in a while, it crops up and causes an issue," Richard Kohn, history professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told Military.com.

Several military bases in the U.S. are named after Confederate generals, including Texas' Fort Hood, Fort Lee in Virginia, and Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Confederate flag
(File photo) Demonstrators protest at the South Carolina State House calling for the Confederate flag to remain on the State House grounds June 27, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Marine leaders have been ordered to remove Confederate-related paraphernalia from the service's bases worldwide. Win McNamee/Getty
Top U.S. Marine Orders All Confederate Symbols Be Removed From Corps Bases | U.S.