COLUMBIA, Tenn. – The Sons of Confederate Veterans have announced the formation of a military committee to engage U.S. Department of Defense leaders in an effort to discourage what it perceives as misinformed attacks on American history.
The committee is comprised of retired and active duty military personnel, with all services represented.
“Recent comments by DoD leaders that support changing the names of various U.S. Army installations in the South are troubling,” said Larry McCluney, Commander-in-Chief of the SCV. “What they’ve effectively communicated is that our ancestors are to be despised and their descendants not worthy of emulating their fighting tenacity in uniform today.”
During a July 9 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said that Confederate namesakes of present Army installations committed “an act of treason … against the Union, against the Stars and Stripes, against the U.S. Constitution – and those officers turned their backs on their oaths.”
McCluney said, “Such comments are unraveling decades of sectional reconciliation. Not only does the historical record refute such comments, more problematic is that they all but alienate an entire patriotic demographic that comprises the military today.”
McCluney, who took office last week as the 76th Commander-in-Chief of the SCV, said that the military committee was formed in June following unprovoked nationwide attacks against Confederate memorials by Marxist agitators.
“The SCV is a cross-section of America, with our members representing all races and walks of life,” he said. “The military committee reflects that, too, and they’re working hard to generate options for establishing a dialogue with senior DoD leaders.”
On June 8, Col. Sunset Belinsky, a U.S. Army spokeswoman, said, “The Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Army are open to a bi-partisan discussion on the topic (of renaming Army installations currently named for former Confederate officers).”
McCluney said the SCV mailed letters in early July to several DoD leaders and spokespeople, but have not yet received a response.
“If the Army and DoD are serious about inclusiveness and having a bi-partisan discussion, we respectfully ask to be included,” he said. “Our members include noted authors and military officers whose decades of cumulative research reflect a contextual understanding of the Confederate serviceman that is, quite frankly, being ignored by DoD leaders in favor of emotional disinformation.”
McCluney said the SCV will again reach out soon to Army and DoD leaders in hopes of starting a dialogue.
Organized in Richmond, Va. in 1896, the Sons of Confederate Veterans is the direct heir of the United Confederate Veterans and is the oldest national hereditary organization for male descendants of Confederate military personnel. The SCV continues to serve as a patriotic, educational, non-political organization dedicated to preserving the memory and defending the honor of the Confederate servicemen.
Membership in the SCV is open to all male descendants, direct or collateral, of any one who served honorably in the Confederate Military or the Government of the Confederate States of America as an elected or appointed official without regard for race, religion, color, creed, nationality, political affiliation or sexual orientation.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans stands against racism and hate, and will not tolerate racists, extremists or supremacists of any type as members.