FORT GREGG-ADAMS, Va. (WRIC)– The former Fort Lee army post has been renamed Fort Gregg-Adams after two black officers and trailblazers in United States Army history in a redesignation ceremony.
Leaders unveiled the new Fort Gregg-Adams signs during a large ceremony on the post in a room full of military members, leaders and community members.
Fort Gregg-Adams is named after Lieutenant General Arthur Gregg and Lieutenant Colonel Charity Adams.
Lieutenant General Gregg was in attendance along with the children of Lieutenant Colonel Adams, Judith and Stanley Earley.
Gregg enlisted in the army when he was 17 years old in 1946. It was the start of a career that would span more than three decades. Now, at 94 years old, he’s the only living person in U.S. army history to have an installation named after him.
During his tenure at the post, he had to overcome segregation. Gregg told the crowd that he once was unable to enter certain buildings or swim in the pool due to the color of his skin.
He thanked a list of people for the recognition, such as his parents and his late wife.
“I was just overwhelmed with pride and with joy,” Gregg said.
Lieutenant Colonel Charity Adams was the first black officer in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. At the age of 25, Adams was selected to command the first and only unit of predominately black women deployed to the European Theater of Operations during World War II.
Adam’s son, Stanley Earley, spoke on her behalf.
“This would be just beyond icing on the cake,” Earley said. “She’d be just extraordinarily pleased about this.”
Fort Gregg-Adams is one of nine army installations that are being renamed. Formerly named after General Robert E. Lee, the Congressional Naming Commission recommended removing names, displays, symbols, monuments and paraphernalia tied to the Confederate States of America.
The commission deliberated over many different names and ultimately chose Gregg and Adams.
Mark T. Simerly, the Commanding General of The Unites States Army Combined Arms Support Command, said Gregg and Adams represent the Army’s values.
“These names reflect what the Army’s all about and I believe it should be inspirational to anyone that comes through the gates of Fort Gregg-Adams,” Simerly said.
More than 20 streets and facilities will also get new names at Fort Gregg-Adams this year.