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Did Camp Lejeune Change Its Name?

Quick Answer

Camp Lejeune, a prominent military base in North Carolina, has not changed its name. Originally named Marine Barracks New River, it was later renamed Marine Barracks Camp Lejeune in honor of Major General John A. Lejeune. Despite a recent proposal to rename Lejeune High School, the base’s name remains unchanged, reflecting its historical significance as a premier military training facility.

Introduction

Camp Lejeune, located in North Carolina, holds a significant place in the history of the United States Marine Corps. Originally named Marine Barracks New River when it was established in 1941, it later underwent name changes to honor Major General John A. Lejeune and became known as Marine Barracks Camp Lejeune. In 1944, its final renaming occurred when it became officially recognized as Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

While this military base has played an essential role as a training and deployment site for Marines throughout various wars and conflicts over the years, there is another aspect that has impacted its reputation – water contamination.

The issue of contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune came to light in 1982 when specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were discovered within the base’s water supply system. This revelation had far-reaching consequences for those living or working on-site who may have been exposed to these harmful substances.

Now let us delve into whether any recent developments have led to a change in Camp Lejuene’s name.

Camp Lejeune’s Name History

Camp Lejeune, located in North Carolina, has a rich history that dates back to its establishment. Originally known as Marine Barracks New River when it was established in 1941, the base underwent several name changes over the years.

Renaming to Marine Barracks Camp Lejeune

In honor of Major General John A. Lejeune, who served as the 13th Commandant and Commanding General of the 2nd Army Division during World War I, Marine Barracks New River was renamed Marine Barracks Camp Lejeune. This renaming occurred shortly after its establishment and reflected Major General Lejeune’s significant contributions to both military leadership and his service within the Marines.

Renaming to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

However, this wasn’t where the naming journey ended for Camp Lejeune. In recognition of its growing importance as a strategic training facility for Marines during World War II and beyond, it received another rename in 1944 – becoming officially recognized as Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune (MCBCL).

The decision to change from “Marine Barracks” to “Marine Corps Base” highlighted not only an expansion but also emphasized MCBCL’s role on a larger scale – serving not just barracks or units stationed there but encompassing broader operations across various divisions within the United States’ marine forces.

Continued Significance

Throughout these transitions, Camp Lejeune has maintained its long-standing name and historical significance. The base has played a vital role in training and deploying Marines for various wars and missions around the world. It is a premier military training facility that covers an expansive 244-square-mile area. Camp Lejeune is home to nearly 150,000 people, including active duty, military dependents, and civilian employees. Through its economic impact, it generates almost $3 billion in commerce each year. Most notably, the base has demonstrated excellence by receiving the Commander-in-Chief’s Award for Installation Excellence seven times.

Camp Lejeune’s name history reflects its deep-rooted connection to the Marine Corps and honors those who have made significant contributions to military service. It stands as a testament to the base’s enduring legacy and ongoing commitment to training, readiness, and support for Marines stationed there.

Recent Proposal for Name Change

U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier has recently filed an amendment to rename Lejeune High School, located aboard Camp Lejeune in Onslow County, North Carolina. The proposed name change is intended to honor the late congressman Walter B. Jones, who served as a representative of North Carolina’s 3rd congressional district.

The amendment put forth by Rep. Speier seeks to rename the high school in recognition of Congressman Jones’ contributions and dedication during his time on the House Armed Services Committee alongside her own service there.

This proposal has garnered support from several members of Congress who worked closely with Congressman Jones throughout his career and have expressed their admiration for him through this initiative.

However, not everyone is onboard with this potential name change. Alumni of Lejeune High School have started an online petition opposing any alteration to its current name which was changed from Camp Lejeune High School back in 1990 when it underwent rebranding efforts under Lt Gen John Archer Lajeunes’ legacy at that point.

Camp Lejeune’s Current Name and Significance

Camp Lejeune, located in North Carolina, is currently known as Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. This name has remained unchanged since 1944 when it was officially renamed from Marine Barracks New River to honor Major General John A. Lejeune.

As one of the largest marine corps bases in the United States, Camp Lejeune holds significant importance within the military community. It serves as a premier training facility for Marines preparing for deployment and plays a crucial role in maintaining national security.

The base accommodates a diverse population consisting of active duty personnel, dependents, retirees, and civilian employees who contribute to its vibrant community atmosphere. With nearly 150,000 individuals calling it home or workplace at any given time, Camp Lejeune has become an integral part of Onslow County’s social fabric while also making substantial contributions to local commerce. The economic impact generated by this bustling military installation amounts to almost $3 billion annually.

In recognition of its exceptional performance across various areas including mission readiness, sustainability, and quality-of-life programs, Camp Lejeune has been honored with the prestigious Commander-in-Chief’s Award for Installation Excellence on seven occasions. This accolade underscores its commitment to excellence and highlights its significant contributions to both the military community and the local economy.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Has Camp Lejeune changed its name?

No, Camp Lejeune has not changed its name. It was originally named Marine Barracks New River and was later renamed Marine Barracks Camp Lejeune in honor of Major General John A. Lejeune, the 13th Commandant and Commanding General of the 2nd Army Division in World War I. In 1944, it was renamed Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

2. Is there a proposal to rename Lejeune High School?

Yes, U.S Rep Jackie Speier has filed an amendment to rename Lejeune High School in honor of the late North Carolina congressman Walter B. Jones. However, the alumni of the high school have started an online petition to block a name change. The high school is located aboard Camp Lejeune in Onslow County. It was founded in 1944 as Camp Lejeune High School but was renamed Lejeune High School in 1990. The base and the high school are named in honor of Lt. Gen. John Archer Lejeune.

3. What is the significance of Camp Lejeune’s current name?

Camp Lejeune’s current name, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, reflects its historical importance and role as a premier military training facility. It is home to a large population of military personnel and has received the Commander-in-Chief’s Award for Installation Excellence multiple times.

4. How has Camp Lejeune been affected by the water contamination issue?

The water contamination issue at Camp Lejeune has had a significant impact on the base’s reputation. Many individuals living or working at the base were exposed to contaminated drinking water, leading to serious health consequences. Victims may be eligible for compensation if they meet certain criteria.

5. What is the current status of the water contamination issue at Camp Lejeune?

The water contamination issue at Camp Lejeune has led to lawsuits and ongoing efforts to provide support and compensation to affected individuals. The base has implemented measures to address the issue and ensure the safety of its water supply.

References

  1. https://www.lejeune.marines.mil/visitors/history.aspx
  2. https://ncnewsline.com/briefs/california-congresswoman-wants-to-rename-lejeune-high-school-to-honor-the-late-walter-b-jones/
  3. https://www.lejeune.marines.mil/Offices-Staff/Environmental-Mgmt/Cultural-Resources/History-Live/History-of-Camp-Lejeune/