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Change to joint base terminology a work in progress

Northwest Guardian

Published: 06:18PM June 5th, 2014

OK, it’s been more than three years since Joint Base Lewis-McChord achieved full operational capability, so why are there still agencies on the installation clinging to their old names?

You know who you are.

Guardian reporters go pretty much everywhere on the base, and without trying very hard, we’ve developed a list of entities that haven’t given up their now outdated monikers, continuing to refer to themselves as “Fort Lewis” or “North Fort” entities.

I’m sure there are others we still haven’t yet run across.

Their intransigence puts me in a spot. When we report on these agencies, should I as editor of the installation’s authorized newspaper, correct them in coverage and use the name they should call themselves? Or do I accurately report their outdated names, drawing attention to their stubborn resistance to change?

I’ve heard excuses citing tradition, confusion, signage costs and inflexible tax documents to not change names. Short of the Rapture, they plan to remain in their porch rockers like Harry Truman on Mount St. Helens, no matter how inevitably the lava of change engulfs them.

I get it: change is difficult, as our nation’s politicians remind us daily. But the branches of our armed services have somehow survived a few profound ones.

The Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard have somehow endured through new realities of integration, expansion of the roles of women and most recently, the acknowledgement of openly gay service members. I’m guessing we could work a bit harder to reconcile our names for the sake of this jointness of ours.

In fact, I’m sure of it.

So you who know who you are. Don’t make me come up there.