A Fayetteville man charged with taking part in the arson of Fayetteville’s Market House has had a pair of routine court appearances and remains in the custody of federal authorities. He was arrested following a joint local/federal investigation prompted by violence during an otherwise peaceful demonstration after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, said Robert J. Higdon Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Charles Anthony Pittman, 32, was arrested by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and charged with maliciously damaging property owned or possessed by an institution receiving federal financial assistance. A local television crew videotaped Pittman carrying a red gasoline container before pouring its contents on the floor of the second story of the Market House May 25. The historic landmark sustained charring and minor interior damage. Earlier that same day, Pittman posted a Facebook video while he drove around the Market House traffic circle. If convicted of the arson charge, Pittman would face a mandatory minimum prison term of at least seven years. The maximum penalty is 40 years and a fine of $250,000. Higdon credited the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and the Fayetteville Police Department with the investigation leading to the arrest.
Renaming certain military installations
Defense Department officials are considering renaming 10 Army installations that are named for Confederate generals, including Fort Bragg. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper say they are open to the idea of also renaming Fort Lee, Fort Hood, Fort Benning, Fort Gordon, Fort Polk, Fort Pickett, Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Rucker and Camp Beauregard.
Fort Bragg was established in 1918 as Camp Bragg and was named after Confederate general Braxton Bragg, a native North Carolinian. History has recorded that Bragg was generally considered among the worst generals of the Confederacy. Most of the battles in which he engaged ended in defeat. Bragg was unpopular with both the men and the officers of his command, who criticized him for poor battlefield strategy, a quick temper and overzealous
discipline. McCarthy evidently believes he could unilaterally rename the installations, but there would need to be consultation with the White House, Congress, plus state and local governments.
Fort Bragg leadership changes
The 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command has a new commander today. Col. Lance G. Curtis arrived at Fort Bragg from his previous assignment as deputy director of the Army’s Operations and Logistics Readiness Directorate in Washington, D.C. He succeeds Brig. Gen. James M. Smith, who led the command since October 2018, and becomes chief of transportation and commandant of the U.S. Army Transportation School at Fort Lee, Virginia. Curtis’ 28 years of service included commanding the 528th Sustainment Brigade, which supports the 1st Special Forces Command.
Fort Bragg’s 18th Airborne Corps has a new senior noncommissioned officer. Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas “T.J.” Holland replaces Command Sgt. Maj. Charles “Chuck” Albertson this month. Albertson left Fort Bragg for the Pentagon, where he now serves as executive officer to the sergeant major of the Army. Holland’s last assignment was with the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado. He was raised in Lancaster, Ohio, and joined the Army in 1994. Holland has previously served with
the 82nd Airborne Division and the Army’s Golden Knights.