The Bayonet, the weekly newspaper that has focused on Fort Benning and the infantry for almost 71 years, is changing its name to the Bayonet & Saber to mark the addition of the U.S. Armor School to the post.
"The new name reflects the growth of Fort Benning, its audience and the mission of the Maneuver Center of Excellence," said Lori Egan, editor of the Bayonet & Saber.
The name change was the idea of Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster, commander of the Maneuver Center of Excellence. The Bayonet represents the infantry soldiers while the Saber is a symbol for the armor and cavalry units.
To recognize the first publication under its new name, the public affairs office is holding an open house from 9 a.m to 11 a.m. today to celebrate the debut of what it's calling "One Force, One Fight, One Publication" at McGinnis-Wickam Hall. The event is open to the public.
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"It is the same paper with the same mission," Egan said. "The only thing that is different is the name has changed."
Since it was founded by Maynard Ashworth and first published on Sept. 17, 1942, the Bayonet has been Fort Benning's only continuously published weekly newspaper. It has a circulation of 22,000 copies delivered to Fort Benning, Phenix City and Columbus.
Egan said the publication also has expanded into outlying areas of Chattahoochee, Talbot and Stewart counties in Georgia and Fort Mitchell, Ala.
The newspaper is free, and it has a digital version on the web.
In September 2011, the post became home for the U.S. Armor School from Fort Knox, Ky., as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process.
The U.S. government spent $3.5 billion in moving the school and making other improvements to facilities, ranges, roads and other structures throughout the post.
Egan said the newspaper published a reflective story a week ago.
She noted how the newspaper was recently awarded first place in the Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware Public Affairs Competition, recognizing it as the best metro newspaper in the Army.
"It's really nice to be going out on a bang," Egan said. "The Bayonet is the Army's best newspaper for this last year."
From two editions presented for the competition, Egan said one front-page story on post-traumatic stress disorder was written by a soldier.
"We cover soldiers' issues and I think that is one of the reasons why we were recognized," she said. "It's all about the soldiers and our families."
The newspaper is published by the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, but all news content and opinion pieces are created by its own staff on post and approved by the commanding general.