WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has directed military commanders to stop calling the deployment of active-duty troops to the southern border ‘‘Operation Faithful Patriot,’’ a name derided by critics as overtly political while President Trump played up the mission in stumping for Republican candidates.
The decision was acknowledged Wednesday after the midterm elections, and it was not immediately clear what name the military operation may ultimately take instead.
‘‘We are no longer calling it Operation Faithful Patriot,’’ said a Pentagon spokesman, Army Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Davis. ‘‘We are referring to it as border support.’’
The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, which said the directive was issued by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s office on Election Day. He has sought to shield the military from politics, with mixed results.
The operation has come under fire from some retired generals, who say it unnecessarily thrusts the military into politics. Trump sought to characterize migrants traveling north through Mexico from Central America in a ‘‘caravan’’ as an ‘‘invasion’’ of the United States. In reality, the group is believed to consist almost entirely of families who could legally apply for asylum at ports of entry at the border.