FORT HOOD, Texas (FOX44) — Fort Hood will officially be redesignated Fort Cavazos on May 9.
The Fort Hood Press Center said Friday morning that this comes in honor of a Texas-born hero of the Korean and Vietnam wars, Gen. Richard Edward Cavazos. The ceremony will be held at the III Armored Corps Headquarters.
The post is one of nine U.S. Army installations being redesignated based on the Naming Commission’s recommendations to remove the names, symbols, displays, monuments and paraphernalia honoring or commemorating the Confederate States of America.
“We are proud to be renaming Fort Hood as Fort Cavazos in recognition of an outstanding American hero, a veteran of the Korea and Vietnam wars and the first Hispanic to reach the rank of four-star general in our Army. General Cavazos’ combat proven leadership, his moral character, and his loyalty to his Soldiers and their families, made him the fearless yet respected and influential leader that he was during the time he served, and beyond,” said Lt. Gen. Sean Bernabe, III Armored Corps Commanding General. “We are ready and excited to be part of such a momentous part of history, while we honor a leader who we all admire.”
The Press Center says that the ceremony will be open to invited guests and news media – and will not be open to the general public. The 1st Cavalry Division Band will provide ceremonial music during the event.
Cavazos was commissioned into the Army in 1951, and completed basic officer training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He started his military career being deployed to Korea – where he was the platoon leader of E Company, 2nd Battalion, 65th Infantry Regiment. The unit was known as the Boringueneers, and was primarily made up of Soldiers from Puerto Rico – many of whom only spoke Spanish. As a result of his service and actions in Korea, Cavazos was awarded the Silver Star and a Distinguished Service Cross.
Cavazos rotated back to the United States in 1953, and was assigned to Fort Hood. Reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel, Cavazos deployed to Vietnam in 1967 – where he commanded the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment. It was as a result of his service and leadership during his time in Vietnam that he was awarded his second Distinguished Service Cross.
Cavazos became the first Hispanic to reach the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Army in 1976. In 1980, now a lieutenant general, Cavazos served as the III Corps Commanding General.
Cavazos was promoted to become the first Hispanic four-star general in 1982, and succeeded Gen. Robert Shoemaker as commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command. Cavazos retired from the Army in 1984 after 33 years of service.
After his service, Cavazos lived in San Antonio and was credited with mentoring many Army commanders. He died on October 29, 2017, and is buried at San Antonio’s Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.