FORT HOOD, Texas (KXAN) — A commission recommended new names for nine U.S. military bases and installations, including Fort Hood in Texas, in an effort to change those that honor the Confederacy.
The commission announced its suggestions Tuesday:
- Fort Benning, Georgia – rename Fort Moore after Lt. Gen. Hal and Julia Moore.
- Fort Bragg, North Carolina – rename Fort Liberty after the value of liberty.
- Fort Gordon, Georgia – rename Fort Eisenhower after General of the Army Dwight Eisenhower.
- Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia – rename Fort Walker after Dr. Mary Walker.
- Fort Hood, Texas – rename Fort Cavazos after Gen. Richard Cavazos.
- Fort Lee, Virginia – rename Fort Gregg-Adams after Lt. Gen. Arthur Gregg and Lt. Col. Charity Adams.
- Fort Pickett, Virginia – rename Fort Barfoot after Tech. Sgt. Van T. Barfoot.
- Fort Polk, Louisiana – rename Fort Johnson after Sgt. William Henry Johnson.
- Fort Rucker, Alabama – rename Fort Novosel after Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael J. Novosel, Sr.
The Naming Commission said Gen. Richard Cavazos served in Korea, where he led his soldiers on three separate charges. He returned to the field multiple times to evacuate his wounded men before getting help for his own injuries. This earned him the Distinguished Service Cross – the nation’s second highest military honor for valor.
In the Vietnam War, Cavazos commanded an infantry battalion. Throughout his career, he earned another Distinguished Service Cross, as well as two Legions of Merit, a Silver Star, five Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart and many other medals and awards.
In 1973, he became the first Hispanic-American promoted to be promoted to brigadier general, and in 1982, he became the first Hispanic-American to pin on four stars.
Even in retirement, Cavazos continued to serve as a mentor to the Battle Command Training Program.
The Naming Commission wrote about him, “as a veteran of two modern wars and a longtime leader of soldiers, Gen. Richard Cavazos’ service demonstrates excellence at every level. His 20th-century service will inspire soldiers as they continue those traditions of excellence into the 21st.”
For the past year, the Naming Commission visited the installations and discussed with military commanders and community leaders to gather feedback on potential new names and the renaming process.
Through a public comment period on its website that ended in December 2021, the commission received over 34,000 name submissions, which gave way to 3,670 unique names for consideration.
Between January and April of this year, the commission narrowed down the potential new names before coming back to those community groups for more discussions.
Then in May, the commission began deliberating to come up with the final recommendations.
“This was an exhaustive process that entailed hundreds of hours of research, community engagement and internal deliberations,” said retired Navy Adm. Michelle Howard, the chair of the Naming Commission, in a press release. “This recommendation list includes American heroes whose stories deserve to be told and remembered; people who fought and sacrificed greatly on behalf of our nation.”
The commission, made up of eight volunteers chosen by the Secretary of Defense and Congress, will submit a final report by Oct. 1.