KILLEN, Texas – Fort Hood is officially renamed Fort Cavazos in a ceremony at III Armored Corps Headquarters.
The designation honors Texas-born General Richard Edward Cavazos.
“We are proud to rename Fort Hood as Fort Cavazos in recognition of an outstanding American hero, a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars and the first Hispanic to reach the rank of four-star general in our military,” said Lieutenant General Sean Bernabe, Commanding General of III Armored Corps in a press release.
“General Cavazos’ combat-proven leadership, moral character, and loyalty to his soldiers and their families made him the fearless yet respected and influential leader he was during the time he served, and beyond.” , added Lieutenant General Bernabe.
Fort Hood is one of nine U.S. Army installations that have been redesigned based on Naming Commission recommendations to remove names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America.
Who is General Richard Edward Cavazos?
Cavazos was born on January 31, 1929 in Kingsville, Texas to Mexican American parents, Lauro and Thomasa Quintanilla Cavazos. His father was a World War I veteran who later became a ranch foreman in the Santa Gertrudis division of King Ranch.
In 1951, Cavazos was drafted into the Army and completed basic officer training at Fort Benning, Georgia. Lui began his military career deployed to Korea where he was the platoon leader of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 65th Infantry Regiment. The unit, known as the Boringueneers, consisted primarily of soldiers from Puerto Rico, many of whom spoke only Spanish. As a result of his service and actions in Korea, Cavazos was awarded the Silver Star and the Distinguished Service Cross.
In 1953, Cavazos returned to the United States 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. Cavazos was awarded his second Distinguished Service Cross for his service and leadership of him during his time in Vietnam.
In 1976, Cavazos became the first Hispanic to reach the rank of brigadier general in the United States Army. In 1980, now a lieutenant general, Cavazos served as commanding general of III Corps.
In 1982, Cavazos was promoted to become the first Hispanic four-star general and succeeded General Robert Shoemaker as commanding general of US Armed Forces Command.
Cavazos retired from the military in 1984 after 33 years of service.
During his 33-year retirement, Cavazos lived in San Antonio and was credited with mentoring many Army commanders. He died on October 29, 2017 and is buried in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.