Fort Hood To Be Renamed for Texas-Born Hero of Korean, Vietnam Wars in May

Gen. Cavazos died Oct. 29, 2017, and is buried at San Antonio’s Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery

gen. cavazos
NBC 5 News, Fort Hood Press Center

Fort Hood in Central Texas will be renamed this spring after a Texas-born hero of the Korean and Vietnam wars who was the first Hispanic to reach the rank of four-star general in the U.S. Army.

Beginning May 9, Fort Hood will be known as Fort Cavazos, for Gen. Richard Edward Cavazos. Word of the fort's redesignation was announced last fall to mixed opinions, but officials didn't say then exactly when the name change would go into effect only that it would change by Jan. 1, 2024.

The redesignation ceremony, which will be open to only invited guests due to space limitations, will be held at the III Armored Corps Headquarters. The redesignation will be streamed live online for those unable to attend in person.

We are proud to be renaming 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 Army.

Lt. Gen. Sean Bernabe, III Armored Corps Commanding General

"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.”

An Army statement describes the post, dubbed "The Great Place," as their "premier installation to train and deploy heavy forces. A 214,968-acre installation, this is the only post in the United States capable of stationing and training two armored divisions."

Fort Hood 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 that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America.

Fort Hood is named after John Bell Hood, who was a Confederate general during the American Civil War.

An NBC 5 report on the renaming of Fort Hood in October 2022 found mixed opinions from locals on whether or not the renaming was necessary.

GEN. RICHARD EDWARD CAVAZOS

Below is more information on Gen. Edward Richard Cavazos from the Fort Hood Press Center.

Cavazos was born on Jan. 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 of the King Ranch’s Santa Gertrudis division.

In 1951, Cavazos was commissioned into the Army and completed basic officer training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He began his military career 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.

In 1953, Cavazos rotated back 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. It was as a result of his service and leadership during his time in Vietnam that he was awarded his second Distinguished Service Cross.

NBC 5 News, Fort Hood Press Center
Fort Hood will be redesignated in honor of Gen. Edward Richard Cavazos, pictured, on May 9, 2023.

In 1976, Cavazos became the first Hispanic to reach the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Army. In 1980, now a lieutenant general, Cavazos served as the III Corps Commanding General.

In 1982, Cavazos was promoted to become the first Hispanic four-star general 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.

During his 33 years of retirement, Cavazos lived in San Antonio, Texas, and was credited with mentoring many Army commanders. He died Oct. 29, 2017, and is buried at San Antonio’s Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

Set in more than 340 square miles of Central Texas and with the best and most expansive training facilities to be found anywhere in the U.S. Army, Fort Hood is the home of III Armored Corps Headquarters, 1st Cavalry Division, 1st Army Division West, 13th Armored Corps Sustainment Command, and other separate brigades, tenant units and organizations – in total more than 34,500 soldiers and airmen and an additional 48,500 family members. In addition to its active-duty role, Fort Hood mobilizes, trains, deploys and demobilizes 24,000 Reserve and Nation Guard soldiers annually in support of global operations. Fort Hood also distinguishes itself as the largest single local-location employer in the State of Texas – with more than 4,000 civilian employees and nearly 5,000 contractors working here and, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Fort Hood’s economic impact is estimated at $28.8 billion on the Texas economy (Texas Comptroller’s Memo – 2021).

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