Gen. Richard Edward Cavazos was the first Latino four-star general in the Army.
The U.S. Army base formerly known as Fort Hood in central Texas was officially changed to Fort Cavazos on Tuesday during a ceremony at the III Armored Corps Headquarters in honor of the first Latino four-star general in the Army, Gen. Richard Edward Cavazos.
Cavazos retired from the Army after 33 years of service in 1984, and died in 2017.
“General Cavazos was known around the Army as a battle proven warrior,” Lt. Gen. Sean Bernabe, Commanding General of III Armored Corps, said at the ceremony. “A soldier’s soldier, as a master trainer, as a military innovator, as a mentor and as a humble servant leader.”
“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,” Bernabe said. “We are ready and excited to be part of such a momentous part of history, while we honor a leader who we all admire.”
Bernabe explained how Cavazos led his company in Korea through a heavy barrage and assaults on the enemy position three times, as they destroyed vital enemy equipment and personnel. Cavazos remained alone on the enemy outpost to search for missing men while exposed to heavy hostile fire. He located five men who had been wounded in the action and evacuated them one at a time.
After becoming a lieutenant colonel, Cavazos deployed to Vietnam in 1967 where he led the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, according to a statement from the Army. After his service in Vietnam, he was awarded a second Distinguished Service Cross.
The rename of the Army installation is part of a campaign to change the names of nine U.S. Army installations, as recommended by the Naming Commission’s panel to erase symbols that commemorate the Confederate States of America, according to a statement from the Army.
“Let his name and all that it represents inspire us all every single day to live up to his legacy,” Bernabe said.