FORT HOOD, Texas (FOX 44) – Fort Hood will officially redesignate to Fort Cavazos during a ceremony at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 9.
The Fort Hood Press Center says the event will take place at the III Armored Corps Headquarters, and will be held in honor of a Texas-born hero of the Korean and Vietnam wars – Gen. Richard Edward Cavazos. 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.
Cavazos was born on January 31, 1929, in Kingsville 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.
According to the Fort Hood Press Center, Cavazos was commissioned into the Army in 1951. He completed basic officer training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and started 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 Borinqueneers, and was primarily made up of Soldiers from Puerto Rico – many of whom only spoke Spanish. Cavazos was awarded the Silver Star and a Distinguished Service Cross as a result of his service and actions in Korea.
Cavazos rotated back to the United States in 1953, and was assigned to Fort Hood. Cavazos reached the rank of lieutenant colonel, and was 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.
After being promoted to brigadier general in 1973 and continuing to rise throughout the decade, Cavazos commanded the 9th Infantry Division back in Central Texas. 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, according to the Fort Hood Press Center. During his 33 years of retirement, 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.