FORT HOOD, Texas — Fort Hood will officially be redesignated Fort Cavazos May 9 in honor of Texas Tech graduate and hero of the Korean and Vietnam wars, General Richard Edward Cavazos. Cavazos was also the first Hispanic four-star general in Texas.
The ceremony will be held at the III Armored Corps Headquarters.
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 that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America.
“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.
The ceremony will be open to invited guests and news media. It will not be open to the general public due to space constraints, although there will be video from the ceremony livestreamed on social media sites. The 1st Cavalry Division Band will provide ceremonial music during the event.
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 of the King Ranch’s Santa Gertudis 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. As a result of his service and actions in Korea, Cavazos was awarded the Silver Star and a Distinguished Service Cross.
In 1953, Cavazos was assigned to Fort Hood. Reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel, Cavazos was deployed to Vietnam in 1967 where he commanded the 1st Battalion. As a result of his service and leadership during his time in Vietnam he was awarded his second Distinguished Service Cross.
In 1976, Cavazos became the first Hispanic to reach the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Army.
In 1982, Cavazos was promoted to become the first Hispanic four-star general and succeeded General 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 October 29, 2017, and is buried at San Antonio’s Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.