The Army is scrapping Fort Hood. Here’s who it’ll be renamed after
Three retired generals told Fox News that renaming Fort Hood would be a fitting tribute to the Army’s first four-star Spanish general.
The Central Texas website will be named after the late General Richard Cavazos, a hero of the Korean and Vietnam wars Show “courage and leadership” Throughout his career in the military, according to the Pentagon. It is one of the Nine Army Sites Nationwide It will be renamed as part of a Department of Defense effort to remove Confederate tokens from military property.
“I think that’s a wonderful honor,” retired Army Lieutenant General Robert T. Clark told Fox News. “He would have been very humbled by the idea of it.”
Cavazos received an award Distinguished Service Cross – The second highest military honor for valor – for repeatedly returning to the battlefield during the Korean War to rescue wounded men despite being wounded. He had already earned a Silver Star for his actions earlier in the war.
His bravery earned him additional honors during Vietnam War, including the Second Distinguished Service Cross. By the end of his career, Cavazos had also earned two Legion of Merit, five Bronze Stars, and a Purple Heart.
“There may have been a few more decorated people than he was on active duty, but I kind of doubt that,” Clark said.
Cavazos also showed extraordinary care for his men in both war and peacetime, retired Lieutenant General Richard Graves told Fox News.
“He was very concerned about the safety of his soldiers,” Graves said. “That was his biggest thing.”
This sympathy was reciprocated, according to Clarke, who described the four-star general as perhaps the most “beloved” military leader he had ever met.
Retired Army Lieutenant General Lawson Magruder shared an anecdote in which Cavazos showed his characteristic benevolence during a nighttime exercise in 1977.
“I’m right there in the operations center late at night, and I’ll never forget it,” Magruder said. “It’s two in the morning, here comes General Cavazos with his aide. And he said, ‘Lawson, I want to go visit the companies on the line to see the soldiers.'” I know they work hard and dig in.”
“He went down there, and things weren’t going well,” he continued. “But I have to tell you, it inspired the soldiers who were in the middle of the night digging to stick to the schedule.”
“We got pregnant at a point in time where he could have crushed us,” Magruder told Fox News. “But that wasn’t General Cavazos.”
A legend in his time
Born in 1929, Cavazos grew up on a cattle ranch in Kingsville, Texas, less than 300 miles from Fort Hood. He earned a football scholarship at what is now Texas Tech University, but when an injury ended his career, Cavazos enrolled in the school’s ROTC training program. He was commissioned into the army in 1951.
A little more than two decades later, Cavazos became the military’s first Hispanic brigadier general. He broke another barrier when he became a four-star general in 1982—the same year he finished his two-year stint commanding Fort Hood.
Cavazos died in 2017 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. Debbie Hargett, who serves as a resident services manager for the Army housing community in San Antonio where Cavazos used to live, remembers the late general fondly.
“He was very well liked by all the staff here and proudly told stories of his life growing up at King Ranch with his father, who was a ranch foreman, [and] His brother, Lauro [Cavazos]who later became part of the US Cabinet as Secretary of Education, “Texas had a giant they weren’t even aware of.”
In 2021, Congress created the Naming Committee to evaluate all military references to the Confederacy and to make proposals for renaming. It identified about 1,100 references, including Fort Hood.
The position was opened in 1942, and is named after John Bell Hood. West Point alumnus resigned from U.S. military With the outbreak of the Civil War, and dissatisfied with his original state of Kentucky’s neutral position, he declared himself a Texan.
“He was one of the rapidly promoted commanders in the Confederate Army and had a reputation as an aggressive commander who was willing and eager and often led his forces into battle,” the naming committee’s report read.
Hood eventually became brigadier general and was given command of the Texas Brigade, which was Texas State Historical Society He is called “perhaps the best major general in the Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by Robert E. Lee”.
“While he initially achieved some victories on the battlefield, several subsequent battles were met with defeat and great losses, notably the devastating and crippling Battle of Franklin in late 1864 and the Battle of Nashville,” the naming committee’s report states.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin He announced on October 6 that he had agreed to rename Fort Hood as Fort Cavazos. The new name must be completed by January 1, 2024.
“I wasn’t in favor of changing the names,” Graves told Fox News. “But if they’re going to change it, they’ve got the right person.”
“He was just a wonderful man, a great warrior,” he said. “He was a legend in his time.”