Fort Hood Officially Changes Its Name to Fort Cavazos as Part of Drive to Remove Confederate References
Sophie Mann, Daily Mail, May 10, 2023
Texas Army base Fort Hood has officially changed its name to Fort Cavazos as part of the US Army’s ongoing effort to rename a handful of bases that currently carry the names of Confederate officers.
On Tuesday, the US Army formally changed the name of the base to honor General Richard Edward Cavazos, a four-star general who fought in both the Korean and Vietnam wars.
‘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,’ said Lt. General Sean Bernabe, III Armored Corps Commanding General in a press release.
He added: ‘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.
‘We are ready and excited to be part of such a momentous part of history, while we honor a leader who we all admire.’
Additionally, Fort Hood has struggled in recent years with a number of murders and deaths – including the brutal beating of servicewoman Vanessa Guillen – happening on its premises.
Earlier this year, the Army opened a probe into the death of 21-year-old Fort Hood engineer Ana Basalduaruiz, who had told her mother she was being sexually harassed by her superior.
Cavazos was born and raised in Kingsville, Texas in 1929. After high school, he enrolled in the ROTC program at Texas Technical University and was commissioned into the Army after graduating in 1951.
He was then shipped to Korea, where he served as a platoon leader of E Company, 2nd Battalion, 65th Infantry Regimen. During the war, he was awarded both the Silver Star and the Distinguished Service Cross – the second-highest military honor for valor.
Before the year was up, he was awarded a second Distinguished Service Cross. At the end of his service career, he had also received two Legions of Merit, five Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart, in addition to more than 29 combat awards.
Retired Army Lt. General Robert Clark told Fox News last year that Cavazos ‘would be very humbled at the very idea of that.’
He added that Cavazos was perhaps known best for prioritizing the well-being of the troops of whom he had been put in charge.
‘He was very concerned about the welfare of his soldiers. That was his biggest thing,’ said Graves.
Cavazos carried out a 33-year Army career before retiring in 1984. He died in 2017 due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
John Bell Hood, for whom the base was originally named, fought for the Confederacy.
In 2021, Congress authorized a commission to locate references across the military to the Confederacy so that they could be eliminated. Fort Hood was high on a list of about 1,100 references.
Fort Hood is one of nine Army bases that sport the names of Confederate soldiers that will be renamed as part of the $63million project to eliminate any trace of the Confederacy from the Army’s modern apparatus.
The nine Army bases that will soon bear new names are Fort Benning and Fort Gordon in Georgia; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Rucker, Alabama; Fort Polk, Louisiana; and Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Pickett, and Fort Lee in Virginia.
The Naming Commission released a list of potential new names for the bases back in May, names that included ‘Fort Eisenhower’ for Fort Gordon and ‘Fort Liberty’ for Fort Bragg, among others.
The renaming process began in December of last year.
A large handful of Army bases were named to honor Confederate generals as US troops trained to enter both world wars, specifically because of a policy that allowed regional commanders to oversee the naming process of the forts.
In the committee’s first report, which was released last August, the body determined for whom the controversially named bases will be renamed.
Fort Benning in Georgia, will be named for Lieutenant General Hal Moore and Julia Moore – heroes of the Korean War who are buried at the fort.
Fort Bragg in North Carolina, will be named ‘in commemoration of the American value of Liberty.’
Fort Gordon in Georgia, will be named for General of the Army and 34th president of the United States Dwight Eisenhower.
Fort Lee, in Virginia, will be named for Lieutenant General Arthur J. Gregg and Lieutenant Commander Charity Adams – respectively, one of the army’s foremost logistics leaders with a nearly four-decade military history, and the first African-American woman to be an officer in the Women’s Auxiliary Corps.
Fort Pickett, will be named after officer Van Thomas Barfoot – a Medal of Honor recipient for his actions in World War II.
Fort AP Hill in Virginia, will become Fort Walker in memorial of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, an American abolitionist, prisoner of war, and surgeon.
Fort Polk, in Louisiana, will be renamed to commemorate Sergeant William Henry Johnson – a US Army soldier who became part of the first African American unit in the Army to engage in combat during World War I.
And Fort Rucker, will be renamed after Michael J. Novosel Jr., a medal of honor recipient who flew the B-29 Superfortress bomber in World War II.