One of the largest US military bases has been renamed after the Army’s first Hispanic four-star general.
Fort Hood, located about 70 miles north of Austin, Texas, was redesignated Tuesday as Fort Cavazos in honor of the late General Richard Edward Cavazos, a Texas native who served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
“General Cabazos’s battle-proven leadership, his moral character, and his loyalty to soldiers and their families made him a fearless yet respected and influential leader.” the official said in a statement.
“We are ready and excited to be a part of this important piece of history,” Bernabe said.
The redesignation is part of an effort by the Department of Defense to rename military bases and other sites with titles associated with members of the Confederate Army.
Numerous military installations and nine army bases have acquired new names, including Fort Hood, named after Confederate General John Bell Hood, who commanded troops during the Civil War.
Hispanic caucuses in Congress and other supporters urged the military to rename the base after Cavazos, who grew up in Kingsville, Texas and commanded troops at Fort Hood.
Born to Mexican-American parents, Cavazos joined the Army in 1951 after graduating from Texas Tech University and later served in the Korean War. There he was a member of the Bollinkeniers, a well-known unit composed mostly of Spanish-speaking Puerto Rican soldiers. Later he led troops in the Vietnam War.
Cabazos was awarded a Silver Star and two Meritorious Crosses for his work in two conflicts. This included rescuing a wounded soldier during the Korean War and then treating his own wounds, and exposing himself to enemy fire while leading an attack in the Vietnam War.
Melvin “Brave” Brave, who served under Cabazos, told the San Antonio Express-News, “I truly believe that many of us have gone home because of his actions.
Cavazos eventually rose to the rank of four-star general and headed the U.S. Army Command, becoming one of the highest-ranking army officers of his time.
He died in 2017 at the age of 88 after battling Alzheimer’s disease.
Supporters hope the facility’s new name will bring a new culture to the troubled base. has “condemned sexual harassment and sexual assault,” and 14 officials have been punished.