Fort Hood is Renamed Fort Cavazos as Army Sheds Confederate Legacy
In a historic move to rid itself of its Confederate legacy, the United States Army has renamed Fort Hood in Texas to Fort Cavazos. The fort’s new name is in honor of retired general and native of Kingsville, Texas, Richard E. Cavazos, the first Hispanic four-star general in the U.S. Army.
The decision to change the name came after the Army conducted a review of its installations named after Confederate leaders. The review was initiated last year in the wake of nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism following the killing of George Floyd. The review sought to address the military’s uncomfortable association with Confederate leaders and symbols, which many Americans perceive as supportive of slavery and racism.
Fort Hood, located in Killeen, Texas, was named after Confederate General John Bell Hood, who served during the Civil War. The fort has been a major installation for the Army since 1942, serving as a training ground for hundreds of thousands of soldiers during World War II and later conflicts.
The decision to rename Fort Hood reflects the Army’s commitment to creating a more inclusive environment for soldiers of all backgrounds. In a statement, U.S. Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said, “We are proud to honor General Cavazos’s legacy and his service to our country. Renaming Fort Hood is an important step forward in building a more inclusive and respectful Army culture.”
General Cavazos served in the Army for more than 33 years, retiring in 1984. He broke barriers as the first Mexican-American to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and to achieve the rank of brigadier general. He went on to become the first Hispanic four-star general in the U.S. Army.
General Cavazos led troops during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Silver Star for his actions during the Battle of Khe Sanh. He later served as commander of the 1st Cavalry Division and commander of the United States Army Forces Command. He passed away in 2017 at the age of 88.
The renaming of Fort Hood is part of a larger effort by the U.S. military to address its history of racial discrimination and to create a more diverse and inclusive force. The Army’s review of its installations named after Confederate leaders is just one example of how the military is working to promote accountability, equity, and justice.
The move to rename Fort Hood has been met with both support and criticism. Some argue that the renaming is long overdue and necessary to undo the harms of glorifying Confederate leaders. Others, particularly those with ties to the South, have expressed opposition to what they perceive as an erasure of their heritage and history.
Regardless of the controversy, the Army remains committed to creating a culture that is welcoming and supportive of all soldiers. By renaming Fort Hood to Fort Cavazos, the Army has taken an important step forward in confronting its past and creating a better future for the men and women who serve our country.