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The Bernie Beck Gate at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. Photo: Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images.
The Bernie Beck Gate at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. Photo: Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images.

Fort Hood could be renamed after General Richard Cavazos, the first Latino brigadier and four-star general

The proposed name change is part of an effort to rename Army bases that are currently named after Confederate soldiers.

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The Naming Commission has recommended that Fort Hood be renamed Fort Cavazos after General Richard Cavazos. Cavazos was the first Latino brigadier and four-star general who earned a Distinguished Service Cross and Silver Star during the Korean War, and a second Distinguished Service Cross during the Vietnam War.

Cavazos was born in Kingsville, Texas, on January 31, 1929, to Mexican-American parents. He attended Texas Tech University, then Texas Technological College, before joining the Army in 1951. After basic training, he was deployed to Korea as the platoon leader for the E Company, 2nd Battalion, 65th Infantry Regiment, also known as The Borinqueers, a unit largely made up of Puerto Rican soldiers. 

He was appointed as the first Latino brigadier general in 1976 and the first Latino four-star general six years later in 1982. Cavazos retired from the Army in 1984, and died in 2017 at the age of 88.

The Naming Commission is recommending new names for nine bases that are currently named after Confederate soldiers. Fort Hood is named after Confederate General John Bell Hood.

The following are the name changes that are currently being recommended:

From Fort Lee to Fort Gregg-Adams

The name recommended for Fort Lee is Fort Gregg-Adams, after Lt. Gen. Arthur Gregg and Lt. Col. Charity Adams. Gregg was a three-star general who helped desegregate the Army. Adams was the commanding officer of the first African-American Women’s Army Corps (WAC) unit to deploy overseas.

From Fort Pickett to Fort Barfoot

The commission recommended Fort Pickett be changed to Fort Barfoot, after Tech. Sgt. Van T. Barfoot. Barfoot served in World War II and received the Medal of Honor in 1944.

From Fort A. P. Hill to Fort Walker

It is being recommended that Fort Walker, after Dr. Mary Walker, replace Fort A. P. Hill. Dr. Walker was a Union Army surgeon. She is the only woman to receive the Medal of Honor.

From Fort Gordon to Fort Eisenhower

The commission recommended Fort Gordon be changed to Fort Eisenhower, after former General of the Army and 34th President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower.

From Fort Polk to Fort Johnson

The name recommended for Fort Polk is Fort Johnson, after Sgt. William Henry Johnson. Johnson served in World War I and was one of the first Americans to receive the Croix de Guerre avec Palme, which is France’s highest award for valor. After his death, he also received the Purple Heart in 1996 and Distinguished Service Cross in 2002.

From Fort Benning to Fort Moore

They are recommending that Fort Moore, named after Lt. Gen. Hal Moore and his wife Julia, replace Fort Benning. Hal Moore served in Vietnam and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Julia Moore worked with the Red Cross and was an advocate for military families.

From Fort Rucker to Fort Novosel

The commission recommended that Fort Novosel, named after Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael J. Novosel Sr., replace Fort Rucker. Novosel served in World War II as an Air Force combat aviator, and in Vietnam as an Army Warrant Officer. He received the Medal of Honor from his time in the Army.

From Fort Bragg to Fort Liberty

They recommended that Fort Liberty could replace Fort Bragg. This is the only recommendation that is not a person’s name.

If all name recommendations are taken, three bases will be completely or partially named after women, two will be named after African-Americans, one will be named after a Latino, and one will be named after a Choctaw Native American.

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