Rename Fort Hood after the primary four-star Hispanic normal, lawmakers say NPR
The late General Richard E. Cavazos was the first Hispanic American to be promoted to the rank of four-star general. CR Bruce hide caption
A group of Latin American lawmakers want the Biden administration to rename Fort Hood, Texas, after the country’s first Hispanic American was promoted to four-star general.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus recommended that Fort Hood, one of the largest military facilities in the country, be renamed in honor of the late General Richard E. Cavazos.
“Latinos now make up nearly 19% of the country – nearly a fifth of the country – and have proudly served in the armed forces for generations,” said Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat and member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said NPR.
“We feel it is right that the contributions of various Latinos should be recognized on this basis,” added Castro.
According to Castro, there isn’t a single military base on the American mainland named after a Latino member.
The government decides how to rename bases that are named after Confederate personalities
The request comes as the federal government continues to decide how it will rename bases in the U.S. named after Confederate military personnel, a mandate included in the Defense Equipment bill approved by Congress in January.
Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, is the largest active tank post in the US armed forces with approximately 40,000 soldiers. Tony Gutierrez / AP hide caption
Tony Gutierrez / AP
Tony Gutierrez / AP
Among them is Fort Hood, named after Confederate General John Bell Hood, who became known during the Civil War for commanding the Texas Brigade, which fought in at least 24 battles in 1862, according to the Texas State Historical Association.
Fort Hood is now the armed forces’ largest active tank post with nearly 40,000 soldiers on the base.
Who Was Richard Cavazos?
Raised in Kingsville, Texas, Cavazos commanded the forces at Fort Hood and eventually led the US Army Forces Command, making him one of the most senior army officials of the time.
He was also a member of the Borinqueneers, a famous National Guard unit that was formed only from Puerto Rican guardsmen before the Korean War. Although it was later disbanded due to staff shortages, it remained the only purely Hispanic unit in US Army history.
Cavazos won the Silver Star and two Distinguished Service Cross awards for service in the Korean and Vietnam War. In one case, he was recognized for exposing himself to enemy fire and exploding grenades.
“I really believe a lot of us came home because of his behavior,” Melvin “Brave” Brav, who served under Cavazos, told the San Antonio Express News.
Cavazos died of Alzheimer’s in 2017. He was 88 years old.
What happens next with the naming committee
The Naming Commission – a congressional commission under the Armed Services Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives – is currently accepting proposals from the public on how to rename some of the military entities with confederation-related titles.
Nine army posts named after Confederate officers, another named after a former slave plantation, and two ships renamed.
The commission says it will submit a report to Congress by October 2022, and the Defense Act provides that the Secretary of Defense will implement the plan by January 1, 2024 at the latest.