For a number of reasons, Tuesday was a good day.
One of the U.S. military’s largest 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 on Tuesday as Fort Cavazos in honor of the late Gen. Richard Edward Cavazos, a Texas native who served in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
“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,” Lt. Gen. Sean Bernabe, III Armored Corps Commanding General, said in a statement.
“We are ready and excited to be part of such a momentous part of history, while we honor a leader who we all admire,” Bernabe added.
The redesignation is part of an effort by the Department of Defense to rename military bases and other sites with titles linked to members of the Confederacy.
A slew of military installations and nine Army bases are getting new names, including Fort Hood, which was named after the Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood, who commanded troops during the Civil War.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other supporters had urged the military to rename the base after Cavazos, who was raised in Kingsville, Texas, and commanded troops at Fort Hood.
Born to Mexican-American parents, Cavazos was commissioned to the Army after graduating from high school and went to fight in the Korean War. There, he was a member of the Borinqueneers, a famed unit of mostly Spanish-speaking Puerto Rican soldiers. He later led troops in the Vietnam War.
Cavazos earned the Silver Star and two Distinguished Service Cross awards for his service during the two conflicts — for actions such as evacuating wounded soldiers before having his own injuries treated during the Korean War and exposing himself to enemy fire while leading attacks in the Vietnam War.
“I truly believe that a lot of us got home because of the way he conducted himself,” Melvin “Brave” Brav, who served under Cavazos, told the San Antonio Express-News.
Cavazos eventually ascended to the rank of four-star general and led the U.S. Army Forces Command, making him one of the highest-ranked Army officials at the time.
Outstanding, well deserved, and long overdue. You can learn more about Gen. Cavazos by clicking on the embedded picture. And just as a reminder, not everyone supported this.
The renaming of bases became a heated political issue in the final months of the Trump administration, when the former president blasted the idea, accusing others of wanting to “throw those names away.”
Trump had vetoed the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which included the Naming Commission, but in the waning days of his administration, Congress delivered its first and only veto override during his tenure, approving the legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support.
And the renaming comes at a time when Gen. Lloyd Austin, the country’s first Black secretary of defense, has identified racism and domestic extremism as some of the most pressing issues facing the country and the armed services.
“The job of the Department of Defense is to keep America safe from our enemies. But we can’t do that if some of those enemies lie within our own ranks,” Austin said at his confirmation hearing.
The fact that this happened on the same day that a jury found The Former Guy liable to the tune of $5 million for his assault on E. Jean Carroll is just *chef’s kiss*. Throw all those names right into the trash, I say. We should have done it decades ago. And if somehow your butt remains in pain because of this, just drive a few miles north of Fort Cavazos to Hood County, where that slimeball Confederate’s legacy still lives on. However much we do, it’s still not enough.