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Fort Cavazos: Who is the man behind the name?

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Posted at 6:38 PM, May 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-10 07:24:30-04

FORT CAVAZOS, Texas — Lieutenant General Richard Cavazos served for over three decades in the U.S. Army — on the front lines of two major wars, then changing the way the Army trains its leaders.

In Korea of February 1953, first Lieutenant Richard Cavazos was on the front lines, leading the men of the 65th infantry regiment, and fighting against communist China and North Korea.

The unit was made up of mostly Puerto Ricans who fought with distinction on the battlefield.

Cavazos' style of leadership there would mark his career — he believed officers should be in the trenches and lead by example.

Cavazos was awarded the Silver Star and Distinguished Service Cross, making him the second-highest decorated officer of the war.

It was humble beginnings for the son of cattle ranchers in Kingsville, Texas.

Richard would leave home for Texas Technical College — later known as Texas Tech — playing football and graduating in 1951 as a member of the Reserve Officer Corps.

In Vietnam in 1967, Cavazos faced combat again, but this time leading the first battalion and the 18th Infantry Regiment.

His service and bravery earning him another Distinguished Service Cross.

After Vietnam, he was commanded the second brigade and was promoted to Brigidier General — the first Hispanic American to reach that achievement.

In 1980, Cavazos became commander of the Third Armored Corps on Fort Hood, and he also developed the Army's Battle Command Training Program — a new way of training military leaders.

Some of the first were General Norman Schwartzkof and General Colin Powell.

Cavazos retired after 33 years in 1984 as a four-star general — with a career of distinction for a Texan from humble beginnings.