Fort Hood, Killeen, Texas

Fort Hood Entrance
John Bell Hood
President Obama

Dublin Core


Fort Hood, Killeen, Texas


Fort Hood was originally established in 1942 as “Camp Hood” and was intended to serve as a temporary training area for tank destroyers during World War II. At the time, the Department of Defense maintained a policy of naming military camps located in the south after southern figures. This included Confederate military commanders like John Bell Hood. Over time, Fort Hood became a permanent base centered around armored warfare. Today, Fort Hood is one of the largest and most populous military installations in the World and houses the United States Army III Corps (1).

The base’s name honors John Bell Hood who relinquished his post in the United States Army to join the Confederacy. During the Civil War, Hood commanded the Texas Brigade before quickly moving up the ranks to Major General. As a general, Hood played a major role at Gettysburg in 1863 and the unsuccessful defense of Atlanta in 1864. As the war came to a close, Hood relinquished his rank as he wished to return to Texas. However, the war was over before he could reassume command of the Confederate Texas Army and Hood turned himself in to Union forces. After the war, Hood moved to New Orleans and worked as a cotton broker before dying of yellow fever in 1879 (2).

Fort Hood’s name first sparked controversy two years after the base’s founding. In 1944, the Army Ground Forces attempted to rename Fort Hood in honor of their fallen former commander Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair. This effort proved unsuccessful because the Army’s leadership felt that changing the name would cause political turbulence in the State of Texas (3). In 2020 however, Congress packaged a renaming provision into the yearly defense budget. After President Trump vetoed the bill, Congress successfully moved to override it. The provision mandated the creation of The Naming Commission which was tasked with renaming nine military installations named after Confederates, including Fort Hood. Currently, the Commission is engaged in community outreach and is collecting public comments concerning potential new names (4). For Fort Hood, one popular option is to rename the base after Vietnam war hero and Medal of Honor recipient Roy Benavidez. The Naming Commission will unveil their final decisions on October 1, 2022.

In 2021 the National Defense Authorization Act, which included the Naming Commission was vetoed by President Donald Trump, however the veto was overridden by Congress late in his term(5). On 24 May 2022 the Naming Commission convened to rename Fort Hood to Fort Cavazos, after General Richard E. Cavazos. General Cavazos had been born in Texas and was the first Hispanic four-star general of the United States army, and served in the Korean and Vietnam wars(6).


United States War Department


1. Christian Aleman, "How Did Fort Hood Get Its Name and Why is There a Push to Change It?" KCEN News, May 5, 2021,
2. "John Bell Hood Biography," American Battlefield Trust,
3. "Naming of U.S. Army Posts," U.S. Army Center of Military History,
4. Rebecca Kheel, "Commission Seeks Public Input on New Names for Confederate-Named Bases," The Hill, September 7, 2021,
5. Sanchez, Ray. “Texas’ Long Troubled Fort Hood Is Renamed after First Hispanic Four-Star General.” CNN, May 9, 2023.

6. “Fort Cavazos Redesignation.” Fort Cavazos Redesignation :: U.S. Army Fort Cavazos. Accessed November 24, 2023.




Walter Wheeler, Omar Alhakawati




Military Base


HIST 402A Fall 2021, Fall 2023


Killeen, Texas