Gen. Richard Edward Cavazos, US Army, (Ret.)

  • Born: January 31, 1929
  • Died: October 29, 2017
  • Location: San Antonio, Texas

Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232

plm-sa@porterloring.com
Tel. (210) 495-8221

Tribute & Message From The Family


A retired four-star general, Richard E. Cavazos began his last patrol October 29, 2017 after a lengthy illness. He was 88 years old. He was born in Kingsville, Texas and grew up on the famed King Ranch.

He graduated in 1951 from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry in the regular army from Texas Tech's ROTC program.

In 1952 in Korea, he commanded the 65th Infantry Regiment, the Borinqueneers. In Vietnam, he commanded the 1st Battalion 18th Infantry Division of the 1st Infantry Division, The Big Red One. He commanded at every level of command in the United States Army to include command of the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington and III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas.

He twice was awarded the nation's second highest combat decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross, twice awarded the Silver Star, five times awarded the Bronze Star with V Device and wears 29 other combat awards including the Purple Heart. He was also an Airborne Ranger qualified and wore one star on his Combat Infantryman's Badge.

He graduated from the Infantry Advance Course at Ft. Benning, Georgia, the Command and General Staff Course, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas; the British Staff College, Camberley, England; the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA; and the Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

He was promoted to General (4 stars) in February 1982 and assumed command of the U.S. Army's largest command, the U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort McPherson, Georgia.

General Cavazos retired from active service July 1, 1984 and resided in San Antonio, Texas. He is in the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame, the Ft. Leavenworth Hall of Fame, the Texas Tech Athletic Hall of Honor (football) as well as a Distinguished Alumni at Texas Tech University.

In 1952, he married Caroline Greek who soldiered with him through 27 moves in 33 years, was his strength, his love, and his financial wizard for 65 years. Also surviving him is his daughter, Laura Blevins and husband, Jerry; daughter, Katherine Cavazos; daughter Rebecca Cavazos, MD and husband Robert Lyons, MD; son, Thomas Cavazos and wife Katy; eleven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
"Esteemed comrades: be assured of my affection, regard, and great, great gratitude. Thank you for soldiering, thank you for sustaining this great land. God love you."

Services will be held Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. at Porter Loring North, 2102 North Loop 1604 East, San Antonio, Texas with internment to follow at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Texas Tech Foundation in memory of Gen. Richard E. Cavazos at PO Box 45025, Lubbock, TX 79409, or donate.give2tech.com or 1-866-GIVETTU.


Services


Condolence & Memory Journal

It was my honor to serve under your command in second brigade 1st Inf 1971, you were one of the finest officers I ever served under, probably why you made four star. Rest in peace Sir.

Posted by Pierre Lillico - Fullerton, CA - Coworker   November 04, 2018

Posted by Wayne Wade    December 07, 2017

Posted by Wayne Wade    December 07, 2017

Posted by Wayne Wade    December 07, 2017

Posted by Wayne Wade    December 07, 2017

Posted by Wayne Wade    December 07, 2017

It was my great honor to serve under Gen. Cavazos at Ft. Riley, KS. He was an amazing leader who genuinely cared about the soldiers in his command. As a Mexican- American myself, it was the first time in my career in the Army to serve under a Mexican-American Colonel. What a pleasure! He knew his men by name, recognized them, and cared for them. I have always looked up to him and am sorry to hear of his passing.

Posted by Pablo Arjona - Junction City, KS   December 02, 2017

What a GREAT SOLDIER General Cavazos was! I spent 4 years in the 63 Ordnance Company from 2nd Lt to Captain running the Ammunition Company for his 9th Infantry Division. He knew me very well and I saw quite often as he was a "Soldier's soldier" and he was proud to be with us worker bee's as the called me and my 268 Troops! He recognized me everywhere and when he saw me he had to shake my hand and say Thanks! My condolences to His Wife and Children! LTC Louis D. Cruz

Posted by Louis Cruz - San Antonio, TX - Served in the Military together   November 14, 2017

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Posted by Vicenta Perez - Pflugerville, TX   November 14, 2017

I would like to send our condolences to the Cavazos family. I never met Gen. Cavazos, but my father and mi tios grew up on the King Ranch as well. May God watch over the family and be with this great leader.

Hooah...
LTC Jon Ramirez

Posted by Jon Ramirez - Fort Leavenworth, KS - Served in the Military together   November 14, 2017

My condolences to the Cavazos family, though I never met Mr. Cavazos in the Alvarez household we grew up reading and hearing of his life in the King Ranch and the military. Lifting his immediate family in prayer during this time of sorrow, may Heavenly Father send you peace and comfort during this time.

Posted by Rose Marie Alvarez - Leon Valley, TX - family   November 14, 2017

A true soldier has gone home. Way back in 1984, as a cadet at Texas Tech University, I had the honor of presenting GEN Cavazos with an alumni award from the ROTC department. Here was a lowly little cadet pinning an award on a general, but he was extremely personable and gave me the confidence to make the presentation - a memory that I carried with me all these years. He was a great role model that we strove to follow.

Posted by Lee Oliver - San Antonio, TX   November 13, 2017

Richard Cavazos was my Commander for most of 1967 in Vietnam. Simply put, I would not be writing this if he had not been my commander because I would long since have been dead, and I know I speak for others who will say the same. However, as brave and competent as Richard was on the battle field, there was something else rooted in the heart of this man that is very difficult to describe. That something has to do with what is the very best part of America; An American ideal which is so lofty that few of us have ever climbed beyond its foot hills and yet Richard is one of the rare few who has peered down from its peaks.
You may read what I have written about him at the following web address.
http://www.Iam777.org/Vietnam.html

Posted by Wayne Wade - Seabrook, TX - Served in the Military together   November 13, 2017

I had the honor of working with this great man on several occasions when he served as a senior mentor at the Battle Command Training Program. He would tell these self-deprecating hilarious stories that would make you bust a gut....and then moments later, you'd realize he just taught you a hell of a lot. He was a national treasure that I had the rare luck of observing. My heartfelt condolences to the family. RIP Sir!

Posted by Dan White - Leavenworth, KS - Served in the Military together   November 13, 2017

Our condolences to his family.
John and Patty Gonzalez

Posted by John Gonzalez - Fredericksburg, TX   November 13, 2017

General Cavazos was a legendary leader who inspired others to succeed. I have done my best to fulfill his trust. Lt General (Ret) Frank F. Ledford, Jr.

Posted by Frank Ledford, Jr. - SanAntonio, TX - Served in the Military together   November 12, 2017

General Dick Cavazos was one of the Great Americans of our times. His courage in combat was equaled by his thoughtful leadership. He earned the respect and devotion of his soldiers and his friends throughout his life. And what an orator! He moved strong men to tears with his tales of courage under fire. A Great Man, a Good Man, one to ride the river with.

Posted by Ed Mullen - Harker Heights, TX - Served in the Military together   November 12, 2017

In 1988 I was tdy to Fort Hood Tx, on my way home flying from Austin to Augusta, Ga., I met Gen Cavazos in the waiting area, at the time I did not recognize who he was but we exchanged pleasantries. When we boarded the plane it turned out we sat next to each other. In the hour long flight to DFW we chatted. He was interested in who I was,why I was at Ft. Hood, he was most gracious to me. He related some of his experiences to me. When we reached DFW and walked off the plane he took my hand and shook it, then said to me "I am very proud of you, we need men like you in the Army, keep up the good work. And take care of your family." I have never forgotten that day. He was indeed a soldiers soldier and a humble man. CW4 R David McKee

Posted by DAVID MCKEE - WESTVILLE, IN - military   November 12, 2017

I would like to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the Cavazos Family. The General was someone I looked up to and respected from the time I met him and served under him twice. I was stationed with 9th Avn, BN.at Ft. Lewis when General Cavazos was the 9th Infantry Division Commander. I had received a special Unit award and the General was at our Brigade ceremony to personally present me my award. He started by saying "Congratulation's and the ask me what city and State I hailed from, so when I told he I was a Texas native from San Antonio, Texas he took great interest and made time to discuss my future in the Army. I took his advise to heart and made the Army my career. I served 22 years flying and retired in 2000 out of Ft. Hood. I visit my Father and Brother's grave at Ft. Sam when I travel to San Antonio off and on. As one of your loyal soldiers and friend I will truly visit you and pay my respect at your grave site when I visit my family there.

Respectfully,
Mr. Chavez
Call Sign "Snake Doctor"
U.S. ARMY AVIATION

Posted by Mel Chavez - Killeen, TX - Served in the Military together   November 11, 2017

I was General Cavazos' Signal officer when he commanded the 1/18 Infantry in Vietnam. I was with him at the 1967 Loc Ninh battle. It was my pleasure to see him a couple of times later in our careers, too. He was one of the great leaders of our time, always "taking care of the troops and accomplishing the mission." Not a day goes by that I don't think of him and what he meant to me and my development as a person.

Gene D. Bruce, Colonel, U.S. Army (ret)

Posted by Gene Bruce - South Bend, IN - Served in the Military together   November 10, 2017

As part of the one percent , it is why we serve. It was a honor to know that Kingsville gave its very best to our Nation, Thank you for your service General. May he Rest in Peace and perpetual light shine upon him. HQ CAC Kansas,

Posted by M Ontiveros - TX - Served in the Military together   November 09, 2017

In 1968, the First Battalion of the 18th Infantry, Big Red One, was in the rear in Long Binh, Vietnam, when Battalion Commander, Colonel Cavazos rotated home. I remember that after chow one night, Charlie Company formed up outside our barracks and the Sergeant Major put us at ease and Colonel Cavazos asked us to gather around him. I sat down with the other men in a semicircle around him. The colonel sat on the sandbags of a foxhole and looked into each face. He spoke slowly.
"I've been going to all the companies to personally say good-bye to the troops, he started out. I wanted to thank each of you." He nodded to some of the faces he recognized then said to all of us, "It has been the highest honor for me to have been your battalion commander. We've been through quite a lot, you and I, quite a lot." He paused.
"I want you all to know that I will never forget your bravery, your loyalty and your hard work. You always did whatever was asked of you, no matter how dangerous, no matter how difficult." He paused again to look at the young faces before him. "I would choose this outfit for any fight they wanted me in."
He straightened himself up and said with feeling. "I want you to know that I did my best to get you home. His voice choked with emotion and he hesitated. His eyes glazed over and for a moment, I think he saw the bodies of the young infantrymen who hadn't made it.
"I want you all to take care of yourselves, he continued. Do your duty and go home to your families knowing that you have served your country well. Thank you and God bless you all."
We rose and each of us shook the Colonel's hand.
These many years later, what I remember most about serving under General Cavazos was that he always had back up ready to help us out. It was not like that with other outfits but General Cavazos made certain we had dedicated artillery and gunships and fighter jets assigned to our operations. And more than once that made all the difference in those fire fights.

Posted by Michael Shapiro - Hernando, FL - Served in the Military together   November 07, 2017

General Cavazos was truly an American Hero from Korea to Vietnam. My Company Commander in Korea and a good friend. He will be missed. Don't know how many are left from Company E, 65th Inf. Regt, 3rd Inf. Div. Korea 1953. Sincerely, Pat Scarpato, 1st Platoon Leader, E Co.

Posted by Pat Scarpato - Staten Island, NY - military   November 06, 2017

General Richard Cavazos, The Leader

When General Cavazos took command of 9th ID in 1977, I had recently become the company commander of Company C, 3-39 Infantry. I was on my first assignment in the Army, all of my time as a platoon leader or executive officer in that unit. I could not know then the rare privilege it would be. For to serve under General Cavazos' command meant you were his student. He was a master trainer and teacher. His methods were based on his strength of character, his ability to place his combat experience in to action plans for training that others could learn, and his highly developed concept of the sacred trust leaders carry, something he would describe as the need to see the moral element of combat and how to build units so that people hold together under fire and stress. He related all this and more not only through brilliantly designed training strategies, but through his personal embodiment of what might be called the ideal Soldier, a Soldier whose force of motivation was his oath and his code, learned in part through experiences when leadership fell apart under fire.

In August 1978, he reached out to me on the occasion of the sudden death of my father, a serving CSM in the USAR in New York, himself a member of the 10th Mountain Division with his own recollections of close combat in Italy. The CG asked me to visit with him and discuss Soldiers, leadership, and my own ideas about how to take what I learned after 5 years in my battalion. It was a conversation perhaps like no other I would have in the Army, one based upon a shared understanding of the Soldier and what leaders ought to do to learn about the relationship between good training, good leadership, and how Soldiers are intricate mixes of discipline, skill and motivation, and how commanders who learn that early and build their units with that understanding have a good chance to hold them together under the stress of crisis.

Posted by Mark Gerner - Burke, VA, VA - Served in the Military together   November 05, 2017

General Cavazos will always be Dogface 6 to me and the men of the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, First Infantry Division which he commanded in Vietnam in 1967. A great combat commander, exemplary leader of men, the General wrote in DOGFACE CHARLIE (p. 1) "While we punished the enemy, at no time were the lives of Dogface soldiers valued less than the battlefield objectives we pursued. Therein lies the superb blend of duty and comradeship." We were privileged to have served with him. My condolences to the family and particularly to Caroline as she stood by her man through wars, many difficult deployments and tours, while maintaining the home front, right up to the last hour. God bless. Rest in Peace. Patrick "Mac" McLaughlin, a Dogface soldier, Gates Mills, Ohio

Posted by Patrick "Mac" McLaughlin - Gates Mills, OH - Served in the Military together   November 04, 2017

I was a Captain company commander when Gen Cavazos came down to units in 9th Inf Div and talked about his experiences in Korea. You could hear a pin drop as soldiers listened in awe to his stories. A great leader and a humble man.

Posted by George Harmer - Allyn, WA - military   November 04, 2017

Candle

I am so very sorry to learn of the loss of your husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. May this great soldier rest in peace. He saved my father's, (Hans G. Olsen), life in the Korean War, oh so many years ago. My brother Richard is named after him. I was hoping to possibly visit him within the last few months, a missed opportunity. I have photos of him with my father in Korea in an old family photo album. Thank-you Sir, for your service to our country.

Posted by Carolyn Olsen - Bloomington, MN   November 03, 2017

We thank General Cavazos for his service to our country. May he now Rest In Peace.
LeRoy and Virginia Leonard (Teresa Shaheen's parents)

Posted by Virginia Leonard - San Antonio, TX   November 03, 2017

Candle

We are all sadden to hear of the loss of yet another great Soldier and American. Gen Cavazos a wonderful example of a General Officer that if you had to go to War, He is the one you would pray would be in charge of the Troop deployment. My first Division Commander as a 2LT in the 9th Infantry Division. I will never forget this work when he talked to the troops. Men I Love You every Damned One of You ! I believed him too! What a Soldier!
Vickie and I send our heartfelt condolences to all the family in this our loss.
Military Assignment together, Paul and Vickie Wingo, COL Retired USA, 1 Nov 2017

Posted by Paul Wingo - Dahlonega, HI - Served in the Military together   November 01, 2017


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