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The origin of Fort Hood began with the need to train armored forces. In mid-1941, Army leaders decided to build a large training center near Belton in Bell County, Texas. The War Department announced its decision in January 1942, and the initial completion date was set for that August. The name "Fort Hood" was chosen from four finalists—the other three were "Belton", "Cotton", and "Killeen". General Leslie McNair chose the name during his visit to the site in April 1942; he had been commander of Army Ground Forces on an earlier inspection tour when construction started on what became Fort Bragg (now called Fort Bragg). Construction quickly progressed at Camp Hood (as it was known initially), largely because most of the labor force consisted of soldiers who had recently served overseas or were about to be shipped out as replacements for units being deployed overseas soon after their arrival at Camp Polk outside Leesville Louisiana .