Army Leaders Fired or Suspended at Fort Hood


Fourteen U.S. Army leaders fired or suspended at Fort Hood

The shake-ups come in response to an independent review of the base’s command climate and are an effort to correct a yearslong culture of sexual assault and a pattern of violence at the base.

Fourteen U.S. Army leaders, including commanders and other leaders at Fort Hood, have been fired or suspended in an effort to correct a yearslong culture of sexual assault and a pattern of violence at the base, Army officials said Tuesday.

That climate — which failed to prioritize the health and wellbeing of soldiers, particularly female soldiers — was detailed in a damning 150-page report released Tuesday after a year of startling and tragic deaths at the Central Texas installation.

Among those relieved was Maj. Gen. Scott L. Efflandt, who was in charge of the base earlier this year when Spc. Vanessa Guillén went missing. Col. Ralph Overland and Command Sgt. Maj. Bradley Knapp were also relieved.

Two other leaders, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Broadwater and Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas C. Kenny, have been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation into command climate and the responses to sexual harassment and assault.

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The Army has also opened a separate investigation into resourcing, policies and procedures of the 6th Military Police Group, the division of the Criminal Investigation Command which conducts felony-level criminal investigations at Fort Hood.

The shake-ups come in response to an independent review of the base’s command climate and culture, which Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy launched in mid-July amid increasing pressure from Guillén’s family, Congress and advocacy groups.

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Guillén disappeared in April and her body was found near the Leon River in July. The soldier suspected of killing Guillén, Spc. Aaron Robinson, killed himself as police tried to arrest him. Guillén was the victim of sexual harassment, her sister said, but she didn’t report the sexual harassment out of fear of retaliation.

McCarthy and other Army leaders announced Tuesday that as a result of the investigation, they have established a new policy on missing soldiers. They have also launched a new group, the People First Task Force, which will be responsible for analyzing the problems discovered at Fort Hood and reevaluating Army policy.

“We know in the Army that we are not perfect but what makes us the greatest Army in the world is that we recognize where we must change. We acknowledge our issues and we fix them,” Gen. James McConville, chief of staff to the army, said at a Tuesday press conference. “Prior to coming here, I talked to Mrs. Guillén, Vanessa’s mother, and I told her that we are going to fix these issues and change the culture that allowed them to happen. I told her we must and will provide a safe and secure environment for American sons and daughters that serve in the Army.”AMIBC® - VOTE! BE COUNTED! BE HEARD!


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