The U.S. Army has fired or suspended 14 officers at the Fort Hood military base in Texas over widespread patterns of violence there including murder, rape, sexual assault and harassment.

The investigation into problems at the base was launched following the disappearance and killing of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillén earlier this year by Spc. Aaron Robinson.

Robinson bludgeoned her to death with a hammer in a Fort Hood armory room in April and later took his own life on July 1 when police tried to take him into custody.

Prior to her murder, Guillén had informed relatives and colleagues at the base that she was sexually harassed at Fort Hood. The case is still being investigated.

McCarthy said the “issues at Fort Hood are directly related to leadership failures.” Fort Hood ranks among the highest in the Army in terms of its rates of murder, sexual assault and harassment in the Army.

Officials at the time claimed that there were no credible reports or information on the sexual assault of Guillén. However, the allegations surrounding the circumstances of her death prompted an outpouring of service members sharing their own ordeals with sexual assault and harassment under the hashtag #IAmVanessaGuillen.

Those leaders who were fired or suspended include Maj. Gen. Scott L. Efflandt, who was the acting commander at the base when Guillén’s death occurred. Efflandt, Col. Ralph Overland and Command Sgt. Maj. Bradley Knapp, the 3rd Cavalry Regiment commander and command sergeant major, were all relieved from command.

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Broadwater and Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas C. Kenny, 1st Cavalry Division commanding general and command sergeant major, were suspended. The names of the battalion level and below commanders and leaders who received administrative disciplinary measures were not released.

Members of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee, which is comprised of five civilians including three former Army officers, interviewed 647 soldiers at Fort Hood, including 503 women.

The women were hesitant to speak out about their experiences with sexual harassment at the Texas base out of fear of reprisal.

“What we found was that there was a fear of retaliation, all forms of retaliation, stigmatism, ostracism, derailing a career and work assignments,” said committee chairman Chris Swecker.

A statement from the Army said “when a senior leader loses trust and confidence in a subordinate commander or leader, it is appropriate and necessary to relieve that person.”

McCarthy also said that the Army would adopt a new policy that maximizes efforts to find soldiers who disappear. The release of Tuesday’s report comes after a year that saw 25 soldiers assigned to Fort Hood die from either suicide, homicide, or accidents,

Commanders will now be required to classify missing soldiers as “absent-unknown” for up to 48 hours while doing all that they can to find the soldier to determine whether their absence is voluntary before they are declared AWOL, or absent without leave.

The Mind Unleashed / ABC Flash Point News 2020.

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Abdul Kamani
Abdul Kamani
Guest
31-12-20 13:50

Unfortunately, this is part of how the US military operates during the time they are commissioned to invade other countries. Now they get a taste of their own medicine?