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14 Fort Hood leaders relieved or suspended after committee review

14 Fort Hood leaders had been relieved of responsibility or suspended in response to an impartial assessment committee’s investigation launched after Vanessa Guillen’s loss of life.

FORT HOOD, Texas — An impartial assessment carried out within the wake of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen’s loss of life on Fort Hood discovered “a poor local weather at Fort Hood, together with ineffective implementation of the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program,” in line with the report launched Tuesday.

Secretary of the Military Ryan McCarthy, and Military Chief of Employees Gen. James C. McConville spoke from the Pentagon.

The five-member assessment committee, which carried out 2,500 interviews with troopers and Military civilians, supplied 9 findings and 70 suggestions to deal with flaws within the SHARP program together with the reporting of lacking troopers.

“The challenges at Fort Hood pressured us to take a vital have a look at our programs, our insurance policies, and ourselves,” mentioned McCarthy. “This isn’t nearly metrics, however about possessing the power to point out compassion for our teammates and to look out for one of the best curiosity of our Troopers. This report, indisputably, will trigger the Military to vary our tradition.”

Committee member Queta Rodriguez mentioned they carried out 647 particular person interviews and of these 503 had been girls.

Rodriguez mentioned they obtained 93 credible accounts of sexual assault, solely 59 of which had been reported. She mentioned they obtained 217 credible accounts of sexual harassment.

McCarthy mentioned 14 Military leaders on Fort Hood had been relieved or suspended.

Maj. Gen. Scott L. Efflandt, deputy commanding common (Assist), III Corps; and Col. Ralph Overland and Command Sgt. Maj. Bradley Knapp, the third Cavalry Regiment commander and command sergeant main had been all relieved of responsibility.

The secretary additionally directed the suspension of Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Broadwater and Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas C. Kenny, 1st Cavalry Division commanding common and command sergeant main, pending the end result of a brand new Military Regulation (AR) 15-6 investigation of 1st Cavalry Division’s command local weather and Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program.  

The names of the battalion stage and under commanders and leaders who obtained administrative motion weren’t launched.

Among the many committee’s findings had been:

  • “Robust proof that incidents of sexual assault and sexual harassment at Fort Hood are considerably underreported.”
  • “There have been no established procedures for first line supervisors in ‘Failure to Report’ conditions that outline acceptable actions within the vital first 24 hours.”
  • “The command local weather at Fort Hood has been permissive of sexual harassment / sexual assault.”

The complete report will be learn on the backside of this text.

McCarthy additionally laid out a complete plan to vary the coverage of how troopers are reported lacking, together with the creation of a further responsibility standing code referred to as “absent unknown” (AUN).

Troopers might be reported AUN for as much as 48 hours to permit their unit and regulation enforcement to assist discover the soldier, in line with the report. Beforehand, troopers who had been absent for unknown causes for listed as “absent with out go away” (AWOL).

Below the brand new coverage, which is meant to make sure the Military maximizes efforts to search out lacking troopers, commanders should decide by a preponderance of proof {that a} Soldier’s absence is voluntary to categorise their responsibility standing as AWOL, the report mentioned.

“In response to the committee’s findings, the Military created the “Individuals First Process Power” to check the suggestions and map out a plan to deal with them,” McCarthy mentioned.

Instantly following the briefing, the 5 members of the Fort Hood Impartial Assessment Committee mentioned the report’s findings and suggestions.

The panel members, appointed by McCarthy in July and led by Chris Swecker, additionally embrace Jonathan Harmon, Carrie Ricci, Queta Rodriguez and Jack White. McCarthy mentioned their objective was to grasp the foundation causes of felonies and violent acts.

“Troopers assaulting and harassing different troopers is opposite to Military values and requires a dramatic change in tradition,” Swecker, mentioned. “The committee decided that, throughout the time interval lined by our assessment, there was a permissive atmosphere for sexual assault and sexual harassment at Fort Hood.”

The main points of the brand new lacking soldier coverage will be learn on the backside of this text.

Following the Pentagon briefing, III Corps and Fort Hood Commanding Normal, Lt. Gen. Pat White held a briefing on Fort Hood. The Fort Hood Press Heart mentioned White will “present an replace on the Individuals First Initiative to construct belief and cohesive groups.”

White mentioned the initiative would give leaders again time to concentrate on those that they lead. He mentioned greater than four million man-hours had been pulled from the schedule to offer leaders their time again.

White mentioned he would take the findings and suggestions of the committee and perform people who had been throughout the scope of his authority.

“We’ll handle the challenges head-on and lead our military ahead,” White mentioned.

White additionally addressed the issue of troopers not reporting sexual assault or harassment, saying he gave everybody who wished it his cellphone quantity in the event that they wished to report an issue.

White mentioned the 14 leaders who had been relieved of responsibility or suspended discovered concerning the actions Tuesday.

Houston Rep. Sylvia Garcia, who has led an effort to get a invoice handed that may permit troopers to report sexual harassment and assault exterior of the chain of command, mentioned the committee’s report doesn’t give troopers a “really confidential approach to report sexual violence.”

“There are nonetheless unanswered questions on what the Military and the army as a complete will do to have culturally competent and linguistically inclusive best-practices when participating households in lacking soldier circumstances,” Garcia mentioned.

The army briefings had been adopted by a press convention at three p.m. CDT in Houston with Guillen’s household and their legal professional Natalie Khawam, in line with her workplace. They had been joined by billionaire Tilman Fertitta, Houston’s Chief of Police Artwork Acevedo and others.

Khawam mentioned McConville and McCarthy shared the outcomes of the report earlier than it was made public.

6 Information streamed every press convention right here and on YouTube, Fb and Twitter.


The panel was requested to assessment Fort Hood’s local weather and tradition to find out if it mirrored the Military’s values, together with security, respect, inclusiveness, and a dedication to variety, and workplaces and communities free from sexual harassment.

Throughout a go to to Fort Hood on Aug. 6, McCarthy mentioned the panel would report its findings to a group chaired by Below Secretary of the Military James McPherson and Vice Chief of Employees of the Military Gen. Joseph Martin.

WHERE IS VANESSA?

Guillen was final seen April 22 between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. within the car parking zone of her regimental engineer squadron headquarters on Fort Hood.

Her automobile keys, room key, identification card and pockets had been discovered within the armory room the place she was working earlier within the day. 

Because the weeks of trying to find Guillen dragged on, her household led protests each Friday exterior Fort Hood. They referred to as for transparency and mentioned the management didn’t react rapidly sufficient after her disappearance.

Fort Hood initially supplied a $15,000 reward for data that may result in her whereabouts. They elevated the reward to $25,000 on June 15 then elevated it to $50,000.

6 Information obtained surveillance footage from Taqueria Mexico on East Rancier Ave. June 17 that confirmed Guillen going into the restaurant on April 15, one week earlier than she disappeared. The proprietor mentioned she was a frequent buyer however that she didn’t seem to be herself that day.


Texas Equusearch, native authorities, household and associates and the Military Prison Investigation Division all took half in searches round Bell County and on Fort Hood.

THE SUSPECTS

It wasn’t till June 30, when her dismembered stays had been present in a shallow grave close to the Leon River in Bell County.

RELATED: Vanessa Guillen killed with hammer and her physique mutilated, affidavit says

Texas Equusearch, led by Tim Miller, searched that very same space one week earlier however Miller mentioned the stays had been hid properly sufficient that cadaver canine didn’t discover them.

It was simply hours later, when authorities tracked down the suspects.

Based on a legal criticism, Spc. Aaron Robinson shot and killed himself as Killeen police approached him within the early morning hours of July 1.

The criticism mentioned Robinson killed Guillen April 22 in an armory room on put up, then with the assistance of his girlfriend Cecily Aguilar, dismembered her physique and buried the stays.

The criticism additionally alleges Robinson and Aguilar returned to the scene on April 26 with hairnets and gloves.

The 2 uncovered the stays and “continued the method of breaking down the stays of the lifeless feminine,” the criticism mentioned.

Aguilar was arrested and charged with conspiracy to tamper with proof. Her trial was set for Jan. 19.

RELATED: Cecily Aguilar listening to, trial delayed once more

#IAMVANESSAGUILLEN

Guillen’s household mentioned she advised them she was sexually harassed however she didn’t report it to her superiors for worry of retaliation. Fort Hood investigators mentioned they discovered no proof supporting the declare.

Nonetheless, Guillen’s story launched a nationwide consciousness marketing campaign to show sexual assault and harassment within the army with former and present servicemembers coming ahead on social media to share their tales.

Guillen’s household, together with their legal professional Natalie Khawam, lobbied for the creation of the I Am Vanessa Guillen invoice. It could permit troopers to report sexual harassment and assault to a 3rd social gathering exterior their chain of command.

The invoice was launched within the Home by California Rep. Jackie Speier (D) on Sept. 16 with bi-partisan help, together with Houston Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D) and Central Texas Rep. John Carter (R).

U.S. Senator John Cornyn launched the next assertion in response to the report launched by the Fort Hood Impartial Assessment Committee right now:

“It’s merely unacceptable to have certainly one of our army installations, the place our younger women and men go to serve within the army and be secure, topic to both harassment, or sexual assault, and even lack of life. I’ve requested the Senate Armed Providers Committee to conduct hearings and decide if is that this an remoted incident or if that is extra broad or systemic inside our army installations. It is a very, very critical matter. This isn’t going to be swept underneath the rug.”


Guillen’s household met with President Donald Trump within the Oval Workplace on July 30. Trump mentioned that they had his full help.

“We cannot cease and hopefully one thing very optimistic will come out in honor of your sister and your daughter,” Trump mentioned.

However throughout a press convention in November, Guillen’s mom, Gloria, criticized the President for what she referred to as an absence of motion on his half.

“The president didn’t do something, Guillen mentioned. “He misplaced and he didn’t do something. He solely lied. The secretary of protection didn’t do something both.”

A VIOLENT YEAR

Guillen was certainly one of 5 Fort Hood troopers to die both by murder or underneath suspicious circumstances beginning with the disappearance of Pvt. Gregory Morales on Aug. 19, 2019.

“The numbers are excessive right here,” McCarthy mentioned in August. “They’re the best generally for sexual assault and harassment and murders for our whole formation, the U.S. Military.”

Throughout the seek for Guillen’s stays, Morales’ stays had been present in Killeen on June 19. The Military Prison Investigation Division mentioned foul play was suspected in his loss of life.

Killeen police are the lead company wanting into Morales’ loss of life. The Southwest Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas carried out the post-mortem. The outcomes had been underneath an investigative maintain by the Bell County District Lawyer’s workplace as of Dec 8.

RELATED: Deaths, disappearances on Fort Hood underneath assessment by a number of congressional committees

Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans, 28, was killed in Harker Heights. Police mentioned Brandon Olivares, 28, shot Rosecrans 4 occasions then left his physique on the aspect of street within the 2100 block of Fuller Lane on the morning of Could 18.

Olivares was arrested and charged with homicide in August.

Spc. Shelby Jones, 20, was shot and killed March 1 at Membership Desires in Killeen.

Jones was assigned to the third Cavalry Regiment in August 2018. Killeen police mentioned Jones’ case was offered to a grand jury June 10 they usually selected to take no motion.

“The Grand Jury voted to take no motion and the DA declined to prosecute,” mentioned KPD Spokeswoman Ofelia Miramontez. “If new data/proof turns into out there the case can at all times be reopened however right now there is no such thing as a ongoing investigation.”

Miramontez mentioned the suspect’s title wouldn’t be launched as a result of there was no indictment.

Spc. Freddy Beningo Delacruz Jr. was certainly one of three individuals killed in an condominium on March 14, in line with an arrest affidavit.

Police mentioned Delacruz, Shaquan Markell Allred and Asia Cline had been all shot a number of occasions by Barnard Morrow.

Morrow was not arrested till Aug. 28 when a U.S. Marshals Process Power tracked him down in Newton, MS. He was charged with capital homicide.

LEADERSHIP CHANGE

Gen. Michael X. Garrett, commanding common of U.S. Military Forces Command, assigned Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV on Sept. 1 to formally assume duties as deputy commanding common for operations of III Corps and performing senior commander of Fort Hood.

Richardson changed Efflandt who remained on Fort Hood to help with the reintegration of III Corps once they returned from Operation Inherent Resolve, in line with Military Public Affairs.

Efflandt was alleged to be transferred to Fort Bliss in El Paso to guide the first Armored Division. The Military delayed that transfer on Aug. 8.

Garrett additionally appointed Gen. John Murray, commanding common of Military Futures Command, to guide an in-depth investigation into the chain of command actions associated to Guillen’s case. Murray’s investigation is separate from the civilian panel’s assessment.

White met with the Guillen household for the primary time in particular person on Nov. 10 to assessment design ideas for a gate that might be named in Guillen’s honor. White mentioned the gate results in the third Cavalry Regiment the place Guillen served.


Tuesday afternoon, White spoke to all of the troopers on put up at Fort Hood. He addressed the significance of working collectively to repair all the problems and security at Fort Hood.

“‘We aren’t going to repair a few of the challenges right here on Fort Hood till you get on board,” White mentioned.

White mentioned that if any soldier has by no means reported sexual harassment that they’ve endured, to report it now. Additionally, he mentioned he needs to know why the incident wasn’t reported up to now.

“We have now started working collectively to construct belief,” White mentioned. “Thanks to your service to our nation and thanks for the sacrifices you make day by day.”



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