The U.S. military fired or suspended 14 officers and deployed soldiers to Fort Hood, Texas, and ordered political changes to address chronic leadership failures that contributed to the widespread use of violence, including killings, sexual harassment, and harassment. .
In an overwhelming condemnation of Fort Hood’s command hierarchy, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy fired three chief commanders and suspended two more commanders for two more men.
He also ordered a separate investigation into the staff and procedures of the base’s criminal investigation headquarters, which is responsible for investigating Fort Hood’s crimes.
The acts take place after a year in which at least 25 soldiers assigned to Fort Hood have died as a result of suicide, murder or accidents, including the explosive death of Vanessa Guillen. The young soldier disappeared for about two months before his remains were found.
On Wednesday, a sub-committee of the House Committee’s Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing, according to a committee of inquiry that examined Fort Hood’s death and the culture that prevailed under the flood of crime and suicide there as part of a congressional investigation. .
Speaking to Pentagon reporters, McCarthy said a review by an independent body concluded that Fort Hood’s issues, including major flaws in the response to sexual harassment and harassment, were “directly linked to leadership failures”.
He said he was seriously disappointed with the commanders there, adding that “without leadership, systems don’t matter”.
General James McConville, the army chief of staff, told reporters that he spoke to Guillen’s mother on Tuesday morning and told him, “We will hold the leaders accountable and we will resolve this.”
Gloria Guillen, Vanessa’s mother, told an emotional press conference in Houston that she had spoken to McCarthy and told her that the administrative measures were heading in the right direction, but she wanted to see those whose daughter had failed serve a prison sentence.
“Nothing will remove the pain I feel like a mother all day and all night,” Guillen said in tears in Spanish.
Guillens lawyer Natalie Khawam said officers from the Criminal Investigation Command (CID) were fired or suspended on Tuesday. The panel found that Fort Hood was used as a training ground for the new CID officers and there was a lot of traffic and many of the officers were inexperienced and over-seconded.
McCarthy also ordered a new army policy that would change the way commanders treat missing soldiers. The panel found that there are no detailed procedures for what commanders of small units should do if a soldier is absent but not necessarily leaving AWOL or absent.
The new directive requires managers to classify members of the service as absentee-unknown for up to 48 hours and will make every effort to locate the soldier to determine if the absence is voluntary before declaring anyone absent without leave (AWOL).
The shooting includes Army Major Scott Efflandt, who was left in charge of the base earlier this year when Guillen was killed, as well as Colonel Ralph Overland, commander of the Third Cavalry Regiment, and Major Bradley Knapp.
Among those suspended were Major General Jeffery Broadwater, commander and chief officer of the First Equestrian Division, Thomas C Kenny.
Administrative measures are expected to launch investigations that could lead to a wide range of penalties.
Army leaders and members of the independent body acknowledged that Guillen’s (20-year-old) death earlier this year served as a catalyst for a deeper understanding of deeper crime and other problems at the base.
Investigators say Guillent was cast to death in Fort Hood by specialist Aaron Robinson, who killed himself on July 1 when police tried to detain him.
According to his family, Robinson was sexually harassed and too scared of intimidation to report the abuse, although the military said there was no evidence to support the allegation.
Also in July, the corpse of Pte Mejhor Morta was found near the Fort Hood Reservoir. In June, officials discovered the remains of another missing soldier, Gregory Morales, about 10 miles from the lake.
The five-member board spent three weeks in Fort Hood.
According to them, the women soldiers told them that they were afraid of retaliation for complaints, including moving to other jobs, compromising their secrecy and derailing their careers.
They also complained about delays in investigations, and many said they did not report sexual harassment or harassment due to a lack of trust in the program.
College member Carrie Ricci, a retired member of the Army’s General Counsel Corp. who served for three years in Fort Hood, addressed a message to the female soldiers there. “I want them to know we believe you,” he said.