14 service members suspended or fired over ‘widespread sample’ of sexual assault, violence and homicide at Fort Hood base


US Military leaders have suspended or fired 14 officers and enlisted service members stationed at Fort Hood, Texas following the conclusion of an unbiased probe right into a local weather of violence that led to quite a few deaths on base.

The expulsions and suspensions have been introduced on Tuesday alongside sweeping coverage adjustments ordered by Military Secretary Ryan McCarthy. The adjustments govern procedures associated to sexual assault, experiences of lacking troopers, crime prevention, and the final ‘poisonous’ local weather on the base.

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One new coverage would require commanders to checklist service members as absent-unknown for as much as 48 hours and actively seek for them to the very best of their potential earlier than declaring the lacking ‘absent with out go away’ (AWOL). The adjustments comply with a civilian investigation opened in July after 5 troopers stationed on the base died of suspected foul play inside months.

The issues at Fort Hood are “straight associated to management failures,” McCarthy informed reporters on Tuesday, skewering senior employees on the base: “With out management, methods do not matter.” Fort Hood has seen a stunning quantity of violence over the previous 12 months, with 25 troopers lifeless of both suicide, murder, or suspicious ‘accidents’.

Essentially the most senior officer fired was Military Maj.Gen. Scott Efflandt, who was supervising Fort Hood when Spc. Vanessa Guillen disappeared and when she was discovered bludgeoned to demise two months later. Efflandt’s switch to a different base has been delayed, suggesting he’ll face additional punishment. The leaders of the third Armored Cavalry Regiment, together with Col. Ralph Overland, have additionally been fired, as have Maj.Gen. Jeffery Broadwater and Command Sgt.Maj. Thomas Kenney, the leaders of the bottom’s 1st Cavalry Regiment.

The suspensions and firings are anticipated to result in additional investigations which might see a few of these liable for the deterioration in situations on the bottom expelled from the army completely.

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Guillen’s physique was present in July, two months after she went lacking, main her suspected killer, Spc. Aaron Robinson, to commit suicide with a purpose to keep away from being taken into custody by police. One other soldier, 23-year-old Elder Fernandes, was discovered lifeless in August after he’d been lacking for over per week. Pvt. Mejhor Morta was discovered lifeless close to the bottom in July, whereas the stays of one other lacking service member, Gregory Morales, have been found in June simply over 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the bottom.

Fort Hood commander Military Lt. Gen. Pat White won’t be disciplined, as he has spent a lot of the 12 months deployed to Iraq and was not current through the grisly occasions of the final 12 months. The issues on the base will not be precisely new – 2019 noticed one other 32 troopers stationed there die of suicide, homicide or accidents, whereas 24 died in 2018.

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