The Army has suspended or relieved 14 officers in senior positions at Fort Hood after an investigation into the base sparked by Spc. Vanessa Guillén's death.
In a 152-page report released by the investigative body, Fort Hood leadership was accused of creating a "permissive environment for sexual assault and sexual harassment." The Texas base houses 60,000 people, including 37,000 service members. It came under scrutiny after several deaths occurred at the base, including Guillén's murder by another soldier. The 20-year-old was bludgeoned to death with a hammer inside the armory where she worked. When police approached her suspected killer, Spc. Aaron Robinson, he took his own life. The attention drawn by the incident uncovered a base that was in deep disaray.
"The initial investigation into Vanessa's death, coupled with high numbers of crimes and deaths at Fort Hood, has revealed a series of missteps and multiple failures in our system and within our leadership," Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said. "I directed the relief and or suspension of commanders and other leaders from the corps to the squad level."
An independent review of the base found that the culture created at the base needed to be changed at the direction of new leadership.
"Soldiers assaulting and harassing other soldiers is contrary to Army values and requires a dramatic change in culture," Committee Chair Chris Swecker said. "The committee determined that, during the time period covered by our review, there was a permissive environment for sexual assault and sexual harassment at Fort Hood. We have recommended changes to the staffing, structure and implementation of the SHARP program at Fort Hood, and possibly beyond, to address deeply dysfunctional norms and regain Soldiers' trust."