Yesterday, Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy announced the removal or suspension of fourteen leaders at Fort Hood. Those leaders where either relieved or suspended after an independent committee’s review of command culture at Fort Hood. Leadership as high at the Deputy Commander to as low as squad leader where either relieved or suspended. This investigation comes after the disappearance and horrific murder of Vanessa Gullien on the base earlier this year.

The independent investigation determined there was an environment at Fort Hood that allowed for sexual harassment and assault to run rampant throughout the base. The investigation also determined that Army CID was ill-equipped, under-trained, and over-assigned to properly handle sexual harassment/assault cases.

The review also raised concerns on how Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention programs are conducted across the Army. Also, how the Army investigates soldiers’ disappearance or death on Fort Hood and beyond.

Jack White, an attorney with experience in government investigations sat on the committee expressed a potentially bigger more pervasive issues throughout the Army. White states, “Our charter was to look at Fort Hood and that was what we did. But we are not oblivious to the fact that this is one Army and Fort Hood is potentially emblematic of other things going on in the Army.”

While adding, “SHARP is an Army wide program, so some of our observations, while we saw them at Fort Hood, may very well be similar at other installations.”

SHARP is an military wide program, designed to empower leadership and soldiers with the knowledge on how to properly address sexual harassment or assault.

The committee’s report was briefed to the media yesterday by the Secretary of the Army McCarthy and by those who complied the information. Army leadership said they would use this committee’s findings to make service wide changes.

During the press conference Army Secretary McCarthy also announced the prominent leadership that was relieved during the course of the investigation. The leadership being relieved at Fort Hood are: Third Corps Deputy Commander, Maj. Gen. Scott L. Efflandt, 3rd Calvary Regiment Commander Col. Ralph Overland, and senior enlisted solider, Command Sgt. Maj. Bradley Knapp.

Also, during the press conference McCarthy directed the suspensions of two 1st Calvary Division leaders, Maj. Gen. Jeffery Broadwater and Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas C. Kenny, pending the outcome of the investigation into that unit’s command culture.

Maj. Gen. Efflandt was left in command while the post’s Top Officer Lt. Gen. Pat White was deployed to Iraq. It is unclear if Lt. Gen. White will face any punishment or ramifications, since many of the concerns raised came before Efflandt’s tenure as base commander.

This independent committee was called upon back in August following a series of grisly murders at Fort Hood. One of those murders being the death of 3rd Calvary Regiment SPC. Vanessa Gullien.

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