Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy announced on Tuesday that 14 leaders have been relieved or suspended from their positions at Fort Hood after a groundbreaking independent review found widespread failures in leadership.
McCarthy said the review found a “command climate at Fort Hood that was permissive of sexual harassment and sexual assault.”
The Fort Hood Independent Review Committee (FHIRC) conducted a third-party review of the command climate and pervasive issues at Fort Hood over the course of 103 days. The committee conducted 647 interviews, 503 of which were with female soldiers on the base.
The review was sparked by the murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillen on April 22, who was murdered by a fellow soldier involved in an affair Guillen had knowledge of. Guillen had previously said she was being sexually harassed on base.
McCarthy said Guillen’s “tragic death … forced us to take a critical look at our systems, our policies, and ourselves,” adding, “without leadership, policies don’t matter.”
The relieved leaders include Maj. Gen. Scott L. Efflandt, deputy commanding general (Support), III Corps; and Col. Ralph Overland and Command Sgt. Maj. Bradley Knapp, the 3rd Cavalry Regiment commander and command sergeant major.