One of my obsessions is crime shows – watching them on TV and listening to crime podcasts.
Many of the podcasts I’ve been listening to have been covering what’s been going on at Fort Hood and for the longest time it seemed like there was going to be no accountability for any of the crimes that were happening.
Sexual harassment and assault accusations, violence and murders seemed to plague the base. Fort Hood officials admitted in September that there had been a record number of five homicides on the base this year.
It was the high profile murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillen that finally shined a spotlight on what has been going on at Fort Hood. Her disappearance and murder made national news and questions started being asked.
The 20-year-old soldier was found dead in a shallow grave in June of 2020, two months after going missing. She was bludgeoned to death with a hammer in the armory where she worked at on base.
The killer, Spc. Aaron David Robinson, moved her body to a second location and then killed himself after being confronted by police.
According to her family, Guillen was planning to file a harassment complaint against Robinson the day after she was killed.
Thanks to President Trump, an investigative panel was announced in July to look into what was going on at the base and FINALLY, after an independent panel reviewed evidence and conducted interviews, the Army has fired or suspended 14 senior leaders.
The Army’s sexual harassment prevention office was found to be “structurally flawed” and Fort Hood was actually found to be a permissive environment for sexual harassment and assault. They actually lead the Army in the amount of violent crimes and sexual assault cases.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said, “I have determined that the issues at Fort Hood are directly related to leadership failures, leaders drive culture and are responsible for everything a unit does or does not happen to do.”
Major Gen. Scott Efflandt, the top military commander when Guillen was murdered, was relieved of duty and so was Guillen’s entire 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.
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After interviewing 503 women, the panel found 93 credible accounts of sexual assault. Only 59 were reported. And 217 more accounts of sexual harassment were found that were never reported. The women often weren’t reporting what was going on because of their fear of retaliation.
70 recommendations were made for both Fort Hood and throughout the entire Army.
With that and the firings, it is hoped that female soldiers will be a whole lot safer on their Army bases in the future.