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US Army disciplines 14 at Fort Hood after incidents of sexual assault and murder

Two high ranking Army officers will lose their jobs in the shakeup 

Tuesday 08 December 2020 18:19 GMT
Army secretary Ryan McCarthy speaks about Fort Hood

US Army officials have disciplined 14 officers and enlisted soldiers at Fort Hood following an investigation into leadership failures at the base that led to violence, sexual assault and murder. 

The officers and enlisted members targeted in the disciplinary actions will be suspended or fired. 

The Army launched an investigation into the leadership at Fort Hood after 25 soldiers at the base died due to suicide, homicide or accidents.  

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy oversaw the firings. The removals come at the recommendation of an independent panel's review of the base. The panel produced a 140-page report detailing the problems with the Army's current culture and includes 70 recommendations for how to improve the institutions trust between soldiers and staff.  

Army Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt was fired. He was in charge of the base at the time of the high profile disappearance and bludgeoning murder of Specialist Vanessa Guillen. Maj. Gen. Jeffery Broadwater, the commander of the 1st Cavalry Divisions, was also fired.  

The firings are expected to trigger further investigations that may lead to further punishments, up to and including discharges from military service.  

The base's current commander, Army Lt. Gen. Pat White, will not face any administrative punishments as he was deployed to Iraq at the time the deaths took place.  

One of those deaths was that of Ms Guillen, a 20-year-old soldier who went missing for six weeks. 

Ms Guillen's remains were found on 1 July near the Army base. Investigators said she was killed in April by Specialist Aaron Robinson, who killed himself on 1 July when police tried to take him into custody.  

Ms Guillen's family said Mr Robinson sexually harassed her. The Army said it found no evidence supporting that claim.  

In another incident, the body of Private Mejhor Morta was found in a reservoir near the base in July.  

The month before, the remains of another soldier, Gregory Morales, were found approximately 10 miles from the lake.  

Though 25 soldiers have died this year due to suicide, homicide and murder, the base is on track to report significantly fewer on-base deaths in 2020 than in 2019. Last year, the base reported 32 deaths. 

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