US Army FIRES Fort Hood commander over string of a dozen deaths in or around troubled Texas base – The Sun

THE commander of the U.S. Army's Fort Hood post is being removed from his position and will no longer take command of a division at Fort Bliss, according to a statement released on Tuesday.

The Army announced a shakeup and investigation in leadership at the Killeen, Texas, base, after the murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, who had complained of sexual harassment.


Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, currently the deputy commander of III Corps at Fort Hood, was set to take command of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, but those plans have now been scrapped.

Two soldiers, including Guillen, went missing on separate occasions before their bodies were later discovered.

A number of soldiers have recently died by suicide, while another group from the base were arrested in a prostitution ring.

Efflandt will remain at Fort Hood but will be replaced as deputy corps commander by Maj. Gen. John Richardson IV, according to the Army.

INVESTIGATION

A change in command had been on the cards, the Army said, but it had not been the intention to keep Efflandt from command of a division.

Gen. Garrett will appoint Gen. John Murray, one of the Army's senior leaders, to lead an investigation into the chain of command's handling of Guillen's murder.

Guillen's body was discovered in July after she had been missing for nearly three months.

Her body showed signs that she had been bludgeoned to death and then dismembered.

A fellow soldier, who committed suicide as authorities carried out their investigation, is suspected of killing Guillen.

Her family accused the Army of failing to act with urgency in order to find Guillen, who had complained of sexual harrassment.

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said that crime figures at the post are high.

According to McCarthy, a survey of soldiers at Fort Hood showed that about one-third said they'd been subjected to sexual harassment.

McCarthy said: "The numbers are bad, and we need to make some adjustments. We’re very concerned."

On August 25, the body of Sgt. Elder Fernandes was found hanging from a tree about 25 miles from the base.

According to his family's lawyer, Fernandes had complained about being groped by a superior officer, leading to him becoming a target of harassment.

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