“I am gravely disappointed.”, Since January, there have been 28 deaths at Fort Hood, including five homicides and eight suicides. “It’s still bleeding under the Band-Aid.”. Lieutenant General Robert "Pat" White says he has accepted all the recommendations made by the panel and promised battalion and brigade leaders at Fort Hood would implement them. Efflandt was the highest-ranking official relieved from duty by McCarthy, followed by Col. Ralph Overland and Sgt. When asked whether the three men would be separated from service or allowed to remain in the military, an Army spokesperson told The Intercept that they had been officially removed from their “assigned duty positions, which is not considered a punishment.” The spokesperson added that “any determination of subsequent actions will be made following the conclusion of the ongoing administrative investigation.”. We don’t have ads, so we depend on our members — 35,000 and counting — to help us hold the powerful to account. Worse, many soldiers were unaware that the program even existed. Demonstrators gather in San Antonio in July, shortly after Vanessa Guillen's body was found near Fort Hood. "News 10 is committed to bringing the festivities to every Central Texan's living room, BBQ, and mobile device by sharing an Independence Day fireworks show from the largest military installation in the free world, Fort Hood.". Fort Hood Area Events, Fort Hood, Texas. Robinson later killed himself as police attempted to take him into custody. Celebration of Love's event on December 11, 2020 is dedicated to our good friend and supporter, Anne Henry. The report comes after 25 people connected with the base died in 2020, including by suicide and murder. NCOs at Fort Hood told The Intercept in October that drug use on the base was pervasive and that higher-ranking officers found using drugs were often reassigned to other positions rather than punished, creating a climate of impunity. All rights reserved. After Guillén’s case became public, Maj. Gen Scott Efflandt, a two-star general who was in command of Fort Hood while White was overseas, started presiding over SHARP meetings. “Several soldiers stated they felt ‘safer in Afghanistan than at Fort Hood,’” Swecker and other committee members noted. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy briefed reporters on the findings of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee, which focused on issues of sexual assault and violent crimes at the military installation. Jolene Almendarez / American Homefront Originally published on December 4, 2020 3:52 pm “We always have to watch our back.”. Ricci said the committee members discovered 93 credible accounts of sexual assault, only 59 of which had been reported. FORT HOOD, Texas (July 1, 2020) - KWTX and III Corps and Fort Hood are joining forces to celebrate America’s independence with a one-hour patriotic special featuring a tribute to everyday heroes followed by a 30-minute fireworks spectacular broadcast live on KWTX News 10, KWTX.com and the KWTX Facebook page from the Bell County Army post. “Things have not been safe here for years,” she said. Most soldiers, the committee found, feared retaliation if they reported assault or harassment to their superiors or SHARP program personnel. The two will be “temporarily reassigned to duties commensurate with their rank and experience pending the outcome of the additional investigation,” the Army spokesperson said. If the absence was found to be suspicious, soldiers would be categorized as missing and an investigation would be opened. “A lot of people are just kind of shrugging it off,” one sergeant said. Ready? Vanessa Guillen is a 20-year-old private first class stationed at Fort Hood who disappeared in April. They are responsible for everything that a unit does or does not do,” McCarthy said. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. Soldiers are often automatically listed as AWOL, with the Army making little attempt to locate them; noncommissioned officers told The Intercept in October that they had few tools to help those under their command who disappeared from base. We don't want military kids to feel that stress. Vanessa Guillén, confirmed that Fort Hood led the entire Army formation in violent felonies and drug offenses. Some of the report’s most disturbing findings were regarding Fort Hood’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program, known as SHARP, which was created so that soldiers could report sexual assault or harassment and receive legal and support services. Altogether, the committee made 70 recommendations. On Dec. 24, 2020, Fort Hood officials cleared a "suspicious package," which resulted in a temporary evacuation of the shopping center. Dec 8, 2020 The head of a Central Texas Army post is promising to make changes following a scathing sexual harassment and abuse report. “Their immediate chain of command will determine where they will work.” The Army doesn’t have an estimate yet on when the investigation will be completed. In the shadow of Trump’s execution spree, the families of the condemned share a particular trauma that few can understand. SHARP personnel often had to use their own funds for training materials and their personal vehicles to drive victims to the hospital. Frontier Park, Lions Park and … Fort Hood Santa's Workshop is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. “We own the results,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said of the independent review at the press conference. “How do we address those leaders who went on to other installations, bases, and commands that were part of the problem?”. “Every correction is an overcorrection in the Army, then after a year, it goes back to the way it was. Fort Hood will mark Independence Day from 5-10 p.m. July 4 with a celebration at Hood Stadium. Joining is simple and doesn’t need to cost a lot: You can become a sustaining member for as little as $3 or $5 a month. The Fort Hood Directorate of Emergency Services reports temporarily evacuated the Post Exchange. “What many of the soldiers at Fort Hood needed was to be believed,” Ricci said. Events, Weather, Info, News and Resources for the Fort Hood and Surrounding Communities. “This report, without a doubt, will cause the Army to change our culture,” McCarthy said at the Pentagon briefing, where he announced that he would also appoint senior Army officials to lead a “People First Task Force” to further study and implement the recommendations Army-wide. “What we found was that there were no proactive efforts to suppress crime, to address the drug issues, to address violent crimes,” Swecker said. Show full articles without "Continue Reading" button for {0} hours. “We are holding leaders accountable and we will fix this.”, But at the sprawling military installation in Central Texas, three noncommissioned officers said that while it was refreshing to hear McCarthy and senior officials take responsibility for the base’s failures, they are skeptical that they can fix a deeply entrenched Army culture in which high-level commanders protect one another’s transgressions and incidents are “kicked under the rug.” (The NCOs interviewed for this story requested that their names be withheld for fear of retribution.). Like us on Facebook to see similar stories, Mayor: Nashville bombing questions could be answered 'relatively soon', AstraZeneca says coronavirus vaccine candidate should be effective against new strain in UK. During the CID’s investigation, inexperienced agents botched interviews, needed outside help in writing search warrants to obtain evidence, and in two instances supplied incorrect information that “led to fruitless searches and expenditure of scarce manpower,” according to the report. Hiding Covid-19: How the Trump Administration Suppresses Photography of the Pandemic, Biden’s Win Trades One Political Fantasy for Another. On Yahoo, Yelp, SuperPages, AmericanTowns and 25 other directories! “I would never go to my senior leadership and tell them how I feel or what happened to me because they would just look at me like I was crazy,” she said. The committee examined the CID’s handling of Guillén’s case and dozens of others and found the investigators “inexperienced” and “over assigned.”. After visiting the Pentagon, the five members of the independent committee testified on December 9 before members of the House Subcommittee on Military Personnel, chaired by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., who blamed not just Army commanders but the broader military leadership for “years of inexcusable neglect and failure from the top in preventing a toxic culture of sexual assault, harassment, and retaliation.”, While the scope of the report was restricted to recent events at Fort Hood, Speier questioned whether the findings were symptoms of deeper problems in Army leadership. “It’s like putting a Band-Aid on a wound that you need to pack,” another sergeant said of the Army’s disciplinary actions. (Uninterrupted live coverage of the July 4th spectacular on KWTX is proudly brought to you by these generous sponsors: WC Tractor, Rabroker Air Conditioning and Plumbing and Mac Haik Dodge in Temple). The committee also determined that Fort Hood took an “ad hoc approach” to the well-being of soldiers who fail to report to duty. The names of the other nine officers, and the reasons for their administrative punishment, are being withheld due to the Army’s privacy policy protecting lower-ranking officers. The … That’s all it takes to support the journalism you rely on. Military personnel carry the casket of Vanessa Guillén to Cesar Chavez High School for her memorial service in Houston, Texas, on Aug. 14, 2020. Independence Day Fireworks Jul 4 2020, 9:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Over Hood Stadium - Hood Stadium Road Watch the Fort Hood Independence Day Fireworks display from multiple parking lots on post or tune in to the live TV broadcast and enjoy from the comfort of your home. The disciplinary actions are administrative, meaning the officials could still retire or leave the Army with an honorable discharge. The actions come after a four month review by an independent committee found a “pervasive lack of confidence” in the command climate at Fort Hood and a high risk of harm to female soldiers. The committee found the Army’s SHARP program at Fort Hood was sometimes staffed with abusive NCOs as victim advocates, because the position was considered a punishment for career advancement. She was also known for her endless love and support for Fort Hood troops, which she lovingly called "warriors". Out of necessity, it grew into an installation-level project in 1998. WATCH LIVE: Saturday, July 4th beginning at 9:00P. KWTX to broadcast tribute to military heroes, live July 4th fireworks spectacular from Fort Hood. “We had a hard time fixing accountability on any one person,” Swecker added. “Soldiers made it absolutely clear that illegal drugs are readily available on and off the post,” the report noted. Fort Hood officials say eight soldiers died in some kind of accident this year, six have died by suicide, five were killed in homicides, two died of illnesses and five are still pending. “One of the really shocking elements were the number of unreported sexual harassment and sexual assault incidents,” Ricci said. Jul 2, 2020 Only the fireworks show will be part of the Fort Hood July Fourth observance on Fort Hood. The program is also supposed to provide sexual assault and harassment prevention training, none of which is happening at Fort Hood, the authors of the report said at the Pentagon briefing. When asked about White at the press conference, McCarthy said it was because the three-star general was overseas in Iraq when Guillén was killed. Guillén was listed as AWOL even though she’d left behind her keys and military ID, and her car was still parked at the barracks. November 13, 2020 - January 3, 2021 A Fort Hood Holiday Tradition and will be open Thanksgiving, Christmas and Christmas Eve. As COVID-19 cases steadily climb in Bell County, organizers in Temple and Belton are pressing on with some Fourth of July events. Add your social media links and bio and promote your discounts, menus, events. Due to COVID-19 restrictions those wishing to view the fireworks live on base will be required to social distance in their vehicles in designated parking lots near Hood Stadium, and the public can also enjoy the view of the one-radius display alongside the highway and from the Central Texas campus parking lot. Leadership drives culture. The committee, which was appointed after public outcry over a string of suicides and homicides, including the high-profile murder of 20-year-old Spc. By Brandy Cruz, Fort Hood Public Affairs December 3, 2020. Consider what the world of media would look like without The Intercept. We were created exclusively for charitable purposes as a unit-level (13thCOSCOM) initiative. A supporter of Vanessa Guillén is seen during a rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on July 30, 2020. Guillén’s family alleges that the Army badly mishandled the investigation into her murder as well as reports that she was sexually harassed leading up to her death. The U.S. government has reinforced media restrictions at hospitals, reducing the flow of disturbing images of the pandemic. Army Disciplines Fort Hood Commanders More Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy speaks about the investigation into Fort Hood, Texas at the Pentagon, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020… 2,600 Fort Hood kids to benefit from 'elves' busy at Santa's Workshop. The channel is merely being changed from Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” back to “The West Wing.”, “It’s like putting a Band-Aid on a wound that you need to pack. Some have also questioned why Lt. Gen. Robert “Pat” White, commander of III Corps and Fort Hood, was not disciplined. If you want to see it in person, you can enter Fort Hood gates starting at 7 pm. A memorial for Army Specialist Vanessa Guillén outside Fort Hood in Killeen. Looking for something to do in Fort Hood? At the Pentagon briefing, Chris Swecker, former assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigation Division and chair of the independent committee, said that while crime in the city of Killeen was “relatively low in comparison to other cities outside major Army installations,” there were high-crime areas at Fort Hood. “It was only when outside help was secured from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the U.S. The committee also reported that “Fort Hood has high suicide attempt and suicide death rates relative to similar posts,” despite the “availability of multiple mental health care venues.” The NCOs who spoke to The Intercept said that soldiers are reluctant to seek help because they fear they’ll be ostracized by their superior officers and unable to advance in their careers. Press gather at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas on April 3, 2014. Bowl in the New Year Strike out … The Fort Hood Independence Day Fireworks will take place over Hood Stadium from 9:30 to 10 p.m. July 4. Army disciplines 14 at Fort Hood over leadership failures that led to pattern of violence, including deaths Associated Press Published: December 8, 2020, 11:13 am Updated: December 8, 2020… Aaron Robinson, according to a criminal complaint. “I feel like at this point, people are being relieved of duty just to show the media and soldiers that heads will roll,” the staff sergeant said. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has ordered the firing or suspension of 14 commanders and other leaders at Fort Hood, Texas, including two general officers. The evening will begin at 9 p.m. with the "Everyday Heroes 4th of July Special," a power-packed half hour featuring the heroic accomplishments and sacrifices of our military veterans as they defend our freedoms. U.S. Fort Hood Army Panel Finds 'Permissive' Culture of Sexual Assaults By Reuters , Wire Service Content Dec. 8, 2020 By Reuters , Wire Service Content Dec. 8, 2020, at 12:32 p.m. FORT HOOD, Texas (July 1, 2020) - KWTX and III Corps and Fort Hood are joining forces to celebrate America’s independence with a one-hour patriotic special featuring a tribute to everyday heroes followed by a 30-minute fireworks spectacular broadcast live on KWTX News 10, KWTX.com and the KWTX Facebook page from the Bell County Army post. “This has been going on for years.”, During a press conference at the Pentagon on December 8, McCarthy announced that 14 leaders at Fort Hood would be relieved from duty or suspended pending further investigations into Fort Hood’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program, which the independent committee called “structurally flawed” and “chronically under-resourced,” and the Criminal Investigation Command, or CID, which the committee found “deficient.”, “I have determined that issues at Fort Hood are directly related to leadership failures. While Fort Hood is used as a training ground for newly graduated CID investigators, understaffing, inadequate training, and a lack of forensic equipment means that many crimes are not identified or fully investigated, leaving soldiers and their families feeling unsafe. “There’s no use in reporting it.”. Fireworks may be viewed in adjacent and outlying parking lots around Hood Stadium. McCarthy said that the Army would now investigate whether a soldier’s absence was voluntary within the first 48 hours of their failure to appear for duty. FORT HOOD, Texas (July 1, 2020) - KWTX and III Corps and Fort Hood are joining forces to celebrate America’s independence with a one-hour patriotic special featuring a tribute to … The Intercept is a First Look Media Company. The committee said the SHARP program was largely treated as an administrative chore. Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy speaks at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 8, 2020. on about your day, ask yourself: How likely is it that the story you just read would have been produced by a different news outlet if The Intercept hadn’t done it? As Americans prepare to mark the nation’s 238th birthday Friday, Fort Hood Soldiers, Families and community members also are readying for the barbecues, get-togethers and fireworks displays. “At some point we have got to do something differently, because this is not working,” she said. Investigations averaged 115 to 214 days in duration — by which point many of the victims had already transferred from the base or left the Army entirely. When Guillén disappeared, Fort Hood had less than half its required allotment of CID investigators, and 92 percent of them were “apprentice agents” with less than a year of experience. In April, Guillén was bludgeoned to death in an armory room by Spc. “If any of them see this, I want them to know we believe you.”. Anne was known for her humor and fiery wit. On Dec. 3, III Corps and Fort Hood will host a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at … 53K likes. “While the Army is taking steps to address those who are presently in command at Fort Hood, your report suggests that this has gone on since 2014 or maybe before,” she said. Fort Hood Fireworks at 9:30 pm on July 4, 2020, can be viewed as the biggest fireworks show in Central Texas. We think the various commands’ focus was on readiness. "CDC guidelines have shuttered many community Fourth of July parades and celebrations," said KWTX Vice President and General Manager Josh Young. and last updated 2020-12-01 16:54:33-05 FORT HOOD, TX — 'Tis the season at III Corps Headquarters! Copyright 2020 KWTX. The 2020 fireworks show is designed to maximize aerial displays for visibility from locations all over Cheyenne. Noncommissioned officers who previously spoke with The Intercept out of concern for the safety of soldiers under their command said this week that the committee’s findings highlight what they see as an urgent need to clean up the base’s leadership culture. Remains Found During Search for Missing Fort Hood GI Vanessa Guillen, But ID Not Yet Confirmed Posted By Nina Rangel on Tue, Jun 30, 2020 at 5:27 PM click to enlarge Whether you're a local, new in town or just cruising through we've got loads of great tips and events. Due to the committee’s findings about Fort Hood’s “permissive” attitude toward sexual assault and harassment, two leaders of the 1st Cavalry Division, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Broadwater and Command Sgt. The committee found that failed drug tests at the base were the highest among all Army posts. Improve Your Listing. Investigations took too long, and no one in command was tracking whether they were being done in a timely manner, the committee found. FME News Service Facebook They reviewed CID cases from 2016 to 2020 and noted that investigations averaged 115 to 214 days in duration — by which point many of the victims had already transferred from the base or left the Army entirely. Maj. Bradley Knapp, who commanded the 3rd Calvary Regiment where Guillén served. The Law Enforcement Division said it was done out of abundance of caution due to what was described as a ” suspicious package.” They reported shortly before 2:00 p.m. that the package was being evaluated and that they expected the PX to […] The Army has fired or suspended 14 people in leadership positions at Fort Hood … An independent committee appointed by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy released a scathing report last week finding that Fort Hood leadership allowed a “toxic culture” of sexual assault and harassment to flourish at the troubled Army base in Killeen, Texas. One Fort Hood staff sergeant said that real accountability was still lacking. “But what we did see is that there has been a lot of conflict, a lot of fighting going on over the last 20 years. Too often soldiers face unique financial stress. But his focus was not on prevention, according to the report, but almost solely on reducing a backlog of more than 1,000 active sexual assault cases. It’s still bleeding under the Band-Aid.”, “What many of the soldiers at Fort Hood needed was to be believed.”. You can explore by location, what's popular, our top picks, free stuff... you got this. They reviewed CID cases from 2016 to 2020 and noted that investigations averaged 115 to 214 days in … Nothing really changes — that’s just how the Army works.”, Melissa del Bosque[email protected]​gmail.com@MelissaLaLinea. Share on Twitter; Share on Facebook They also found 63 unreported accounts of sexual harassment. The kind of reporting we do is essential to democracy, but it is not easy, cheap, or profitable. Who would hold party elites accountable to the values they proclaim to have? The presentation begins at 9:30 p.m. Saturday and will be simulcast on TV live on KXXV-25 and KWTX-10. Marshals, and the FBI that the case was broken.”. When you have family members who are asking, ‘I don’t know if it makes sense for my son or daughter to go into the military because they fear for their lives, not overseas but here at home,’ we have a huge problem.”, At Fort Hood, the NCOs said it’s hard not to be skeptical after years of neglect. “And there are lives lost because of it. A female sergeant at Fort Hood told The Intercept that it was tragic that a female soldier had to die on post before Army commanders took notice of the frequent harassment and sexual assault. The Intercept is an independent nonprofit news outlet. The two women on the independent committee — Carrie Ricci, a retired Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps officer, and Queta Rodriguez, a retired Marine Corps officer — said they interviewed 503 female soldiers individually on the base, including every female soldier in Guillén’s unit in the 3rd Calvary Regiment. Maj. Thomas Kenny, were suspended — but not relieved from duty — until an Army investigation into the unit’s leadership and operation of its SHARP program is concluded. At 9:30 p.m. III Corps Commander Lt. Gen Pat White, who is currently deployed serving our nation, will share a special message leading up to the largest one-mile radius fireworks display in Central Texas choreographed to patriotic music. “I really think it is up to the Army to determine how far they want to go back with any type of other actions,” said Jonathan Harmon, one of the independent committee members. … They took their eye off the ball of something that was important and never made the connection between readiness and recruitment and the health and safety of their soldiers.”, Speier appeared unsatisfied, pointing out that Congress had spent the last decade and close to $1 billion trying to fix the problem. Posted at 3:05 PM, Dec 24, 2020 and last updated 2020-12-24 16:05:49-05 FORT HOOD, TX — The Fort Hood Post Exchange (PX) was temporarily evacuated on Christmas Eve due to a suspicious package. Altogether, the committee reviewed 53 suicide cases between 2018 and 2020, which revealed that “off-post suicides and deaths were not fully investigated” and investigations into suicide cases on base were incomplete. “Nothing in the report is a surprise,” said one of the sergeants at Fort Hood, who has served in the Army for nearly a decade. The female sergeant at Fort Hood, who previously told The Intercept that she was drugged and raped by a more senior officer but never reported it, said the committee’s findings highlight the everyday reality for female soldiers at the base. How many covert wars, miscarriages of justice, and dystopian technologies would remain hidden if our reporters weren’t on the beat? Free: See How You're Listed. The Fort Hood Independence Day Fireworks will take place over Hood Stadium from 9:30 to 10 p.m. July 4. WASHINGTON (AP) - The Army on Tuesday said it has fired or suspended 14 officers and enlisted soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, and ordered policy changes to … 1 of 4 Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy speaks about an investigation into Fort Hood, Texas at the Pentagon, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Washington. You can also watch fireworks from your living room via phone or tablets and RV or boat storage.
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