The family of Vanessa Guillen will be holding a press conference today around 3 p.m. to discuss the special investigation conducted of Fort Hood.
Attorney Natalie Khawam will join the Guillen family, along with Houston’s Police Chief Art Acevedo, and others.
The Army said it has fired or suspended 14 officers and enlisted soldiers at Fort Hood and ordered policy changes to address chronic failures of leadership that contributed to a widespread pattern of violence, including murder, sexual assault, and harassment.
The actions come after a year that saw at least 25 soldiers assigned to Fort Hood die due to suicide, homicide or accidents, including the bludgeoning death of Spc. Vanessa Guillen. Guillen was missing for about two months before her remains were found.
In a sweeping condemnation of Fort Hood’s command hierarchy, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy fired three top commanders and suspended two others pending a further investigation. He also ordered a separate probe into staffing and procedures at the base’s Criminal Investigation Command unit, which is responsible for investigating crimes on Fort Hood.
The firings include Army Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, who was left in charge of the base earlier this year when Guillen was killed, as well as Col. Ralph Overland, the 3rd Cavalry Regiment commander and his Command Sgt. Maj. Bradley Knapp. Among those suspended were Maj. Gen. Jeffery Broadwater, the 1st Cavalry Division commander, and his Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas C. Kenny. The administrative actions are expected to trigger investigations that could lead to a wide range of punishments. Those punishments could go from a simple letter of reprimand to a military discharge.
The Army did not provide the names of the other lower-ranking soldiers who face possible discipline.
The base commander, Army Lt. Gen. Pat White, will not face any administrative action. Asked about that, McConville said White was deployed to Iraq as the commander there for much of the year so wasn’t at the base. “Leadership is about presence,” said McConville.
Army leaders had already delayed Efflandt’s planned transfer to Fort Bliss, where he was slated to take over leadership of the 1st Armored Division. Efflandt’s move was paused while the team of independent investigators conducted its probe into whether leadership failures contributed to the killings of several people, including Guillen, and who should be held accountable.