Fort Hood investigation reveals ‘damning’ culture of harassment—will it make a difference in the Army?

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — The results of the independent investigation into the deaths at Fort Hood military base in Texas were released Tuesday—and lawmakers say the findings were disturbing.

California Democrat Jackie Speier says the Fort Hood independent review committee’s 150-page report shows a climate that failed to protect its soldiers.

“This report is a damning indictment of Fort Hood and its leadership,” said Speier. “A culture of leaders watching as women and men were harassed before their eyes but kept silent.”

Speier says 28 soldiers from Fort Hood died this year—and the report revealed an environment that let sexual harassment, assault and other crimes occur.

One such instance is the violent death of Spc. Vanessa Guillén, who was missing for nearly two months before her remains were found buried near the base in July. Guillén, 20, was killed and dismembered by a fellow specialist Aaron Robinson, who later killed himself before being taken into custody.

The U.S. Army says they are taking immediate action. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy says he’s fired or suspended 14 commanders and leaders at the Texas base and launched a task force to address the report’s findings.

“If this is happening at one of our military bases it could happen at any of them,” said Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn.

Cornyn says Congress will continue to hold hearings to ensure the Army makes the necessary changes and then consider if new congressional action is needed.

“We are not going to let this go away,” Cornyn said.

Congress is also conducting two separate investigations into Fort Hood’s leadership. Those investigations are still ongoing.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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