Jul 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Army opens investigation into Fort Hood following death of Vanessa Guillen

A memorial to Guillen. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images
A memorial to Guillen nearby Fort Hood. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

The U.S. Army ordered an independent review of Fort Hood following the murder of 20-year-old Spc. Vanessa Guillen, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy announced Friday.

The big picture: An alleged lack of urgency from Fort Hood staff in response to Guillen's disappearance has called the command's leadership and culture into question. Guillen's family says she faced sexual harassment while on the Texas base that she did not report for fear of retaliation.

  • Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy wrote in a tweet: "I am directing an independent & comprehensive review of the command climate and culture. We have to listen in order to create enduring change."

The state of play: Guillen was last seen on April 22 in the parking lot of her barracks at Fort Hood, according to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. Her remains were found on June 30, according to the family's attorney, CNN reports.

What to watch: The review will be conducted by a panel of four civilian consultants that will spend an estimated five to 10 days at Fort Hood, per ABC News.

  • The team will hold interviews within the Fort Hood community, and analyze data including climate surveys, inspector general reports, criminal reports and records related to sexual misconduct.
  • Multiple reviews and investigations into the Army base are underway, with CID and civilian law enforcement are also investigating the death, per CNN. Meanwhile, Fort Hood is conducting its own investigation into possible sexual harassment involving Guillen.
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