Discovery Made In String Of U.S. Base Deaths

( – Twenty-year-old soldier Vanessa Guillén disappeared from her post at Fort Hood on April 22, 2020. Her family agonized for weeks until her remains were discovered in a shallow grave. She had reportedly been sexually harassed and killed by a fellow soldier. People Magazine reported that 31 soldiers at Fort Hood had died in 2020, 5 of them homicides and 11 suicides.

A review of the deaths concluded late last year found numerous shortcomings by Fort Hood’s chain of command. On March 16, a House Subcommittee overseeing military personnel held a hearing on that review. During the hearing, several damning discoveries regarding the failure of Fort Hood’s Criminal Investigation Division came to light.

For instance, Army investigators lacked proper skills training. Additionally, base leaders focused on operational readiness and neglected to encourage service members to report sexual assaults and other violent crimes. In several instances, lower-level commanders “were shaming victims or were actually the perpetrators themselves.”

Lawmakers grilled Maj. Gen. Donna Martin, the head of the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command. She promised to “do better,” advising subcommittee members the Army was restructuring and modernizing her command operations. However, several legislators appeared unconvinced.

We will keep you updated regarding new developments in this breaking story.

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