More than a dozen army officers and non-commissioned officers face disciplinary action in response to Army Spc’s response. Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance and murder in Fort Hood, Texas, last year, according to an army fact-finding investigation released Friday.
Staff faced discipline for various failures, and investigators found that Guillain had also been sexually harassed.
The chief investigating officer, General Michael Garrett, ordered the dismissal of five current and former officers in the 3rd Cavalry Regiment. Three of them will also receive letters of reprimand and all actions are likely to end their careers. Their names are not made public due to their relatively younger ranks, according to military procedures. Eight others send their cases to their own management for possible action.
Guillén’s murder sparked national attention because she was not only killed by another soldier in Fort Hood, but the perpetrator took her body elsewhere for miles and it was not found for more than two months. Guillaume, 20, has been missing since April 2020 and was last seen in the parking lot of her Fort Hood barracks later that month, according to the U.S. military’s criminal investigation command, before her remains were found on June 30. the army’s failure to fully deal with the sexual harassment it experienced and the lack of attention to its case after it disappeared.
The report said Guillaume reported being sexually harassed twice, but her supervisor did not report it, and other leaders did not take appropriate action. The report found no evidence that she had been harassed by Spc. Aaron Robinson, her alleged killer.
Robinson allegedly killed Gyllen by beating her to death with a hammer while she was at work. The report also revealed that Army officers tried to keep Robinson in a room at the base, telling him that he had violated Covid’s restrictions, but that he had simply escaped. He later died of suicide while law enforcement tried to detain him.
The shocking ill-treatment Guillain received in the military unrelated to her assassination may have been encapsulated in two cases. The report found that at one point, her supervisor specifically “directed her, called her to her peers, and consistently set an example for her. During an on-site exercise, the same supervisor came across SPC Guillén while she was performing personal hygiene in the wooden line, and SPC Guillén reported that this made her uncomfortable. ”
In another case, a manager made an inappropriate sexual comment in Spanish, which she translated as a request to participate in a threesome according to the report.
Friday’s disciplinary sanction comes in addition to the previously announced dismissal of members of Guillain’s chain of command from junior to senior rank.
To date, action has taken place against Major General Scott Efland, a former Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Third Corps, and Colonel Ralph Overland and a commanding sergeant. Major Bradley Knapp, a former commander and major commander of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, said the army said a total of 21 people had been disciplined or recommended for potential discipline.
Since then, the military and the defense ministry have focused heavily on trying to ensure that allegations of sexual harassment and sexual violence are properly addressed.
There are also growing bipartisan efforts on Capitol Hill to rethink the way in which military cases are subject to prosecution decisions, taking away prosecution decisions from commanders in units where this occurs. This is widely seen by many as a key step in ensuring more independent decision-making.
CNN’s Amir Vera and Lori Daniel contributed to this report.