Vanessa Guillen family, attorney to hold briefing after Army fires, suspends 14 Fort Hood soldiers

14 Fort Hood soldiers have been fired, suspended over violence at Central Texas base

Celebrating Vanessa Guillen's 21st birthday
Celebrating Vanessa Guillen's 21st birthday

WASHINGTONUpdate (4:09 p.m.): The news conference is over. Please check back for more livestreams on KSAT.com.

Update (12:45 p.m.): The family of slain Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen and their attorney will hold a news conference on Tuesday afternoon following the release of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee’s report.

The news conference is slated to take place at 3 p.m. in Houston. It will be livestreamed in this article.

The Guillen family and their attorney will speak out following two briefings from Army leaders and Fort Hood officials, who earlier announced 14 Fort Hood soldiers have been fired or suspended over violence at the base.

Guillen, 20, was bludgeoned to death at Fort Hood by Spc. Aaron Robinson, who killed himself on July 1 as police were trying to take him into custody, according to investigators. Guillen was missing for more than two months before her remains were found. Her family has said Robinson sexually harassed her, though the Army has said there is no evidence supporting that claim.

Read the latest here.

Update (noon): Fort Hood Commanding General Lt. Gen. Pat White will hold a press conference on the results of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee’s report on a pattern of violence at the base.

The news conference is slated to begin at 12:15 p.m. in Fort Hood and it will be livestreamed in this article. Delays are possible; if there is not a livestream available, check back at a later time.

The news conference at Fort Hood will take place moments after the Army announced it had fired or suspended 14 officers and soldiers at the installation.

Leaders are ordering changes to policy after a violent year that saw at least 25 soldiers assigned to the base die from suicide, homicide or accidents, including the death of Spc. Vanessa Guillen this summer.

Update (11:05 a.m.): Army leaders are firing or suspending 14 officers and enlisted soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, and ordering policy changes to address chronic leadership failures at the base that fostered a widespread pattern of violence including murder, sexual assaults and harassment.

Two general officers are among those being removed from their jobs, as top Army leaders on Tuesday announced the findings of an independent panel’s investigation into problems at the Texas base. The actions, taken by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, come in the aftermath of a year that saw 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.

The firings and suspensions include Army Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, who was left in charge of the base earlier this year Guillen was killed, as well as Maj. Gen. Jeffery Broadwater, commander of the 1st Cavalry Divisions. 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 base commander, Army Lt. Gen. Pat White, will not face any administrative action. He was deployed to Iraq as the commander there for much of the year.

Read more: 14 Fort Hood soldiers fired, suspended over violence at base

Original: Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and other senior Army leaders are expected to announce the results of a review of Fort Hood following the death of Spc. Vanessa Guillen and a pattern of violence in 2020.

McCarthy, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville and Sgt. Major of the Army Michael A. Grinston will brief the media on the Fort Hood independent review at 11 a.m.

The news conference will be livestreamed in this article, but delays are possible; if there is not a livestream available, check back at a later time.

Fort Hood, near Killeen, has remained in the public eye this year due to alleged violence and criticism of the command culture at the installation.

According to investigators, Guillen, 20, was bludgeoned to death at Fort Hood by Spc. Aaron Robinson, who killed himself on July 1 as police were trying to take him into custody. Guillen was missing for more than two months before her remains were found. Her family has said Robinson sexually harassed her, though the Army has said there is no evidence supporting that claim.

The body of Pvt. Mejhor Morta was found in July near a reservoir by the base. In June, officials discovered the remains of another missing soldier, Gregory Morales, about 10 miles from that lake.

Altogether, so far this year, 25 soldiers assigned to Fort Hood have died due to suicide, homicide or accidents, compared with 32 last year and 24 in 2018.

U.S. officials on Monday said that McCarthy is expected to fire or suspend a “significant number” of officers and enlisted soldiers at Fort Hood.

According to officials familiar with the matter, McCarthy will take administrative action that will remove soldiers from their jobs, and likely 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 officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss results of an internal review not yet made public.

McCarthy and other senior Army leaders are expected to announce the results of the review on Tuesday. In recent months, they have questioned whether there is a toxic environment at the base and pledged to hold leaders accountable.

Read more: Army to fire, suspend Fort Hood troops over violence at base


About the Authors:

Rebecca Salinas has worked as a digital journalist in San Antonio for six years. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.