Army shakes up leadership at embattled Fort Hood after death of several soldiers

The Army on Tuesday announced a leadership shakeup at the embattled Fort Hood base in Texas — and appointed a four-star general to head a probe into the handling of the Vanessa Guillen case.

Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, who oversaw the base at the time of Guillen’s disappearance earlier this year, will be replaced by Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV beginning Wednesday, according to a statement.

The move comes along with the naming of Gen. John Murray — the commanding general of Army Futures Command — to lead a comprehensive investigation “into the chain of command actions related to Spc. Vanessa Guillen,” the statement said.

Guillen, 20, disappeared earlier this year from a parking lot at Fort Hood, after coming forward to complain about sexual harassment.

She was found dead about three months later, on July 1, in a shallow grave near Leon River in Bell County, about 20 miles east of the base.

Authorities say another soldier, Spc. Aaron David Robinson, bludgeoned Guillen to death before killing himself.

The base has grappled with at least 15 deaths this year in what has become a series of mysterious disappearances and fatal incidents.

Private First Class Vanessa Guillen
Private First Class Vanessa Guillen

Fort Hood was determined last month to have the highest number of soldier murders and sexual assault cases among all Army installations, prompting officials to vow to investigate the “root causes.”

An independent panel has been tasked with examining the circumstances of Guillen’s death and the culture surrounding Fort Hood.

Efflandt’s impending replacement had been announced previously — but the Army now says he’ll no longer take command of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss as planned.

Instead, he’ll stick around at Fort Hood for the time being, as deputy commanding general for support. The Army said it will announce a new commander to take over the division Efflandt was supposed to head in the coming days.

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