The commander of the U.S. Army’s Fort Hood has been removed from his position, according to a statement by the U.S. Army on Tuesday.
Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, the commander at Fort Hood, was supposed to take over the 1st Armored Division, per the press statement, but the Army will now decide and announce within days who his replacement will be.
The decision comes amid numerous investigations at Fort Hood, particularly concerning missing and/or deceased soldiers. At least 11 soldiers have disappeared this year alone. Five of those soldiers are deceased and several were met with foul play, including Vanessa Guillen, Brandon Scott Rosecrans, and Gregory Morales.
Another Fort Hood soldier, Elder Fernandes, was found hanging from a tree last month, according to Natalie Kwaham, his family’s lawyer. Kwaham said that Fernandes was sexually assaulted while on base and after he reported the abuse, he was hazed and bullied. Consequently, he reportedly developed mental health issues.
“He didn’t have any mental health issues when he joined the Army,” Khawam said. “He re-enlisted this year. He told his mom how happy he was to serve. Everything was great until he was sexually assaulted by his staff sergeant. He was upset and humiliated.”
Due to the ongoing issues, the Army appointed Gen. John Murray as the commanding general of Army Futures Command. He’s expected to help “lead an in-depth investigation into the chain of command actions related to Spc. Vanessa Guillen.”
Guillen, who disappeared in April, was found two months later in three shallow graves near the Leon River.
Spc. Aaron David Robinson is accused of killing Guillen before hacking her up and burying her. Robinson allegedly enlisted the help of his girlfriend, Cecily Aguilar, who helped him dispose of Guillen.
Aguilar was arrested in July and charged with tampering with evidence, namely a human corpse. Robinson took his own life while being pursued by authorities.
“There are currently several investigations underway at Fort Hood which are tasked with reviewing a wide range of topics and concerns,” Army officials said. “Gen. Murray will roll those efforts into a more complete and comprehensive investigation that will delve into all activities and levels of leadership.”
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[Feature Photo: Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt/U.S. Army]