The Army announced Thursday an independent panel to review “the current command climate and culture at Fort Hood,” in the wake of the killing of Spc. Vanessa Guillen.
Guillen was a 20-year-old Army soldier who went missing on April 22. Nearly two months later, on June 30, law enforcement officials found her remains buried near a lake, some 20 miles away from the Texas military base.
Her family believes that she was sexually harassed at Fort Hood but never went forward with the allegations for fear of retaliation.
On Thursday, the secretary of the Army announced five “highly qualified” civilian experts who will lead an independent review of Fort Hood.
“The Army is committed to taking care of our Soldiers, civilians, families, and Soldiers for life, and this independent review will explore the current command climate and culture at Fort Hood,” Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy said in a statement.
With the assistance from a brigadier general and a staff, “the panel will review historical data and conduct interviews with military members, civilians and members of the local community.”
The review will “determine whether the command climate and culture at Fort Hood, and the surrounding military community, reflects the Army’s values,” according to the Army.
The members of the panel are: Chris Swecker, an attorney and former FBI assistant director from Charlotte, North Carolina; Jonathan Harmon, a prominent trial lawyer who has represented Fortune 500 companies across the country; Carrie Ricci, an assistant general counsel for the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Queta Rodriguez, a Bexar County, Texas, resident and regional director for FourBlock, a nonprofit that helps veterans transition into civilian careers; and Jack White, an attorney with expertise in government investigations and discrimination claims, constitutional matters, securities claims, as well as a number of other civil matters.
On Thursday, Guillen’s family and their lawyer met with President Donald Trump, to discuss a sex-misconduct bill named after her, the #IAmVanessaGuillen Bill.
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