FORT HOOD, TX — The U.S. Army has announced leadership changes at Fort Hood as well as an investigation into the chain-of-command actions surrounding the case of Spc. Vanessa Guillen.
Gen. Michael X. Garrett, commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command, is directing that Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV formally assume duties as deputy commanding general for operations of III Corps and acting senior commander of Fort Hood.
The change will take effect on September 2.
Army officials say the change in leadership was previously-scheduled and will enable "continuity of command" as III Corps returns from its role leading the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
Maj. Gen. Richardson previously served as FORSCOM's director of operations from 2019-2020, and was selected in March 2020 by the Department of the Army to serve as the next DCG for III Corps.
Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt will continue to serve as the deputy commanding general for support and will remain at Fort Hood to assist with the reintegration of III Corps as they return from their mission supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.
With Maj. Gen. Efflandt remaining at Fort Hood, the Army will announce the name of a new commander for the 1st Armored Division, which Efflandt had previously been designated to lead. That announcement is expected in the coming days.
The Army also announced that Gen. Garrett will appoint Gen. John Murray, commanding general of Army Futures Command and one of the Army’s most senior commanders, to lead an in-depth investigation into the chain-of-command actions related to Spc. Vanessa Guillen.
There are currently several investigations underway at Fort Hood. The Army says those investigations are tasked with reviewing a wide range of topics and concerns. According to the Army, Gen. Murray will roll those efforts into a more complete and comprehensive investigation that will delve into all activities and levels of leadership.
Murray’s investigation, which will be conducted under the provisions of Army Regulation 15-6, is separate from the Independent Review of Fort Hood, which began in August.
Natalie Khawam, attorney for the Guillen family, issued the following statement:
We are glad to know that our steadfast efforts to help expose the toxic command at Fort Hood is moving in the right direction. Unfortunately, this small step will not quell the issue of accountability that has left, such heartache and loss to our nation.
Congress must conduct an in-depth congressional inquiry, providing detailed accountability of the heinous crimes that took place at Fort Hood.
During our meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, the President expressed his concerns about Fort Hood, and his support of our bill that protects our soldiers.
Now we call on Congress to address and pass the #IamVanessaGuillen bill so our soldiers can have safeguards in place when they report sexual assault, sexual harassment and retaliation.