Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy is visiting Fort Hood this week to “engage with local civilian and military leadership and to conduct sensing sessions with enlisted soldiers and junior officers,” according to a news release issued by Fort Hood on Wednesday.
The visit, which began Wednesday and concludes Thursday, includes meetings with local elected officials and organizational leaders in the Killeen area.
The secretary will hold a news conference with the media at noon Thursday “to discuss the Army’s efforts to address the recent events at Fort Hood,” the release said.
The news conference will be live streamed on the III Corps and Fort Hood Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/forthood/.
McCarthy’s visit follows an order he made that aims to review the “command climate and culture at Fort Hood” in the wake of the Vanessa Guillen case.
The review came about after the death of Spc. Guillen, a 3rd Cavalry regiment soldier, put a national spotlight on sexual harassment and assault in the military. Guillen’s family said she had been sexually harassed before her death, but only told her family because she was afraid to go to her chain of command.
Guillen, 20, was found dead at end of June in East Bell County after she was reported missing from Fort Hood since April 22.
A suspect in the case, Fort Hood Spc. Aaron David Robinson, fatally shot himself July 1, and another suspect, Killeen resident Cecily Aguilar, is in custody on federal charges.
Aguilar told investigators that Robinson on April 22 struck a “female soldier in the head with a hammer multiple times at his arms room, killing her on Fort Hood.”
Guillen’s case reached the White House last week when her family met with President Donald Trump, and a bill was introduced in Congress that would allow soldiers to report sexual assault and harassment cases outside of their chain of command.
Protests have been held in Killeen and nationwide since her disappearance in April, demanding transparency from the Army and Fort Hood on what happened and for better reporting procedures on sexual assault and harassment cases.