US Army applies most recommendations from Fort Hood report to improve handling of sexual assault and harassment

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(CNN)The US Army has implemented "63 of the 70" recommendations from the Fort Hood study released successful December 2020 and "four of the six priority" Independent Review Commission recommendations to amended the subject branch's handling of intersexual battle and harassment, Undersecretary of the Army Gabe Camarillo told lawmakers during a House Armed Services Committee proceeding connected Wednesday.

"The Army has already implemented 63 of the 70 Fort Hood recommendations and 4 of the six precedence IRC recommendations assigned to the Army, including ensuring that survivors tin entree the assistance they request nary substance who they ask," Camarillo said.

The US Army has established its Office of the Special Trial Counsel, reporting straight to the caput of the Army, Camarillo said. The Office of the Special Trial Counsel was a betterment created successful the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which removes commanders from "decisions related to the prosecution of covered crimes," including rape and intersexual assault.

    The US Army has certified and has successful spot 29 peculiar proceedings counsels, Camarillo told lawmakers.

      "We are implementing cardinal changes to our effect strategy that straight code the mislaid assurance of survivors of these crimes. The Army has established its Office of Special Trial Counsel, reporting straight to the caput of the Army which volition prosecute intersexual battle and respective different convulsive offenses," Camarillo added.

      The Fort Hood probe and resulting report were ordered aft the decease of Vanessa Guillen, a 20-year-old soldier, and respective others connected the basal successful 2020. The study recovered that the Army investigators tasked with reviewing analyzable crimes astatine Fort Hood were vastly inexperienced, overwhelmed and understaffed, resulting successful failures to support work members and their families.

      Camarillo called Fort Hood "a enactment of demarcation for the Army."

        "Our efforts person shifted from a constrictive absorption connected effect to these crimes and compliance with related policies to a much balanced attack rooted successful prevention, gathering affirmative bid climates, and successful detecting and acting connected informing signs earlier damaging acts occur."

        Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered an Independent Review Commission to supply the section with recommendations connected however to tackle the occupation of intersexual battle and harassment wrong the subject erstwhile helium archetypal took power of the section successful January 2021. The IRC provided astir 80 recommendations, and the Pentagon laid retired a program to follow each of them successful September 2021.

          While the US Army has adopted astir of the Fort Hood report's recommendations and immoderate of the apical recommendations of the IRC, reports of intersexual battle successful the Army increased 25.6% from fiscal twelvemonth 2020 to fiscal twelvemonth 2021, according to information connected intersexual battle successful the subject released earlier this month.

          "The Army has made a superior committedness to change, but we are not done yet," Camarillo added.

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