Fort Hood commander is denied transfer request from troubled base after eight suspicious deaths - as a 28-year-old man is charged with the murder of a private serving at the facility

Army leaders have delayed the planned transfer of the Fort Hood commander, as a team of independent investigators heads to the base to determine whether leadership failures contributed to the murder of a soldier earlier this year, and several other deaths.
Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, commander of Fort Hood, Texas, was slated to go to Fort Bliss, which is near El Paso, and take over leadership of the 1st Armored Division. Command of a division is a key step in an Army officer's career. The Army said in a statement Friday that he will now stay at Fort Hood, as Army leaders consider whether there were systemic problems at the base, and who should be held accountable.
Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen, 20, was killed and dismembered by a fellow soldier. She had been missing since April, and her remains were found and indentified last month. The soldier suspected in Guillen's slaying, Spc. Aaron Robinson, shot and killed himself early last month as police were trying to take him into custody. A civilian, Cecily Aguilar 22, of Killeen, has been arrested and charged with allegedly helping Robinson dispose of GuillĂ©n´s body. 
Speaking at Fort Hood on Thursday, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said members of the independent panel will arrive at the base by the end of the month to begin their review. The 3rd Cavalry Regiment, which is stationed at Fort Hood, is also conducting a routine internal investigation into the matter.
Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen, 20, was killed and dismembered by a fellow soldier. She disappeared from the base on April 22
Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen, 20, was killed and dismembered by a fellow soldier. She disappeared from the base on April 22
Brandon Michael Olivares
Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans
Texas authorities have charged 28-year-old Brandon Michael Olivares in connection to the May killing of Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans

McCarthy was asked whether anyone, including leaders, will be disciplined or fired. He said that the independent panel will look into the 'command climate of the installation,' to determine if there is a 'sexual harassment-type toxic environment that exists.' McCarthy said that will help the Army 'better understand more broadly, is it 3rd ACR (Armored Cavalry Regiment) or is it larger? Is it the entire installation?'
He acknowledged that there have been other deaths and incidents of violence that could point to broader problems.
Texas authorities have charged 28-year-old Brandon Michael Olivares in connection to the May killing of Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans, according to a release from the Harker Heights Police Department.
In addition to those murders, the body of another Fort Hood soldier, Pvt. Mejhor Morta, was found last month by Stillhouse Hollow Lake, a reservoir near the base
In addition to those murders, the body of another Fort Hood soldier, Pvt. Mejhor Morta, was found last month by Stillhouse Hollow Lake, a reservoir near the base
Olivares was already in the custody of the Bell County Sheriff's Office on unrelated charges and was given an additional murder charge for the killing after a warrant was issued on August 5.
Harker Heights Police said that an investigation revealed that the pair had been traveling together in Rosecrans vehicle before the suspect allegedly shot him. Olivares is said to have then thrown the service member's body before leaving the scene. 
His bond has been set for $1,000,000. 
Authorities retrieved the victim's vehicle on May 18, just a few miles from where his body was found. It was found burning.
Members of the independent panel will arrive at the base by the end of the month to begin their review
Members of the independent panel will arrive at the base by the end of the month to begin their review 
In addition to those murders, the body of another Fort Hood soldier, Pvt. Mejhor Morta, was found last month by Stillhouse Hollow Lake, a reservoir near the base. In June, officials discovered the remains of another missing soldier, Gregory Morales, about 10 miles from that lake.
Once the independent panel's investigation is done, McCarthy said that if the panel's conclusions 'point to leaders or individuals, in particular, of course we will take the appropriate accountability' measures.
The five members of the independent review panel are: Chris Swecker, a North Carolina lawyer and former FBI inspector; Jonathan Harmon, a lawyer and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; Carrie Ricci, a lawyer for the Department of Agriculture and a retired Army officer; Queta Rodriguez, a former Marine who works with veterans' services; and Jack White, a lawyer and West Point graduate.
Brig. Gen. Matt Eichburg has been assigned to temporarily command the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss 'until further notice,' according to Army Col. Cathy Wilkinson. Normally an Army division is headed by a two-star major general, but on rare occasions one-star brigadier generals can be put in command.
Fort Hood commander is denied transfer request from troubled base after eight suspicious deaths - as a 28-year-old man is charged with the murder of a private serving at the facility Fort Hood commander is denied transfer request from troubled base after eight suspicious deaths - as a 28-year-old man is charged with the murder of a private serving at the facility Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 02:49 Rating: 5

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