Washington, D.C. —Today, U.S. Representative Stephen F. Lynch, Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, and U.S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statements after the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee released its final report, which found that the Army’s implementation of the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Program at Fort Hood “was ineffective, to the extent that there was a permissive environment for sexual assault and sexual harassment”:
“The release of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee’s final report is a significant step in rectifying the toxic command climate at Fort Hood, which has tragically contributed to the deaths of too many of our sons and daughters in uniform in recent years,” Chairman Lynch said. “Rampant crime, a lack of accountability, and command apathy have all led to Fort Hood’s reputation as a post where the quality of life and the safety of our soldiers are persistently at risk. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, we will continue to investigate the totality of circumstances that may have contributed to the disappearances and deaths of servicemembers like Specialist Vanessa Guillen and Sergeant Elder Fernandes to ensure that Army leaders restore a climate at Fort Hood that respects, values, and protects the men and women under their command.”
“While I am glad that today’s report was finally released, I regret that it took the anguish of so many families and congressional pressure to spur the Army into action,” Chairwoman Maloney said. “Sexual assault and harassment have no place in the United States military, but I am encouraged that the Army appears to be moving expeditiously to address the Independent Review Committee’s findings and implement its recommendations. I would like to thank the members of the Independent Review Committee for their work and contributions to ensure the safety and well-being of all those who serve in the United States Army.”
On September 8, 2020, Chairman Lynch and Rep. Jackie Speier, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Armed Services’ Subcommittee on Military Personnel, launched an investigation into the recent deaths of soldiers stationed at Fort Hood. To date, the Subcommittees have obtained thousands of pages of documents relevant to this investigation and additional productions are ongoing.