U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement on the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee report:
“After we visited Fort Hood in September, we saw clearly how the lack of cohesion among units caused many problems — but we also saw new leadership making positive changes that will improve the safety and wellbeing of our soldiers. Today, we received a copy of the report of the Army’s Fort Hood Independent Review Committee, which we are now reviewing. This is a sweeping assessment that delves into the specifics of what went so wrong at Fort Hood and what additional steps the Army can take to remedy the situation.
“First, we are encouraged that the Army is taking steps to demand accountability of its leaders at every level, through leadership changes and disciplinary action. The fact of the matter is, many of the problems stem back to egregious mistakes made by the chain of command that created an unacceptable environment for soldiers at Fort Hood, especially for female soldiers. What’s worse is leaders weren’t held accountable. When that happens, the process breaks down. Fixing this problem is the right first step.
“We’re also glad to hear Secretary McCarthy has issued a directive clarifying what should happen after a soldier fails to report for duty. When a soldier goes missing, the Army must take every step to find that person.
“However, this report made it clear that there are other, serious challenges facing Fort Hood, especially when it comes to implementation of the SHARP program, as we saw during our visit in September. We’re glad that Secretary McCarthy is establishing the People First Task Force to address the recommendations of the report, and we offer our commitment to making sure these issues are addressed. We must restore our soldiers’ faith and trust in their commanding officers, their unit and their service.”