After the release of the independent report on the command climate at Fort Hood, Texas, service members, veterans and civilians with stake in the matter took to social media to discuss not only the findings but possible solutions to the issues of sexual abuse found in the investigation.
The report, which was released on Dec. 8, revealed longstanding issues with the criminal investigation detachment that became increasingly clear during the search for Spc. Vanessa Guillen. Eventually found to have been killed inside an armory after she went missing, Guillen’s disappearance led to the revelation that she had experienced sexual harassment, which her family brought forth before her body was discovered.
The report led to the dismissal or suspension of 14 leaders at Fort Hood, from the deputy commander through the squad level, and brought up questions about not only CID’s shortcomings, but the effectiveness of the Army’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program, known as SHARP.
Though social media users who identified as soldiers took to Twitter to confirm they had read the report, one user, @LethalityJane, challenged Army leadership to come forward and share what they might do to impact real change.
Her request elicited numerous responses with answers, as well as some damning critiques of past attempts the branch has made to tamp down on sexual misconduct among its ranks.
Military Times reached out for comment from @LethalityJane, but has not received a response at the time of this writing.
Some of the replies to her tweet highlighted the need to more specifically define the terms of abuse more clearly, while others added that the culture cannot be changed if abusers are continuously allowed to serve among the Army’s units.
One user pointed out that perhaps the solution was less talking and more listening.
Another took it a step further, suggesting that placing equitable numbers of women in leadership roles helps.
Others suggested that although the report was shocking, it won’t have nearly the impact needed to generate real change.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digital Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.