Fort Hood Holiday Calendar 2023 – FILE – In this July 9, 2013 file photo, vehicles drive through the main gate in front of a welcome sign at Fort Hood, Texas. A new study has found that female soldiers…
FILE – In this July 9, 2013 file photo, vehicles drive through the main gate in front of a welcome sign at Fort Hood, Texas. A new study has found that female soldiers at military bases in Texas, Colorado, Kansas and Kentucky are at higher risk of assault and harassment than elsewhere, more than a third of the time. All active-duty military women were sexually assaulted in 2018. The RAND Corporation study was released Friday. (AP Photo/Tony Gutiérrez, file)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Female soldiers at military bases in Texas, Colorado, Kansas and Kentucky are at greater risk of assault and harassment than anywhere else, with more than a third of them women. According to a new Rand Corp. study, active-duty military personnel were sexually assaulted in 2018.
The study, released Friday, looked at military accidents and found that female soldiers at Fort Hood and Fort Bliss, both in Texas, face the greatest risk, especially those with combatant commands in occupations such as art and engineering. And units with multiple wartime deployments are at greater risk. Other high-risk bases include Fort Campbell in Kentucky, Fort Carson in Colorado and Fort Riley in Kansas, according to the study, which analyzed attack data from previous years.
Rand’s study provides more insight into the rates of sexual assault and harassment in the military, a chronic problem that military leaders struggle to combat. And it comes a year after the killing of Spc. Vanessa Guillén, who disappeared from Fort Hood for two months before her remains were found at the end of last June.
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Guillen was killed by a soldier who, according to his family, had tortured him and who committed suicide while the police sought to arrest him. His death shed light on violence and leadership problems in the Army. The Rand report also confirmed one of the Army’s findings about the effect of military climate, finding that the risk of sexual misconduct was lower in units with higher supervisory ratings.
The violence at Fort Hood prompted an independent review that found military leaders are not adequately addressing high rates of assault and harassment at the site. Christopher Swecker, chairman of the review board, told Congress that base commanders were focusing on military training and not the anti-violence program. As a result, he said, subordinate unit commanders discouraged service members from reporting assaults and often shamed the victims.
According to the Rand study, the risk of assault for women at Fort Hood is about one-third higher than the average risk for all women in the military. In general, Rand said the problem varies within the military by rank, unit, job, age and whether they are in areas where there are multiple individuals.
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For example, female soldiers in medical or labor occupations have the lowest risk, while those in the arts and crafts face the highest risk. Some of the last Army combat jobs to open to women came in 2015. Other jobs that followed were in infantry, weapons and special operations.
James A. Helis, director of the Army’s Resilience Directorate, said the study “clarifies the environmental and operational factors that affect our Soldiers’ risk of vulnerability and aggression and will ultimately help inform the future prevention and response efforts.”
The report used previous Rand research as well as data from anonymous Defense Department surveys in 2016 and 2018 that sought information about potential abuse and harassment, according to formal reports. Then compare it to other military and demographic data.
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Troops assigned to the Washington, D.C. area. they currently have the lowest risk totals, and the Pentagon reports the lowest of all facilities listed. Among the bases with the least risk information are Fort Belvoir in northern Virginia and Fort George G. Meade and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland.
According to the study, about 8.4 percent, or about 1 in 12, of the 5,883 military women who served at Fort Hood were abused, while at the Pentagon it was 1, 8 percent, perhaps one in 50. The study noted, however, that this is not surprising because Pentagon women, on average, are older, more mature and more educated. It also works more with seniors and seniors.
The report says the data could be used to help the military improve deterrence and other programs to better prevent insurgencies in the ranks.
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“These findings will give the Army more information about where the risk of sexual assault and sexual harassment is greatest,” said Jenna Newman, social science advisor to lead the Command and Army’s research and management program. “It suggests a site-specific concern that requires climate and cultural intervention and requires further research to understand.”
In the wake of Guillen’s killing and the spike in suicide rates last year, Army officials in October launched a program focused on the well-being of veterans and their families, specifically establishing that the people are the main focus of the Army, preparing to fight and rearming.
And Sergeant Major Michael Grinston, the lead soldier, started a campaign called “This is my team” to build team cohesion and encourage soldiers to protect themselves. The overall effort was to improve the command climate within the units, which had proven to be a major leadership problem at Fort Hood. no longer supports older versions of your web browser to protect user data. Please update it to the latest version.
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