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Army names 5 civilians to review ‘command climate’ at Fort Hood, following killing of Vanessa Guillen

Flowers are laid at a march and vigil in honor of murdered Army Spec. Vanessa Guillen on July 12, 2020, in Austin, Tex. Guillen, who was allegedly murdered at Fort Hood by fellow soldier, Spec. Aaron Robinson, has come into the national spotlight with many calling on the military to further investigate the culture of sexual harassment and assault against female service members. (Sergio Flores/Getty Images/TNS)

The Army announced Thursday an independent panel to review “the current command climate and culture at Fort Hood,” in the wake of the killing of Spc. Vanessa Guillen.

Guillen was a 20-year-old Army soldier who went missing on April 22. Nearly two months later, on June 30, law enforcement officials found her remains buried near a lake, some 20 miles away from the Texas military base.

Protesters gather at a march and vigil for murdered Army Spec. Vanessa Guillen on July 12, 2020, in Austin, Tex.
(Sergio Flores/Getty Images/TNS)

Her family believes that she was sexually harassed at Fort Hood but never went forward with the allegations for fear of retaliation.

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On Thursday, the Secretary of the Army announced five “highly qualified”civilian experts who will lead an independent review of Fort Hood.

“The Army is committed to taking care of our Soldiers, civilians, families, and Soldiers for life, and this independent review will explore the current command climate and culture at Fort Hood,” Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy said in a statement.

Protesters gather at a march and vigil for murdered Army Spec. Vanessa Guillen on July 12, 2020 in Austin, Tex.(Sergio Flores/Getty Images/TNS)

With the assistance from a brigadier general and a staff, “the panel will review historical data and conduct interviews with military members, civilians and members of the local community.”

The review will “determine whether the command climate and culture at Fort Hood, and the surrounding military community, reflects the Army’s values,” according to the Army.

Protesters gather at a march and vigil for murdered Army Spec. Vanessa Guillen on July 12, 2020, in Austin, Tex.
(Sergio Flores/Getty Images/TNS)

The members of the panel are: Chris Swecker, an attorney and former FBI assistant director from a Charlotte, North Carolina; Jonathan Harmon, a prominent trial lawyer who has represented Fortune 500 companies across the country; Carrie Ricci, an assistant general counsel for the US Department of Agriculture; Queta Rodriguez, a Bexar County, Texas, resident and regional director for FourBlock, a nonprofit that helps veterans transition into civilian careers; and Jack White, an attorney with expertise in government investigations and discrimination claims, constitutional matters, securities claims, as well as a number of other civil matters.

Protesters gather at a march and vigil for murdered Army Spec. Vanessa Guillen on July 12, 2020, in Austin, Tex.
(Sergio Flores/Getty Images/TNS)

On Thursday, Guillen’s family and their lawyer are scheduled to meet with President Trump, to discuss a sex-misconduct bill named after her, the #IAmVanessaGuillen Bill.

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© 2020 New York Daily News