WASHINGTON — Acting upon recommendations of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee, the Army announced today that it will restructure the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and immediately implement measures to better protect and inform victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
“Maj. Gen. Donna Martin led an intensive five-month structural redesign to create an organization with enhanced capabilities and capacity, organized with and led by civilian and military agents, military officers and enlisted Soldiers,” said acting Secretary of the Army John Whitley, referring to the Army’s Provost Marshal General/CID commanding general. “We are very confident these organizational changes address the committee’s CID-related recommendations and lead us into the future.”
Most notably, the duties and responsibilities currently assigned to one general officer, who serves simultaneously as the Army’s provost marshal general and the CID commanding general, will be split. The Army will hire a civilian member of the Senior Executive Service with criminal investigative experience to lead the restructured CID. To maintain and ensure independence of Army criminal investigations, the civilian director will initially report to the Under Secretary of the Army.
The restructured CID will feature a higher ratio of civilian criminal investigators to military special agents in order to increase investigative experience and grow effective partnerships with local and regional law enforcement agencies.
The Army will implement this redesign in phases, beginning at Fort Hood, Fort Bragg and Fort Carson.
Whitley also signed Army Directive 2021-16 which improves the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program by better protecting and informing victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment. The new directive immediately implements several SHARP-related findings and recommendations from the FHIRC report.
“While we continue our work to redesign the current program, these policy changes will help to ensure that a Soldier’s report of sexual assault or sexual harassment is always met with a timely and effective response,” said Whitley. “Soldiers must be confident that they can raise allegations of sexual assault or sexual harassment, quickly receive the protection they need, and be treated with dignity and respect throughout the process.”
The directive includes provisions improving the issuance of military protective orders and the process by which sexual assault victims receive case notifications. In addition, for sexual harassment complaints, commanders must now appoint investigating officers from outside the brigade-sized element to which the subject of the investigation is assigned. The provisions of this directive, which take effect immediately, apply to the regular Army, the Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve.
The Army is taking action to implement each of the 70 recommendations set forth in the FHIRC report. Although the FHIRC report focused on the command climate and culture at Fort Hood, the findings impact matters relevant to the entire Army and its more than 1 million Soldiers.