WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Fort Hood military base has a new acting commander this week. The leadership change comes after several investigations were launched into the Central Texas Army base over the growing deaths of soldiers.
Texas lawmakers say they are holding the U.S. Army accountable, especially in protection for minority soldiers. In July, Fort Hood officials said 23 soldiers stationed at the base died this year.
“This is an absolute crisis, and we’ve got to find out what’s happening,” said U.S. Representative Veronica Escobar (D-TX).
But the deaths haven’t stopped, and Escobar says the problem starts at the top.
“There is great diversity in the lower ranks, but you begin to look at the names and profiles at the higher ranks, and it is not as diverse as it needs to be,” Escobar said.
On Tuesday, the Army removed the senior commander at Fort Hood, and on Thursday a committee of five civilian members arrived at the base for a two-week investigation into its climate and culture.
“Let this new investigative unit that Secretary Mccarthy has appointed come up with their report and answers,” said U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX).
Cornyn says he’s calling on a Senate-armed services committee hearing to assess the results of the independent review, and then come up with a plan of action.
“Our young men and women who volunteer to serve in our military deserve far better than this, and this is just simply unacceptable,” he said.
“We need to make sure we are protecting our service members and we need to make sure there is accountability,” Escobar said.
Escobar says she plans to lead a congressional delegation to Fort Hood in the coming weeks.