When the Army’s top civilian leader said Fort Hood has one of the highest rates of murder, sexual assault and harassment in the Army, he was using statistics from the Army’s three largest populated installations, which includes the local post.
“The numbers are high here. They are the highest, the most cases for sexual assault and harassment murders for our entire formation of the U.S. Army,” Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy said during an Aug. 6 news conference at Fort Hood. “So we are getting an outside look to help us to get to those root causes and understand so that we can make those changes with the point of emphasis being that we are going to put every resource and all of the energy we can to this entire institution behind fixing these problems.”
McCarthy visited Fort Hood and Killeen earlier this month to speak with Army leaders, soldiers, local government leaders and nonprofit leaders from groups such as the local NAACP and League of United Latin American Citizens chapters. The visit was in response to the death of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, a 3rd Cavalry Regiment soldier.
The secretary mentioned higher numbers of criminal acts committed on Fort Hood was a comparison with two other large Army installations: Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), in Washington state, said Col. Catherine Wilkinson, spokeswoman for the secretary, by email. The data set he was referring to shows that from 2015 to 2019, Fort Hood had, on average, more violent and non-violent felonies potentially committed (some cases are ongoing) by soldiers when compared to the other two Army posts.
Between 2015 and 2019, Fort Hood averaged 129 violent felonies a year, which included homicides, violent sex crimes, kidnapping, robbery and aggravated assault, Wilkinson said. Fort Bragg averaged 90 per year and JBLM averaged 109 per year.
Non-violent felonies — such as drug crimes, failure to obey general order, desertion, larceny, other sex crimes and drunk driving with personal injury, among others — averaged 940 per year for Fort Hood. Bragg averaged 822 and JBLM 720.