Fort Hood general fired over Vanessa Guillén’s death given new assignment

Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt was relieved last year when the Fort Hood report was released.

Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, the deputy commander at Fort Hood, Texas, who was relieved in the wake of the Army’s release of the Fort Hood report, has received a new assignment.

Cynthia Smith, an Army spokeswoman, said on Wednesday that Efflandt is being temporarily reassigned “as the special assistant to the commanding general of U.S. Army North,” despite a list of general officer assignments announced on Tuesday saying Efflandt was being assigned as the deputy commanding general of U.S. Army North.

She added that it is a temporary assignment pending final outcome of an internal investigation currently being conducted by Army Gen. John “Mike” Murray as a result of the death of Spc. Vanessa Guillén.

Efflandt was one of 14 Fort Hood commanders to be suspended or relieved by then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy in December over the fallout of Guillén’s death. Last year, he was slated to take command of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, but was delayed due to a separate review of Fort Hood by an independent civilian panel. Former Army Under Secretary James McPherson said last year that Efflandt was eligible for retirement after his relief but would be up for reassignment if McConville chose to do so.

The report released in December by the civilian panel revealed a toxic climate at the huge Texas installation that was “permissive” of sexual assault and harassment which made women regularly feel unsafe while leaders turned a blind eye. One of the panel members said during a press briefing at the time of the report’s release that accountability did not rest solely with one commander, but was the result of years of inaction and omission from many of them.

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston hit on leadership’s inaction at the time, saying it wasn’t necessarily about their actions, but “it was the actions around you, and somehow that was allowed to fester … either you should have known or you allowed it.”

McPherson said it was a matter of “what did you know, and when did you know it?”

Haley Britzky

Haley Britzkyis the Army reporter for Task & Purpose, covering the daily happenings in the Army and how they impact soldiers and their families, as well as broader national security issues. Originally from Texas, Haley previously worked at Axios before joining Task & Purpose in January 2019. Contact the author here.

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