WASHINGTON — The commander of the U.S. Army's Fort Hood is being removed from his position and will no longer assume command of a division at Fort Bliss, according to a U.S. Army statement released Tuesday.
Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt was set to take over the 1st Armored Division soon. Now the Army will announce who will take over the division in the coming days. Division commander is a critical step in an Army general’s career and losing a division can be a career-ending move.
Fort Hood has been plagued by a series of incidents. Two soldiers, including Spc. Vanessa Guillen, have gone missing only to have their bodies discovered later. Soldiers assigned to the base were arrested in a prostitution sting. A number of soldiers have recently died by suicide.
The commanding general of U.S. Forces Command, Gen. Michael Garrett, has directed Maj. Gen. John Richardson IV to assume command at Fort Hood, effective Wednesday. Efflandt will stay on at Fort Hood for the time being, serving as deputy commanding general for support.
Gen. Garrett will appoint Gen. John Murray, commanding general of U.S. Futures Command, to "lead an in-depth investigation into the chain of command actions related to Spc. Vanessa Guillen," the statement says. The Army has several open investigations at Fort Hood already, and now Gen. Murray's investigation will add those efforts into a larger look at the base leadership.