Special agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command are investigating allegations of sexual assault involving Fort Sill cadre reported by a female trainee.
In a press conference Thursday, Maj. Gen. Ken Kamper, Commanding General of the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill, said a trainee assigned to Fort Sill had reported a sexual assault to post officials. He didn’t say when the assault took place, but said the female trainee made the report March 27.
Kamper said he has personally met with the trainee.
“This soldier who came forward with allegations of sexual assault is absolutely safe. She has special victims counsel and access to all victim services,” Kamper said. “We’re just heartbroken, just sad, sad that something like this happened. On a personal level it is just heartbreaking.”
Fort Sill officials have asked for and received extra investigative help from the Department of the Army, Kamper said. “We will conduct a full and thorough investigation so that we can gather the facts and pursue whatever actions are appropriate.”
Although no details were given of the assault, Kamper said all cadre involved in the assault allegation have been suspended and removed from any training environment. Cadre is generally any soldier, besides trainees, assigned permanently to a training unit.
“Sexual assault will not be tolerated. It tears at the fabric of our community,” Kamper said. “We will provide further updates as we are able, while protecting the integrity of the ongoing criminal investigation and the rights of all involved.”
When asked if this was an isolated incident on the post, Kamper said sexual assault was a national problem.
“Is this an isolated incident? Unfortunately sexual assault is a national problem,” Kamper said. “When we look at the the Department of Defense, our new secretary’s words about the sexual assault and when we look at our Army’s commitment over time to root out sexual assault, it hurts our soldiers and families. It’s terrible to for unit cohesion and is detrimental to our mission.”
As far as more allegations or more victims coming forward, Kamper said Fort Sill will investigate anything else that emerges as the investigation proceeds.
“We’re positioned to do that; we have the resources to do that,” Kamper said. We have the full support of Army senior leaders for anything else we might need if anything else emerges, so absolutely.”
The Defense Department’s annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, released April 28, 2020, shows reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment continue to rise in the U.S. military, with more than 60 percent of all investigated cases in 2019 being between service members.
The report showed 7,825 cases of sexual assault in 2019, up 3 percent from 6,326 reported in 2018.