Fort Hood’s Toxic Culture? Red Flags Raised Over Mysterious Disappearances, Sexual Assaults | Fox News (January 6, 2021)

Fort Hood’s toxic culture? Red flags raised over mysterious disappearances, sexual assaults | Hollie McKay, Fox News (January 6, 2020):

The sizable military installation has long come under fire over allegations of coverups and abuse

The report also pointed to a lack of experience and high turnover within the ranks of the Criminal Investigation Department, leading to problems with launching sufficient investigations.

As it stands, there are more than 1,000 deserters wanted by the U.S. Army and it remains unclear explicitly what is being done to determine their fates. Ten months before Guillen disappeared, Pvt. Gregory Morales also vanished from Fort Hood. His body was unintentionally recovered a few miles from the base in June, during the search for Guillen. He had been listed as AWOL in August 2019 and later as a deserter.

However, for his mother, Kim Wedel, her life in Oklahoma halted as she pleaded for assistance and answers from Fort Hood’s Army Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

“If any other business had this many glaring problems, leadership would be gone. Why did it take an investigation to see that the CID was understaffed and overwhelmed? There was a lack of response from CID, and they certainly didn’t know what to do with me as a mom calling all the time,” Wedel told Fox News.

The Killeen Police Department is heading the investigation into Morales’ death, in which foul play is suspected, according to local reports. 

“The Army didn’t care enough to see there was a problem,” Wedel asserted. “I still haven’t really heard from anyone down there. My son will never be at the forefront, and it is shocking how many parents like us are out there. People don’t just disappear because they choose to.”

However, many soldiers and families connected to Fort Hood told Fox News that the personnel changes were merely cosmetic, and they feared “business as usual” when the spotlight faded.

Jennifer Norris, an Air Force veteran and military crime analyst who has focused on Fort Hood issues since 2016, said in order to look forward, one also must look back.

“The deaths ruled a suicide – they need to be investigated. Why did they take their lives? Were those deaths properly investigated? Was it really a suicide, or was it a murder? Everything needs to be questioned,” she added. “We can’t just pretend the last 20 years didn’t happen.” 

Read more from Fox News here.

Related Links:
Report of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee (November 6, 2020)
15 Things Every American Should Know About the Fort Hood Report
Fort Hood’s toxic culture? Red flags raised over mysterious disappearances, sexual assaults
Tragedies At Fort Hood Have Led The Army To Rethink Its Response When Soldiers Go Missing
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)
Washington D.C. Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (December 12, 2017)
Speier, Mullin Introduce Bipartisan ‘I Am Vanessa Guillén Act’ to Transform the Military’s Response to Sexual Violence & Missing Servicemembers (September 16, 2020)
Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales Reported AWOL; Based on Anonymous Tip, Remains Found in Shallow Grave in Killeen 10 Months Later (August 19, 2019)
Timeline: Army Sgt. Kelton Sphaler and Army Vet Scott Weinhold Reported Missing at Belton Lake on Fort Hood; After Search Launched, Both Recovered in Water (January 21, 2019)
Fort Hood Army Cpl. Christopher Ferguson Died of Undetermined Causes; CID Claimed Death Was Accident; CBS News Reported Suicide (March 25, 2007)
Fort Hood Army Staff Sgt. Paul Norris Fatally Shot Spc. Kamisha Block in Murder-Suicide in Iraq; Family Calls for Congressional Hearings & Independent Investigations (August 16, 2007)
Research Reveals Pattern of Violence, Suspicious Deaths, Problematic Death Investigations, and Cover-up at Fort Hood in Texas (September 11, 2020)
Stars and Stripes: Why is Fort Hood the Army’s Most Crime-Ridden Post? (August 21, 2020)
Austin American-Statesman: Vanessa Guillen’s Death Shines Light on More Tragedies at Fort Hood (July 28, 2020)
Open Letter to House of Representatives in Support of an Independent Investigation of the Murder of Vanessa Guillen at Fort Hood (July 7, 2020)
Unsolved Homicide Cases Affiliated with Fort Hood (January 1, 2016 to Present)
Never Forgotten: The Fort Hood Fallen (2016)

Report of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee (November 6, 2020)

Fort Hood Independent Review:

“Former Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy and the five civilian members of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee unveiled the results of a three-month examination of the command climate and culture at Fort Hood and the surrounding military community on Dec. 8, 2020.”

“The independent review, which was directed by former Secretary McCarthy, arose from the questions and concerns voiced by family members, Congress, and various Hispanic advocacy groups during the investigation into the disappearance and murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillén.”

“The committee examined the command climate and culture at Fort Hood and the surrounding military community to determine whether they reflect the Army’s commitment to safety, respect, inclusiveness, diversity, and freedom from sexual harassment.”

“Committee members Chris Swecker, Jonathan Harmon, Carrie Ricci, Queta Rodriguez and Jack White conducted a two-week fact-finding mission to the Texas base, meeting with unit leaders, Soldiers, members of the Guillén family, local officials, law enforcement and community groups.”

“The 136-page Report of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee offers findings and recommendations intended to benefit Fort Hood and the entire Army. In response, the former Secretary McCarthy has taken significant measures to hold leaders accountable at Fort Hood, instituted a new policy on missing Soldiers and formed the People First Task Force to map out a plan to tackle issues identified in the report.”

Read more here.

Secretary of the Army McCarthy addresses the report of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee
MLP Hearing: “Military Criminal Investigative Organization Reform Recommendations

Related Links:
Important @Military_Crime Links (Linktree)
Trends in Active-Duty Military Deaths Since 2006
Fort Hood Independent Review (Official Army website)
Research Reveals Pattern of Suspicious Deaths & Cover-up at Fort Hood (Sep. 11, 2020)
Report of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee (November 6, 2020)
Report of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee (November 6, 2020)
15 Things Every American Should Know About the Fort Hood Report
MLP Hearing: “Military Criminal Investigative Organization Reform Recommendations
Fort Hood’s toxic culture? Red flags raised over mysterious disappearances, sexual assaults
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (Jan. 1, 2016 to Present)
Washington D.C. Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (December 12, 2017)
1st AD, Fort Bliss change command: Maj. Gen. Pat White takes ‘Old Ironsides’ helm
Never Forgotten: The Fort Hood Fallen (2016)

Fort Hood Army Sgt. Elder Fernandes Found Deceased in Temple, Texas; Death Ruled Suicide by Dallas Medical Examiner (August 25, 2020)

Sgt. Elder Fernandes, U.S. Army

Death of a Fort Hood Soldier: Sgt Elder Fernandes (August 26, 2020):

Sgt. Elder Fernandes, 23, whose home of record is listed as Brockton, Mass., was found [deceased] near Lake Polk in Temple. He entered the Army in September 2016 as a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialist and has been assigned to the 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (CSSB), 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division since April 2019. Fernandes’ awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.

Fernandes was last seen in Killeen on Aug 17. When he was reported absent on Aug. 18, Soldiers from his unit initiated a thorough search for him, both on and off post while cooperating with the Killeen Police Department and U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) in an attempt to find him. The unit distributed his photograph, searched motorpools, parking lots, barracks, and headquarters buildings. Members of his unit visited local hotels and hospitals throughout Central Texas trying to find him as they expanded their search efforts.

The unit is cooperating with local authorities from the cities of Killeen and Temple as this incident remains under investigation. The Division will continue to support the Fernandes Family during this difficult time and requests everyone respects their privacy during this time of grief.

Senators Markey and Warren and Rep. Lynch Call for Review of Army Fort Hood to Include Case of Sergeant Elder Fernandes (September 4, 2020):

Massachusetts lawmakers write “evidence suggests that the Army failed to give him the proper support and care that he needed while serving at Fort Hood” Massachusetts (September 4, 2020) – U.S. Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (MA-01) today called on the independent review panel investigating the command climate and culture at U.S. Army Base Fort Hood, Texas to include the case of Army Sergeant Elder Fernandes in its review of the base. Sergeant Fernandes, a 23 year-old native of Brockton, Massachusetts who was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, was found dead on August 25 after having gone missing on August 17. Shortly after he was reported missing, public reports revealed that in May of this year Sergeant Fernandes had reported a sexual assault allegation against a member of his chain of command and also became the target of bullying, hazing, and harassment. The Fort Hood independent review panel was created before Sgt. Fernandes’s disappearance, so the Massachusetts lawmakers are asking the panel to ensure it includes his case in the scope of their review and report. 

In their letter, the lawmakers urged the Fort Hood panel to review the following issues: 

  • The circumstances surrounding Sergeant Fernandes’s treatment by commanding officers and peers while serving at Fort Hood, including allegations of sexual assault, bullying, hazing, or harassment; 
  • The adequacy of the investigation conducted by the Army of his reported sexual assault;
  • The circumstances surrounding his disappearance and death, including the Army’s coordination with local and state law enforcement in the search for him after he was reported missing, and;
  • The adequacy of Army’s coordination with and treatment of Sergeant Fernandes’s family, including but not limited to information-sharing during the search for Sergeant Fernandes and in the period after his body was discovered, and the release of his medical, service, and treatment records thereafter.

“Although an Army-led investigation remains ongoing into the cause and circumstances of Sergeant Fernandes’s death, the evidence suggests that the Army failed to give him the proper support and care that he needed while serving at Fort Hood,” write the lawmakers in the their letter. “As you conduct your independent, comprehensive review of Fort Hood, we urge you to consider the facts of Sergeant Fernandes’s case. We will do everything we can to ensure that Sergeant Fernandes receives the justice he deserves, that Army leaders are held accountable, and to prevent harm to any other soldiers at Fort Hood. We stand by, ready to assist in your review in any way possible, and we look forward to seeing your final report.” 

A copy of the letter can be found HERE

Senators Warren and Markey along with Senator John Cornyn (R-Tex.) today sent a bipartisan request to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Ok.) and Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-R.I.) asking that the Committee hold a public hearing to probe the findings and recommendations of the independent review panel on the command climate and culture at U.S. Army Base Fort Hood, Texas.

In the News:

YouTube:

Missing Fort Hood soldier part of open ‘abuse sexual contact’ investigation
Mother of missing Fort Hood soldier pleads for the public’s help to find him
Family of Sgt. Elder Fernandes met with Fort Hood officials Sunday
Family, friends of missing Fort Hood soldier Elder Fernandes post flyers and search around Killeen
Family has questions | The search for Fort Hood solder Elder Fernandes continues
Fort Hood Commander Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt speaks on missing soldier Elder Fernandes
Fort Hood confirms death of Sgt. Elder Fernandes, says sexual assault allegations were ‘unsubstantiated’
Body Believed To Be Missing Fort Hood Soldier Elder Fernandes Found In Texas
Live: Fort Hood holds press conference on late Sgt. Elder Fernandes
Vigil held for Fort Hood soldier Elder Fernandes
Lynch: ‘Cancer or sickness’ at Fort Hood after local soldier’s death
Death of Sgt. Elder Fernandes shines spotlight on military suicide
Fort Hood soldier’s family doesn’t believe what Army told them about death of Sgt. Elder Fernandes (September 1, 2020)
Brockton family of Fort Hood soldier demands answers after he was found dead off base
Family Demands Justice After Fort Hood Soldier Found Dead
Family, Lawmakers Call For Investigation Into Death Of Fort Hood Soldier
Mother Of Soldier Who Died At Fort Hood Speaks Out About Loss

Related Links:
Remembering Sgt. Elder Fernandes | U.S. Army Fort Hood
Another Fort Hood soldier goes missing, this time ‘of his own accord’
Another Fort Hood soldier, Elder Fernandes, is missing. The Army asks for help.
Brockton Soldier Elder Fernandes, Who Reported Sexual Abuse, Is Missing From Fort Hood
Missing Fort Hood soldier was victim in ‘abusive sexual contact’ investigation, Army says
Missing Fort Hood soldier part of open ‘abuse sexual contact’ investigation
Fort Hood Soldier Gone Missing After Reporting Sexual Abuse
Missing Fort Hood soldier reported sexual abuse months before disappearance, Army official says
A 23-year-old Fort Hood soldier who has been missing for a week had reported sexual abuse before his disappearance
Fort Hood Soldier Reported Being Sexually Abused Before Vanishing 1 Week Ago
Army, police searching for missing Fort Hood soldier Elder Fernandes
Army Asks for Help in Search for Another Missing Ft. Hood Soldier
Fort Hood: Foul play not suspected in Fernandes disappearance
No foul play suspected in case of missing Fort Hood soldier
Family of Sgt. Elder Fernandes meets with Fort Hood officials Sunday
Search party combs Killeen neighborhood for missing soldier
Elder Fernandes: Body found in search for missing soldier
Attorney: Missing Fort Hood soldier’s body found in Texas
Army confirms that a missing Fort Hood soldier has been found dead
Missing Brockton soldier who disappeared from Fort Hood found dead
Body Of Missing Fort Hood Soldier Elder Fernandes Found A Week After Disappearance
The Body Of Missing Fort Hood Soldier Elder Fernandes Was Found Hanging From A Tree
Fort Hood soldier, 23, found hanged was ‘humiliated’ after reporting he was sexually assaulted by male superior, which led him to be bullied, harassed, and hazed when news spread around the base, his family’s lawyer says
Fort Hood Sgt. Elder Fernandes ‘humiliated’ after reporting sexual abuse, says family’s lawyer
Family of Fort Hood soldier demands answers after body found in Texas, attorney says
Body of missing Fort Hood soldier Elder Fernandes given plane-side honors in Boston
Body of Brockton native, Fort Hood soldier Sgt. Elder Fernandes returns home
Body of Sgt. Elder Fernandes, 23-year-old Brockton native found near Fort Hood, returns to Massachusetts
Funeral held for Brockton soldier who went missing from Fort Hood
Fort Hood soldier believed dead was happy until recently, family says
Family of Fort Hood Soldier Found Dead Demands Congress Investigate
Fort Hood leaders have ‘blood on their hands’ in death of missing soldier, family attorney says
Missing Fort Hood Soldier Elder Fernandes Reportedly Died by Suicide
Fort Hood soldier Elder Fernandes died by suicide, medical examiner finds
Fort Hood Soldier Elder Fernandes Died From Suicide, Autopsy Reportedly Says
Marchers Demand Answers in Death of Brockton Soldier Who Reported Sexual Assault
‘This is a very bad situation’: Mass. lawmakers paint grim picture of Fort Hood, after death of Sgt. Elder Fernandes
Fort Hood soldier’s family claims Army never investigated his computers; mystery now left behind in devices
Soldier’s family doubts what Army says about his death; Fort Hood’s commander removed from position
Fort Hood soldier was still alive days after he disappeared, raising possibility that suicide could have been prevented, reports show
Family of Fort Hood sergeant questions Army’s effort to find him before he died
Fort Hood: What we know about 12 soldiers missing, slain or killed in accidents since January
Senators Markey and Warren and Rep. Lynch Call for Review of Army Fort Hood to Include Case of Sergeant Elder Fernandes

Fort Hood Army Sgt. 1st Class John David Randolph Hilty Died of a Non-Combat Related Incident in Erbil, Iraq (March 30, 2020)

Sgt. 1st Class John David Randolph Hilty, U.S. Army

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. Sgt. 1st Class John David Randolph Hilty, 44, from Bowie, Maryland, died March 30, 2020 in Erbil, Iraq, of a non-combat related incident. The incident is under investigation. Hilty was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Sgt. 1st Class John David Randolph Hilty entered the Army in April 1999 as an Army combat engineer. His most recent military occupational specialty was petroleum supply specialist. Hilty’s deployments include three tours to Afghanistan from January 2009 to December 2009, January 2012 to December 2012, October 2016 to October 2017 and most recently to Iraq in October 2019.

John Hilty (Facebook)

Related Links:
DOD Identifies Army Casualty (April 1, 2020)
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier | John Hilty
Fort Hood: Soldier dies in Iraq
Fort Hood soldier dies in Iraq
Fort Hood soldier dies in Iraq
Soldier from Bowie dies in Iraq
Fort Hood: Soldier dies in Iraq
Fort Hood soldier killed Monday is identified
Bowie Man Dies Serving With US Army In Iraq
Non-Combat, Non-CoVid Death of Soldier in Erbil, Iraq
Army soldier dies in Iraq, identified as Maryland native
Pentagon IDs Soldier Who Died During Iraq Deployment
DoD identifies soldier killed in non-combat incident in Iraq
Pentagon IDs Soldier Who Died During Iraq Deployment
Army sgt. 1st class who died in non-combat incident identified
Fort Hood soldier dies in non-combat related incident in Iraq
‘He was an exceptional leader’ | Soldier from Bowie, Md. dies in Iraq
Fort Hood-based soldier’s death is seventh for coalition in Iraq this year
Bowie resident dies in Iraq supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, incident was not combat-related
Gold Star Father Talks Of Isolation On Memorial Day During Pandemic
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)

Fort Hood Army Spc. Mason Webber Died of Injuries Sustained Conducting Maintenance on a Bradley Fighting Vehicle at Texas Base (September 5, 2019)

Mason Webber

Spc. Mason Webber, U.S. Army

Fort Hood Army Spc. Mason Webber, 22, died from injuries sustained while he was conducting maintenance on a Bradley Fighting Vehicle on September 5, 2019 at the base in Texas. Spc. Webber’s home of record is listed as Marion, Iowa. Spc. Webber entered the Army in March 2018 as a Bradley Fighting Vehicle system maintainer. He was assigned to 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood since August 2018. Base officials did not detail how Spc. Webber’s death occurred but said the incident was under investigation by the Army Combat Readiness Center. In one KCRG report, his mom Tonya Grefe said “He was more than just a soldier. He was Mason first and he was very proud to serve his country. He was always wearing that smile no matter what was going on in his life.”

Mason Webber was one of four siblings and loved country music. He was also a husband and his daughter was born on October 28, 2019, a little over a month after he died. The circumstances surrounding Mason’s death have been under investigation since the workplace safety mishap occurred; the family revealed at the time that there were few details released about how it happened (see below for update from the family). Mason Webber was one of thirty Army soldiers who died stateside while stationed at Fort Hood in 2019. Most of the deaths could be attributed to training accidents, auto & motorcycle accidents, drownings, unsolved homicide, and suicide. For a running history of the fallen soldiers at Fort Hood since 2016, please click here: Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)

Please sign the family’s petition to “close down Ft Hood for the safety of all soldiers there.”

“My son PFC Mason Webber was killed while doing routine Maintenance on a Bradley Fighter Vehicle. The NCO was told specifically not to work on this specific Bradley. The NCO chose to ignore that order. He ordered a strap to be attached to the lifting crane to hold up the compartment panel lid. The strap is only capable of holding up to 500 lbs. The correct eye hooks were all packed away due to deployment. The hydraulic cylinder snapped off and the strap was not able to hold up the lid from dropping on my son and crushing him. The same  NCO was deployed and still leading troops overseas to this day.”

“My sons story is only one of many more where leadership has failed their soldiers. There have been too many missing soldiers, gone for days before anyone notices. Also deaths ruled suicide which later prove to be homicide when families pay to have their own investigations & autopsies done. Too many training accidents have occurred there as well which could have been prevented. My sons death was one of them. Attention needs to be given to this base and either shut down or a major change in leadership roles should occur.”  Source: Petition for Mason Webber by Tonya Grefe

UPDATE (July 17, 2020): I’ll tell you exactly what happened to my son. The correct attachment to the lifting crane was not used due to the hooks all being pack away for deployment….even though they were still being told to work on the Bradley’s. The NCO told the crew to use a strap that can only hold 500 lbs because he didn’t want to take the time to go grab one out of the box. The lid fell when the hydraulic cylinder broke and the strap couldn’t hold it up. My sons skull was crushed. The leadership did not give a shit about their safety. That man is responsible for my sons death. No excuses, none of this “accidents happen” BS either. (Tonya Grefe provided the public with an update on the internal investigation, still awaiting outcome of results) 

Fort Hood Press Center Press Release:

Mason Webber Fort Hood

Death of a Fort Hood Soldier Press Release (including screenshot because they will delete this)

SAY HIS NAME 💔

“My son, PFC Mason Webber was failed by the Army and his NCO’s at FT HOOD. His blood is on their hands. There was a direct order to not work on the Bradley that ended up killing him. Well one NCO ignored those orders and ordered a strap to be used to hook up to the lifting crane to hold up the engine lid. A strap that is only approved to lift 500lbs. The correct hooks were all packed away for deployment and the NCO was too lazy to go look for one. When the hydraulic cylinder snapped off, the strap couldn’t hold up the lid and it fell crushing my son. My son wasn’t even working on that vehicle. He happened to walk by asking the others what was going on. They asked him to take a look and him being the nice guy he is wanted to help so they could all go home. If the correct lifting hook was used my son would still be here. The Army calls it a “mishap” in the investigation. It wasn’t a mishap, it was a huge fuck up on the part of the Army. It was life changing for his family, his wife and his daughter who will never get to meet her father. To the Army his death is just another incident on what not to do in the future. My sons life matters. Please SHARE my sons story so that it may be heard and hopefully changes can be made about the safety of our soldiers.”

Related Links:
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier
PFC Mason Webber – Salado Village Voice
Soldiers Lives Matter | Facebook Group
Fort Hood soldier died in maintenance mishap
Soldier Died While Working on Vehicle at Fort Hood
Fort Hood soldier died in maintenance accident
Ft. Hood names soldier who died after vehicle maintenance incident
Soldier dies while conducting vehicle maintenance at Fort Hood
Soldier dies of injuries sustained during maintenance on a Bradley
Army identifies soldier who died during vehicle maintenance at Fort Hood
Fort Hood soldier dies from injuries sustained while conducting fighting vehicle maintenance
Fort Hood soldier dies from injuries sustained during Bradley vehicle maintenance
Fort Hood soldier dies from injuries sustained during Bradley vehicle maintenance
Fort Hood soldier dies from injuries sustained during Bradley vehicle maintenance
Marion Soldier Dies of Injuries Sustained at Fort Hood
Ft. Hood names soldier who died after vehicle maintenance incident
Family releases photo of Marion soldier killed on Texas base
Iowa soldier who died in maintenance incident remembered for legacy he leaves behind
Salute to the Fallen will honor Mason Webber
ABC World News Tonight with David Muir

Mason Webber ABC News

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Fort Hood Army Spc. Aigner Certaine Found Unresponsive at Off-Post Residence in Killeen, Texas; Autopsy Ordered, Official Cause of Death Unknown (March 26, 2018)

Spc. Aigner Certaine, U.S. Army

Fort Hood Press Center (March 28, 2018):

FORT HOOD, Texas – Fort Hood officials have released the name of a Soldier who was found unresponsive March 26 at an off-post residence in Killeen, Texas.

Spc. Aigner Certaine, 24, was transported to Metroplex Hospital in Killeen where attempts to revive her were unsuccessful.

Certaine, whose home of record is listed as Sanford, Florida, entered active-duty military service in November 2012 as a unit supply specialist and was assigned to 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, Fort Hood, since August 2017.

Certaine’s awards and decorations include three Army Achievement Medals, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.

A photo is not available at the time of this posting. When one becomes available, it will be uploaded to FortHoodPressCenter.com.

Circumstances surrounding this incident are under investigation by the Killeen Police Department.

Aigner Certaine Obituary (Dignity Memorial):

“Love” Bears all things Believes all things Hopes all things Endures all things

1 Corinthians 13:7 

Aigner Certaine was born on June 17, 1993 in Norfolk, VA to Jackie Certaine and Dyral Manley. She departed this life with her daughter Naviah Iris Clarke on Monday, March 26, 2018. 

Aigner Certaine graduated from Crooms Academy High School and joined the United States Army. She completed Army Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, SC and then went on to Fort Lee, VA where she completed her Military Occupation Specialty Training to become a Unit Supply Specialist. 

Aigner Certaine was the kindest person you will ever meet. Her circle was small but her heart was huge. Love is all she ever wanted to give to the world and it’s all she ever wanted in return. 

“Love Conquers All!” 

Report of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee (November 6, 2020)

Related Links:
Obituary: Aigner Certaine (1993-2018)
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier: Spc. Aigner Certaine
Fort Hood soldier dies off post
Officials identify Fort Hood soldier found unresponsive
Fort Hood: Soldier found unresponsive in off-post residence dies
Autopsy ordered after death of Fort Hood soldier
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)
Open Letter to House of Representatives in Support of an Independent Investigation of the Murder of Vanessa Guillen at Fort Hood (July 7, 2020)
Stars and Stripes: Why is Fort Hood the Army’s Most Crime-Ridden Post? (August 21, 2020)
HASC Congressional Investigation of Fort Hood: Research Reveals Pattern of Suspicious Deaths and Cover-up (September 11, 2020)
Report of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee (November 6, 2020)
Fort Hood’s toxic culture? Red flags raised over mysterious disappearances, sexual assaults
Members of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee present their findings and recommendations to change the Army’s Criminal Investigative Division (CID) at a House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing (March 16, 2021, 25 News KXXV)

Army Spc. Darius Cooper Swept Away in Floodwater Crossing at Fort Hood; Body Never Recovered, Military Board Ruled Deceased 2 Months Later (April 11, 2017)

Darius Cooper

Spc. Darius Cooper, U.S. Army

On June 16, 2017, Fort Hood published a press release indicating the Fort Hood Fire and Rescue teams were unsuccessful in locating Army Spc. Darius Cooper, who was swept away in flooding waters at Clear Creek near Turkey Run Road on Fort Hood just before 6 a.m. on April 11, 2017. The press release informed the public that the Army appointed a board of inquiry (per Army Regulation 638-8, Army Casualty Program, and Department of Defense Instruction 2310.05, Accounting for Missing Persons) to conduct a status determination and ruled that Spc. Cooper was deceased, his official date of death was April 11, 2017. Spc. Cooper, 40, listed San Antonio, Texas as his home of record and he entered active-duty service in June 2008 as a culinary specialist. At the time of his death, Spc. Cooper was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood in Texas since June 2016. Spc. Cooper deployed overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. As of 2019, Spc. Cooper’s body has not been located, therefore he is still missing despite the status of determination ruling.

“More than 800 individuals were involved in the search, including emergency responders from Texas Task Force One boat and dog teams, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, Texas Game Warden’s lake search teams, Morgan’s Point Resort Police Department dive and sonar search teams, Fort Hood’s Crisis Response Battalion ground search teams, and 1st Air Cavalry Brigade helicopter assets who aided in the search.” -Fort Hood Press Center (June 16, 2017)

Timeline of Events:

April 11, 2017

Emergency crews respond to vehicles caught in high water (Fort Hood Press Center)
UPDATE 1: All Fort Hood low-water crossings, Old Georgetown Road remain closed (Fort Hood Press Center)
UPDATE 2: Driver’s vehicle recovered without driver inside (Fort Hood Press Center)

April 12, 2017

UPDATE 3: Texas’ Task Force One joins the search for missing person in Clear Creek (Fort Hood Press Center)
UPDATE 4: Updated photos and Broll of the April 12 ongoing search efforts (Fort Hood Press Center)

April 13, 2017

UPDATE 5: Search and rescue teams increased their effort to find the missing individual April 13, as water levels reduced allowing teams access to more locations. (Fort Hood Press Center)
UPDATE 6: Search team officials conduct media engagement (Fort Hood Press Center)

April 19, 2017

UPDATE 7: Deliberate search continues for missing individual (Fort Hood Press Center)

May 11, 2017

UPDATE 8: Deliberate search continues for missing Soldier (Fort Hood Press Center)

June 15, 2017

Soldier swept away at Fort Hood crossing declared dead (KWTX)
Ft. Hood declares missing soldier swept away in floodwaters dead (KXAN)
Fort Hood soldier missing since April declared dead by Army (WFAA)
Fort Hood calls off search, releases name of soldier who died in April 11 flash flood (Killeen Daily Herald)
Fort Hood soldier lost during April floods determined deceased (Statesman)
Fort Hood declares missing soldier deceased, release identity (CBS Austin)
Army: Fort Hood soldier determined dead after being swept away by flood waters (Army Times)

June 16, 2017

UPDATE 9: Fort Hood Soldier lost in April 11 flash flood determined deceased (Fort Hood Press Center)
Fort Hood Officials Declare Missing Soldier Dead (CBS DFW)
Soldier Swept Away By Flood Waters Pronounced Dead (KTEM)

Related Links:
SPC Darius Cooper, Afghanistan (DVIDS)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (2019)
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Fort Hood Army SFC Allan Brown Died at Walter Reed of Injuries Sustained From an Improvised Explosive Device in Afghanistan on November 12th (December 6, 2016)

Sgt. First Class Allan E. Brown, U.S. Army

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Sgt. First Class Allan E. Brown, 46, of Takoma Park, Maryland, died December 6, 2016 at Walter Reed National Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, of injuries sustained from an improvised explosive device in Bagram, Afghanistan, that occurred on Nov. 12. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Also killed in the incident were:

          Sgt. John W. Perry, 30, of Stockton, California, who died Nov. 12. 

          Pfc. Tyler R. Iubelt, 20, of Tamaroa, Illinois, who died Nov. 12.

Allan Brown deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from August 2006 to August 2007, November 2008 to October 2009, and December 2010 to December 2011. Brown deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from July 2014 to September 2014. He deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel from September to December 2016.

“He was killed by a suicide bomber standing on Disney Road,” Greene said of Brown, the words still hard to say, carefully choosing them, her throat filled with sorrow. “That day was one of the most traumatic days of my life.” Two American contractors were also killed. Fifteen American troops and one Polish soldier were wounded. It’s been almost four years since the attack that forever changed the life of this proud veteran who has seen so much and lost even more.Local Veteran Remembers SFC Allen Brown, Fox West Texas (May 25, 2020)

Related Links:
SFC Allan Eric Brown | Find a Grave
DoD Identifies Army Casualty (Dec. 7, 2016)
Sgt. First Class Allan E. Brown | Military Times
Never Forgotten: The Fort Hood Fallen (2016)
Fort Hood Veteran Dies From IED Injuries
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier – Sgt. First Class Allan E. Brown
3rd 1st Cav Soldier Dies from Afghanistan Suicide Bombing
Maryland soldier injured in Afghanistan suicide attack dies
Soldier from Takoma Park dies of injuries from bomb blast
Fort Hood soldier dies after being injured in Afghanistan
Takoma Park soldier dies from wounds in Afghanistan bombing
Soldier succumbs to wounds received during November suicide bombing in Afghanistan
3rd soldier dies from wounds suffered in November suicide attack on Bagram
Third Fort Hood Soldier dies of injuries from Afghanistan suicide attack
Third Fort Hood Soldier dies of injuries from Afghanistan suicide attack
Third Fort Hood soldier dies of wounds suffered in Afghanistan
Family, friends remember life of fallen soldier
1st Cav Div RSSB dedicates memorial at BAF
‘He was killed by a suicide bomber’ | Local veteran remembers SFC Allen Brown
Army Pfc. Tyler Iubelt Died of Injuries Sustained from Suicide Bomber at Post-Veterans Day Fun Run on Secure Base in Bagram, Afghanistan (November 12, 2016)
Army Sgt. John Perry Died of Injuries Sustained from Suicide Bomber at Post-Veterans Day Fun Run on Secure Base in Bagram, Afghanistan (November 12, 2016)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)