(Stars and Stripes)

Since Military Matters investigated the death of Army soldier Vanessa Guillen in July 2020, a suspect in the killing has been sentenced, and the Army has worked to change its culture surrounding sexual harassment and assault.

In this Fast Take episode, host Rod Rodriguez looks at some of these changes, stemming from 70 recommendations made in a report by the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee released in November 2020. Among the changes implemented by the Army were establishing full-time victim advocates and special victim counselors.

The I am Vanessa Guillen Act, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2022, criminalizes sexual harassment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and makes it so senior military leaders are no longer involved in investigations into sexual assaults.

“While these developments are encouraging, they must be the beginning of a continuous, rigorous effort to change not just policies, but also the deeply entrenched cultural norms that enable such behavior in the first place,” Rodriguez said.

You can find Military Matters on Twitter @stripesmmpod.

Follow Rod Rodriguez on Twitter @rodpodrod.

A transcript of the episode can be found here.

Go to, use promo code PODCAST and save 50% on your digital subscription.

Brian McElhiney is a digital editor, podcast editor and occasional reporter for Stars and Stripes. He has worked as a music reporter and editor for publications in New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Oregon. One of his earliest journalistic inspirations came from reading Stars and Stripes as a kid growing up in Okinawa, Japan.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now