Fort Sill's Key Gate West.

Fort Sill's Key Gate West. (U.S. Army)

AUSTIN, Texas — Multiple members of the training cadre at Fort Sill, Okla., were suspended this week after a soldier in training reported she was sexually assaulted at the base, said Maj. Gen. Ken Kamper, commander of the base and the Fires Center of Excellence.

“This past Saturday, a soldier assigned to Fort Sill reported she was the victim of sexual assault, involving Fort Sill cadre members. This information was immediately reported to law enforcement,” Kamper said Thursday during a news conference.

Within hours, agents with Army Criminal Investigation Command, known as CID, began investigating the report and interviewing potential suspects and witnesses. Kamper declined to say exactly what day the soldier said the assault occurred, in what capacity the training personnel might have been involved or exactly how many personnel have been suspended because of the assault.

“What's important is, we've taken immediate action. With a cadre member who has been named and possibly involved in this allegation, we've removed them from their normal duties, they've been suspended. They are working outside the training environment to protect the well-being of all the other soldiers,” he said.

The soldier who made the report has been assigned a special victims counsel, has access to all services and is “absolutely safe,” Kamper said.

“We're proud of the courage she displayed coming forward with these allegations,” he said. “We're also committed to protecting the privacy of this soldier.”

Fort Sill is home to the Army’s Fires Center of Excellence, which conducts training and education for enlisted soldiers and officers working in the fields of air defense artillery and field artillery. The cadre, who are typically officers and noncommissioned officers, are responsible for conducting, leading and overseeing training, including the training for the Army’s newest soldiers.

In his experience, Kamper said it is not common to see cadre members involved in sexual assault allegations.

“That's the significance here,” he said. “Sexual assault will not be tolerated. It tears at the fabric of our community.” Twitter: @Rose_Lori

author picture
Rose L. Thayer is based in Austin, Texas, and she has been covering the western region of the continental U.S. for Stars and Stripes since 2018. Before that she was a reporter for Killeen Daily Herald and a freelance journalist for publications including The Alcalde, Texas Highways and the Austin American-Statesman. She is the spouse of an Army veteran and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism. Her awards include a 2021 Society of Professional Journalists Washington Dateline Award and an Honorable Mention from the Military Reporters and Editors Association for her coverage of crime at Fort Hood.

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