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Fort Hood officer relieved of duty for bullying subordinates

April 8 (UPI) — A brigade commander based at Texas’ Fort Hood was relieved of duty after an investigation found he bullied subordinates, according to the Army.

The service issued a press release Thursday saying Col. Michael Schoenfeldt, Commander of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, was relieved of command because of “a loss of trust and confidence” in Schoenfeldt’s ability to command.

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“The Troopers of the IRONHORSE Brigade deserve the best leadership the Army can provide,” the release said. “Accordingly, based on the findings of an administrative investigation, and in the best interests of the Troopers of the IRONHORSE Brigade, Col. Schoenfeldt was relieved of his duties and responsibilities as commander effective April 8, 2021. The relief was based on poor judgment demonstrated by Col. Schoenfeldt while in command.”

According to the Army, the 1st Cavalry Division’s acting commander ordered an investigation after receiving allegations against Schoenfeldt and discovered “several adverse findings.”

The findings included recurring bullying behaviors directed at subordinate commanders and staff officers.

Investigators were not able to substantiate allegations of “racism and maltreatment,” the Army said.

According to the press release, Schoenfeldt has been reassigned and is currently performing administrative duties.

Schoenfeldt was leading his brigade on a nine-month rotation in Europe before he left in February for health reasons, Stars and Stripes reported.

The Army’s release also describes Schoenfeldt as having ongoing health issues but says they are unrelated to the decision to relieve him of duty.

Leadership at Fort Hood have come under increased scrutiny in the past year following the disappearance of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillén from the installation and a string of other violent deaths, leading to an investigation of the installation’s culture.

In December, 14 leaders at at Fort Hood were suspended or relieved from their positions following an independent review’s finding that the base’s command climate created a “permissive environment for sexual assault and sexual harassment.”

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