The Army has announced it will restructure the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and make policy improvements within the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Program.
The changes stem from recommendations by the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee.
"Maj. Gen. Donna Martin led an intensive five-month structural redesign to create an organization with enhanced capabilities and capacity, organized with and led by civilian and military agents, military officers and enlisted Soldiers," said acting Secretary of the Army John Whitley, referring to the Army's Provost Marshal General/CID commanding general.
"We are very confident these organizational changes address the committee's CID-related recommendations and lead us into the future."
The largest change will be seen in the CID.
Army officials say the duties and responsibilities currently assigned to one general officer, who serves simultaneously as the Army's provost marshal general and the CID commanding general, will be split.
The Army will hire a civilian member to lead the restructured CID. The member will come from the Senior Executive Service and have criminal investigative experience.
The new civilian director will initially report to the Under Secretary of the Army.
Officials say the restructured CID will have a higher ratio of civilian criminal investigators to military special agents. The Army says this will "increase investigative experience and grow effective partnerships with local and regional law enforcement agencies."
The changes will be implemented in phases, beginning at Fort Hood, Fort Bragg and Fort Carson.
Acting Secretary of the Army John Whitley also signed Army Directive 2021-16.
Officials say the directive will improve the SHARP program by "better protecting and informing victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment."
Several findings and recommendations from the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee's report will be implemented.
"While we continue our work to redesign the current program, these policy changes will help to ensure that a Soldier's report of sexual assault or sexual harassment is always met with a timely and effective response," said Whitley. "Soldiers must be confident that they can raise allegations of sexual assault or sexual harassment, quickly receive the protection they need, and be treated with dignity and respect throughout the process."
The directive includes "provisions improving the issuance of military protective orders and the process by which sexual assault victims receive case notifications."
When it comes to sexual harassment complaints, commanders must now appoint investigating officers from outside the brigade-sized elements to which the subject of the investigation is assigned.
Army Directive 2021-16 takes effect immediately and applies to the regular Army, the Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve.
Officials say the Army is working to implement each of the 70 recommendations from the independent review committee.
This story originally reported by Sydney Isenberg on KXXV.com.