/Fort Hood soldier found dead behind barracks, investigation underway

Fort Hood soldier found dead behind barracks, investigation underway

Officials identified the soldier as 26-year-old Spc. Maxwell Hockin.

A 26-year-old Fort Hood soldier was found dead Saturday behind his barracks, according to military officials.

The soldier was identified as Spc. Maxwell Hockin, who was assigned to 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. He entered the Army in March 2017 as a combat engineer, Fort Hood officials said Wednesday.

Hockin had been at the Texas base since July 2017, where he was assigned to the 91st Engineer Battalion.

“The entire Saber family is devastated by the loss of our true teammate and friend Specialist Maxwell Hockin,” Lt. Col. Patrick Sullivan, commander, 91st Engineer Battalion, said in a statement Wednesday. “He had an outstanding work ethic, was a mentor to his peers, and was always willing to help out the team. He will truly be missed. Our thoughts and our prayers are with Maxwell’s family during this difficult time.”

Hockin’s awards and decorations include the Army Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon, officials said.

The incident is under investigation by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.

Saber’s death is among multiple incidents at the Texas base in recent years.

Last week, there were concerns for Pfc. Jennifer Sewell, who was believed to be missing after she failed to report for duty on Oct. 7. Fort Hood officials said in an update Sunday that “Sewell’s family confirmed she is safe and with extended family.” She returned to the base Monday.

Fort Hood is the same Army base where Vanessa Guillen was murdered in April 2020, in a case that engrossed the nation.

Guillen, 20, was bludgeoned to death with a hammer in an arms room on April 22, 2020, authorities said. She was missing for months until some of her remains were found buried along the Leon River in June 2020.

Her suspected killer was fellow soldier Spc. Aaron Robinson, who took his own life when confronted by police after her remains were discovered, authorities said at the time.

Her death cast a harsh spotlight on the base and its culture, particularly for its handling of sexual assault and harassment, as she told her family that she had been harassed at the base. A long-awaited U.S. Army investigation released in April determined she had been sexually harassed by a supervisor, but the incidents of harassment were not related to her murder.

In December 2020, the Army announced 14 senior leaders and enlisted personnel at Fort Hood were fired or suspended following an independent panel’s review of the command climate and culture at the base.

Last week, the base unveiled the People First Center, a training center for support and resources for victims of sexual assault or those experiencing suicidal thoughts.