The brigade commander of Fort Bliss' 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division has been relieved of command following an investigation that found multiple violations of Army regulations and policies, post officials said Wednesday.
Based on the results of an investigation, Maj. Gen. Pat White, commanding general of the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss, officially relieved Col. Earl B. Higgins Jr. of command Sept. 13 for a "lack of trust and confidence in Higgins' ability to command."
The investigation, which was initiated several weeks ago following allegations of the violations, was conducted by an officer senior to Higgins.
"Our soldiers deserve the best leadership the Army can provide," White said. "Based on the findings of the investigation, and in the best interest of the soldiers of Ready First Brigade, I made the decision to relieve Col. Higgins of duty."
The investigation concluded that Higgins committed multiple violations of the Army's Sexual Harassment and Equal Opportunity regulations and policies; created a hostile work environment; and failed to treat subordinates with dignity and respect.
Higgins is accused of making inappropriate comments which created a hostile work environment.
Lt. Col. Stephen Phillips, commander of the 1-36 Infantry Battalion will serve as the acting brigade commander until the Army appoints a replacement for Higgins.
Col. Higgins is currently performing administrative duties under the supervision of the 1st Armored Division chief of staff.
According to the Army Times, Higgins is a graduate of The Citadel, where he was commissioned as an infantry officer, according to his official biography, which has since been removed from the brigade's website.
He has served in the 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Cavalry Division and 3rd Infantry Division. He's also deployed to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, he commanded the 172nd Brigade's 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (two oak leaf clusters), Meritorious Service Medal (three oak leaf clusters), Ranger Tab, Senior Parachutist Badge and Combat Infantryman Badge.