A decorated Green Beret who stood up for a young Afghan rape victim is being discharged by the Army. However, it is unclear whether his actions of 2011 had anything to do with losing his job with the military.
According to Fox News, 11-year veteran Special Forces Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland’s case is now being challenged by Rep. Duncan Hunter, who wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Ash Carter questioning the decision.
“I am once again dismayed by the Army’s actions in this case,” Hunter, R-California, wrote.
The Green Beret is respected and praised by colleagues, who call him one of the finest soldiers with whom they have ever served. But everything changed for Martland in 2011, during his second tour.
Martland and his team leader confronted a local police commander — who had been trained by U.S. forces with money from American taxpayers — after learning he had allegedly raped a young boy and beaten his mother when she confronted him.
The Green Beret says the Afghan policeman admitted to the assault and laughed it off, and that is when Martland and his leader physically confronted him. Hunter told Carter that what Martland did in 2011 was “the moral thing to do.”
After quitting college and enlisting in one of the U.S. military’s toughest training programs, the Special Forces Qualification Course, Martland became a sniper, combat diver, and jumpmaster following his graduation in 2006. He was later deployed to Iraq in 2008 and to Afghanistan in 2010, where he served with distinction.
The Fox News report states that during a mission in Afghanistan, the Green Beret’s unit was attacked with an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) and was ambushed by the Taliban. Martland, who was awarded a Bronze Star with Valor, reportedly rushed to the scene and put his life in danger so his fellow soldiers could retrieve sensitive information from their mangled Humvee.
“I thought he was gone, then he comes out of nowhere to save us,” said an active-duty anonymous Green Beret of Martland’s actions that day.
After months of hearing reports of rape by Afghan trainees, a boy and his mother came to the camp where the Green Beret was stationed, claiming the boy had been tied up and raped by a commander called Abdul Rahman. The boy was examined by American medics and showed them the marks left by the ties his attacker used.
“He confessed to the crime and laughed about it, and said it wasn’t a big deal. Even when we patiently explained how serious the charge was, he kept laughing,” said Daniel Quinn, team leader of the detachment. “As a man, as a father of a boy myself at the time, I felt obliged to step in to prevent further repeat occurrences.”
Rahman was bruised and battered by the end of the confrontation with the Green Berets and reported them to another Army unit in a nearby village. The next day, Martland and Quinn were taken away and an investigation was started. Both men were reassigned pending the results and were sent home ending their deployment.
The U.S. Army ordered Martland to be “involuntary discharged” from the Army by November 1, 2015. The Army would not comment on the case, citing privacy. The Green Beret, who has fought to stay in the military, continued to receive the highest scores since the 2011 incident.
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