In a move that shocked many, the United States Army has reversed its previous decision to kick Charles Martland out of the force after he confronted and physically attacked a local police commander after it was discovered that he had raped a young Afghanistan boy.
Following the original reprimand, the Army received a lot of backlash and allegations that the move was sending the message that they discourage troops from intervening in local illegalities, even ones as terrible as sexual abuse. The local commander in question is said to have raped the boy multiple times over the course of many days. In August 2015, Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland found out that his actions had resulted in him being kicked out of the Army and has been fighting the decision ever since.
Now, Army Times reported that as of Thursday night, following a review of his case, the Army Board for Correction of Military decided that Martland can remain in the Army.
The incident originally occurred in 2011 during Charles Martland’s deployment to Kunduz Province in Northern Afghanistan. The Sgt. has admitted that he lost control of his temper when he and another member of the Army heard the confession from an Afghan local police officer. Not only did the local confess to raping the young boy numerous times, but he also admitted to beating the child’s mother when she told the authorities. However, it was when the man laughed about his crimes that the military men pushed him to the ground.
Fox News was able to contact Martland for a comment on his reinstatement and he is thrilled and grateful for all the help and support he has received.
“I am real thankful for being able to continue to serve. I appreciate everything Congressman Duncan Hunter and his Chief of Staff, Joe Kasper, did for me.”
Thus far the Army has not commented on its reason for changing the previous decision and allowing the sergeant to remain. However, it has been suggested that the explanation has to do with a technicality in the negative evaluations that were given to Martland following the September 2011 incident.
It has been said by the spokesperson from the office of California Rep. Duncan Hunter that their office found several “irregularities” with the disciplinary process he underwent. Joe Kasper, the aforementioned spokesman, said that they “were under no illusions that the Army would stand up and say Charles was right to tune up that child molester.” However, the incident shed light on a bigger issue with the United States Army and it is one that is still being scrutinized even as Martland is reinstated.
In January, the then dismissed Army sergeant wrote a memo to Hunter’s office where he admits that he and his supervisor should not have hit the Afghan Local Police commander but were moved to action due to the military’s seeming indifference.
“We already had two other ALP commanders receive no punishment from the Afghan government for the rape of a 15-year-old girl and the honor killing of a commander’s 12-year-old daughter for kissing a boy. My Detachment Commander and I felt that morally we could no longer stand by and allow our ALP to commit atrocities.”
The military’s handling of child sex abuse by Afghan authorities is now being investigated by the Pentagon’s inspector general, and the government of Afghanistan has also vowed to work harder for the prevention of child sex abuse by members of its military and police.
Both Martland and his supervisor, Capt. Dan Quinn, were recalled from Afghanistan but while Quinn left the military, Martland fought. When Hunter, who is a former Marine, became involved in the fight to reinstate the sergeant, he also drafted a bill which will allow U.S. troops to openly confront sexual abuse.
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