The Army on April 28 reversed its decision to dismiss a decorated Green Beret soldier who physically confronted an Afghan police commander for raping a young boy.
In 2011, Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland and his detachment commander, Capt. Danny Quinn, confronted an Afghan Local Police commander who admitted to raping a young boy repeatedly over several days. When the commander laughed in their faces, Quinn and Martland admitted to physically picking him up and throwing him outside the compound.
Martland learned last August that, as a result of the 2011 incident and his subsequent official reprimand, he would be placed in the Army’s Qualitative Management Program (QMP) and involuntarily separated from the military. But the Army’s Human Resources Command officially changed his status, allowing him to remain on active duty.
“In SFC Martland’s case, the Army Board for Correction of Military Records determination modified a portion of one of SFC Martland’s evaluation reports and removed him from the QMP list, which will allow him to remain in the Army,” Army spokesman Lt. Col. Jerry Pionk said in an email to Fox News.
Martland’s case drew support from organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which spearheaded a letter-writing campaign and a petition targeting Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Acting Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy.
“The decision by the Army to retain this hero is long overdue and represents a significant victory for SFC Martland,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for ACLJ. “Justice has been served. The U.S. military has a moral obligation to stop child sexual abuse and exonerate SFC Martland for defending a child from rape.”
Political pressure may have played a role in reversing the Army’s decision. In January, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.—an Iraq War veteran and former Marine who had fought the Army’s decision to dismiss Martland—wrote a letter to Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, asking him to add Martland’s case to the hold he had already placed on Eric Fanning’s nomination as the next secretary of the Army.
“This is the absolute right decision, and I commend the Army for showing true leadership,” Hunter told The Washington Times on Thursday. “Charles did what anyone in a similar situation should do. He stood up for a defenseless child. That should never put his career in jeopardy.”
Martland himself, who fought to stay in the Army even as Quinn, his detachment commander, chose to resign, expressed gratitude for Hunter’s efforts in clearing his record and allowing him to stay in the Army.
“I am real thankful for being able to continue to serve,” Martland told Fox News. “I appreciate everything Congressman Duncan Hunter and his Chief of Staff, Joe Kasper did for me.”
Courtesy: WORLD News Service
Publication date: May 2, 2016