Should Green Beret Who Protected Afghan Boy From Molestation Be Discharged?

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Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland’s Army career changed course during his second deployment to Afghanistan in 2011. The decorated Army sergeant who protected an Afghan boy from a child molester will find out any day whether his actions will end his career in the military.

Army Secretary John McHugh “agreed to postpone Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland’s discharge from the Army” to allow him to file an appeal with the Army Board for the Correction of Military Records. But that postponement is up.

The Green Beret admitted that he lost his cool and struck an Afghan police commander who had allegedly confessed to raping a boy and then beating the child’s mother for telling authorities. Martland served in the Special Forces for 11 years, and many of his teammates say that he is the finest soldier they have ever served alongside.

Martland had said that he had encountered corrupt police officials who were conducting beatings, honor killings and rapes that went unpunished. When he became aware of the atrocity that had befallen this child and his mother, Martland said it was too much.

In a memo to the Army Enlisted Records and Evaluation Center, Martland admitted to striking the Afghan.

Last year, amid military cuts, the Army Human Resources Command recommended Martland be discharged in part based on his disciplinary record, but an official decision by U.S. Army brass is expected by March 1.

“After acting to protect a child from sexual assault from an Afghan commander, SFC Martland was punished and could be kicked out of the military at any time,” said Jay Sekulow, of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). “What’s equally disturbing are reports that the military has allowed Afghanistan forces to sexually abuse young children on U.S. bases.”

On the ACLJ website, Sekulow wrote: “Here’s the bottom line: SFC Martland acted in compliance with U.S. and international law and should not face punishment – and ultimately expulsion – from the military. He should be commended – not castigated – for his brave actions. The fate of a U.S. war hero is at stake.”

We couldn’t agree more.

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