SFC Martland gets temporary reprieve
For those who didn't read my earlier report, a short synopsis may be helpful:
Martland and his then-detachment commander admitted to attacking an Afghan local police commander in Kunduz province in 2011. Martland, a Bronze Star recipient, wants to remain in the Army. He was flagged for involuntary separation through the Army's qualitative management program because of his role in the assault. Martland was scheduled to leave service no later than Nov. 1 after 11 years in the Army.
The reason he attacked the Afghan policeman was forcible sodomy on an Afghan child, beating up the child's mom, and then laughing when approached about it. The Army rewarded him (SFC Martland) for his actions by trying to involuntarily discharge him.
So now the update:
The Green Beret getting kicked out of the Army for beating an alleged child rapist in Afghanistan has been given a 60-day reprieve, the Army said late Tuesday.
Army Secretary John McHugh "agreed to postpone Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland's discharge from the Army for 60 days to allow him to file an appeal with the Army Board for the Correction of Military Records," the Army said in a statement.
The decision was made after Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, spoke with and wrote a letter to McHugh. The decision was "out of respect for Chairman Thornberry's continued strong support for our military and his personal appeal," according to the Army statement.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican from California and former Marine, has written to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in an attempt to save Martland's career.
"Martland stood up to a child rapist," Hunter wrote. "I trust that you will give this case the attention it demands."
In a statement, Thornberry said Martland was likely caught up in the Army's so-called Quality Management Program that drew up lists of soldiers to be discharged involuntarily to meet the demands of budget cuts and the drawdown of thousands of troops.
In its response to Thornberry, the Army said it "has no choice but to reduce the size of its ranks, and the QMP process is vitally important to ensure that the Army retains only the best qualified Soldiers."
Thornberry said, "It was not until the Army was forced to shed tens of thousands of soldiers that it opened the QMP process to a population to which it would not otherwise have applied. This is the unfortunate by-product of indiscriminate cuts to our military."
"I believe the best recourse now would be to allow SFC Martland to remain in the Army long enough for him to prepare an appeal with adequate military counsel and for the Army to act on such an appeal," Thornberry said.
It's worth going back and reading my original piece to get the nuance of what is going down if you aren't familiar, but this is a complete "s___show" as we say in the military.
Senator Gillibrand of New York is also pretty upset over the whole thing:
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, told Campbell she had doubts that anything would be done to stop the sexual abuse unless U.S. troops could directly intervene rather than making a report through the chain of command.
She asked what would happen if Afghan authorities said they were going to ignore a report of sexual abuse. "I don't think they would say that," Campbell said.
He said that if mid-level Afghan authorities ignored a U.S. report on sexual abuse he would go directly to President Ghani. Campbell said he has conferred with Ghani about the problem and he has pledged to prosecute any violators.
I suspect there will be hearings, and hopefully at the end of this Martland will end up getting a promotion and the medal he so richly deserves.