In Dramatic Reversal, Army Retains Green Beret Who Roughed Up Child Rapist in Afghanistan

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Apr 29, 2016 7:30 AM
In Dramatic Reversal, Army Retains Green Beret Who Roughed Up Child Rapist in Afghanistan

The Army on Thursday announced its decision to retain Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland, who was ordered discharged last year after he roughed up a local Afghan police commander for repeatedly raping a little boy and then beating his mother.

Outrage against the Army’s actions rightfully ensued after the incident, since the Green Beret had served honorably for more than 11 years and most would argue that taking a stand against a child rapist was the right thing to do, morally speaking.

But, his actions came at a time when U.S. soldiers were being told to ignore rampant sexual abuse of young children by our Afghan allies because “it’s their culture.”

Now, however, the Army has issued a stunning reversal.

Fox News has the details:

Sgt 1st Class Charles Martland, confirmed the Army's decision to retain him when reached by Fox News, who has been covering the story in depth for the past eight months and first broke the story of the Army's decision in August to kick out Martland over the incident, which occurred in northern Afghanistan in 2011.  […]

As first reported by Fox News, while deployed to Kunduz Province, Afghanistan, Martland and his team leader confronted a local police commander in 2011 accused of raping an Afghan boy and beating his mother. When the man laughed off the incident, they shoved him to the ground.

Martland and his team leader were later removed from the base, and eventually sent home from Afghanistan. The U.S. Army has not confirmed the specifics of Martland's separation from service citing privacy reasons, but a “memorandum of reprimand” from October 2011 obtained by Fox News makes clear that Martland was criticized by the brass for his intervention after the alleged rape. Asked for comment inSeptember 2015, an Army spokesman reiterated, "the U.S. Army is unable to confirm the specifics of his separation due to the Privacy Act." 

An Army spokesman said Thursday that Martland's status has been changed, allowing him to stay in the Army in a statement to Fox News. 

"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."

Hunter was very outspoken in support of Martland, writing a letter to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter defending the Green Beret and even introducing legislation that would empower U.S. troops to block sexual abuse on foreign soil.

"The Army did the right thing and we won--the American people, won," Hunter told Fox News. "Martland is who we want out there."