The U.S. Army has reversed a decision to discharge a locally championed Green Beret for "body slamming" an Afghani police commander officer accused of raping a boy. Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland will be allowed to continue to serve at least through the end of his enlistment after an Army board on Wednesday determined that his personnel file contained an “error or injustice,” according to Stars and Stripes.
“For everyone who fought for this, thank you,” said Del. Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper. “This was not only important for Sgt. 1st Class Martland and his family. It was important to every serviceman and woman who when far away from home has wondered if the American people still care. The answer is yes.” A former Green Beret himself, Freitas took up Martland’s cause in February, delivering an impassioned speech on the floor of the statehouse that went on to be viewed online by more than a million.
Martland has maintained the only blemish on his personnel record is an October 2011 “memorandum of reprimand,” issued by Brig. Gen. Christopher K. Haas, then-commander of the Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command in Afghanistan, according to the Army Times. The reprimand was issued after Martland and his commander hit a local police leader in September 2011 while deployed to a remote Afghani combat outpost. The Green Beret shoved and slammed Abdul Rahman into the ground after he’d admitted to chaining a 12-year-old boy and sexually assaulting him repeatedly for several days, according to the Army Times. Martland was relieved of duty and sent back to the U.S. for his actions that Hass wrote were “the intentional assault” of Rahman. (Star-Exponent)
I was not aware of this case until a few days ago. I don’t know how I missed it. My point in posting this now is to beseech all members of this committee of correspondence and all those who visit SST to view the speech made by Delegate Nick Freitas on the floor of the Virginia Statehouse last February on the behalf of SFC Charles Martland. Freitas is a former Special Forces NCO. In his five minute speech, he captures the essence of the case and the essence of what it means to be a Green Beret.
For more background on this incident and the aftermath, review the Army Times articles linked below. Anything further I have to say on this will be in the comments.