A Green Beret is being involuntarily discharged because he shoved an Afghan police he was training when he found he was a child-rapist and woman-beater.
How would you react if you found that a man you were training for an important job in government used his authority to rape a boy and then beat up the mother when she reported him? How would you respond if you confronted him and he laughed that you would even care about such a small thing?
Let me change focus slightly and ask the question a different way.
What kind of person do you want serving overseas wearing the uniform of the United States military—one who turns a blind eye to child rape or one who gets angry about it?
Change focus again and think about one other question: What does it say about our military that they don’t want to keep a decorated soldier because he shoved a child rapist who was laughing about it?
Fox News reported: “Army kicking out decorated Green Beret who stood up for Afghan rape victim.”
The U.S. Army is kicking out a decorated Green Beret after an 11-year Special Forces career, after he got in trouble for shoving an Afghan police commander accused of raping a boy and beating up his mother when she reported the incident.
The case of Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland now has the attention of Congress, with Rep. Duncan Hunter writing to Defense Secretary Ash Carter challenging the decision.
“I am once again dismayed by the Army’s actions in this case,” Hunter, R-Calif., wrote in a letter to Carter.
Martland is described by many of his teammates as the finest soldier they have ever served alongside.
But his Army career changed course during his second deployment to Afghanistan in 2011. After learning an Afghan boy was raped and his mother beaten, Martland and his team leader confronted a local police commander they had trained, armed and paid with U.S. taxpayer dollars. When the man laughed off the incident, they physically confronted him.
I fear this incident is but a tiny sample of the compromises our government and military made in Afghanistan. We can only wonder how many others have been punished or pressured for wanting to do the right thing. From setting up fake schools for PR purposes in the country to overlooking the crimes of the police we were training, our occupation of Afghanistan was (is?) highly problematic.
I understand that soldiers need to obey orders. But if they have disciplined him, that issue has been dealt with. The larger consideration that worries me is what kind of soldiers does the military want.
I want American warriors to feel in their bones that they are called to protect the weak and oppose predators.
What kind of soldiers do our military leaders and our politicians want?