Something is really broken in our military. I don’t say this lightly, since I’m an Army veteran, but something is really wrong. In September 2015, I wrote about the travesty of the rape of little children that apparently goes unaddressed in Afghanistan and ignored by the powers that be, who instruct our troops to just shut their yaps about the issue. I said then, as I believe now, that silence is unacceptable, inaction is embarrassing, and the disciplining of any troop who follows his conscience and acts to protect the innocents unconscionable!
But that’s exactly what happened with SFC Charles Martland, who admits to having… disciplined… an
Afghan police commander child raping swine for having raped a little boy.
Martland’s “reward” for having followed his ethics and conscience, and for having protected an innocent child, which is ostensibly an honorable act by all standards, was to be flagged for involuntary separation through the Army’s qualitative management program.
That’s right. Booted out of the Army for doing what any other decent human being would have done.
Martland was scheduled to leave the Army no later than Nov. 1, 2015, after 11 years in the service. In October, he was granted a 60-day reprieve by then-Army Secretary John McHugh.
McHugh agreed at the time to postpone Martland’s discharge to allow the soldier to file an appeal with the Army Board for the Correction of Military Records.
The Army had until Tuesday to determine Martland’s fate.
This latest extension to May 1, which was first reported by Foreign Policy, is “to allow consideration of his application to correct his records by the Army Board for Correction of Military Records,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson, an Army spokeswoman.
As a result, Martland “was granted further postponement of his discharge from active duty until not later than May 1, 2016,” she said.
Yes, I realize it’s another reprieve, but just the fact that he faces a discharge for doing the right thing is appalling to me!
Martland is a hero. He used force to protect an innocent child from an unspeakable horror of being sexually assaulted by a power-wielding adult!
He dedicated his life to serving and protecting his country, and he has done so with honor.
Soldiers get booted out of the military for all kinds of reasons. They may be overweight. They may not perform their duties to standard. They may not pass their physical fitness test. They may have had disciplinary infractions.
Martland was not one of them. He was, by all accounts, an exemplary NCO, and he did what any decent human being would do. The fact that he is being put through this garbage is outrageous and unjust.
At a time when experienced officers are retiring, and the Army is reducing troop numbers, wouldn’t it make sense to retain the best of the best?