The U.S. Army has decided not to discharge a decorated Green Beret for striking a local Afghan police commander accused of repeatedly raping a 12-year-old boy, Fox News has learned.
Sgt 1st Class Charles Martland has confirmed to Fox News the Army’s decision not to kick him out.
“I am real thankful for being able to continue to serve,” the decorated Green Beret told the news outlet. “I appreciate everything Congressman Duncan Hunter [R-CA] and his Chief of Staff, Joe Kasper did for me.”
In 2011, Sgt. Martland and Capt. Daniel Quinn were reprimanded after they confronted the Afghan police chief, who is also accused of beating the boy’s mother when she complained about her son being sexually abused.
Quinn eventually left the Army, but Martland has been fighting to continue his career after 11 years in the service, three war deployments, and a Bronze Star for valor in combat.
Rep. Hunter, a Marine veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, has pushed back against the Army’s decision to discharge Martland.
“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,” notes Fox News.
In a statement to Fox News issued on Thursday, an Army spokesman confirmed that Martland has been allowed to continue his career in the U.S. military.
“In SFC Martland’s case, the Army Board for Correction of Military Records determination modified a portion of one of SFC Martland’s evaluation reports and removed him from the QMP list, which will allow him to remain in the Army,” reportedly said Lt. Col. Jerry Pionk.
Quinn welcomed the Army’s decision to retain Martland, according to Fox News.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) was involved in the campaign to save Martland’s Army career.
“The decision by the Army to retain this hero is long overdue and represents a significant victory for SFC Martland,” Fox News quoted Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ, as saying. “Justice has been served. The U.S. military has a moral obligation to stop child sexual abuse and exonerate SFC Martland for defending a child from rape. The Army finally took the corrective action needed and this is not only a victory for SFC Martland, but for the American people as well.”
“The Army did the right thing and we won — the American people, won,” Rep. Duncan told Fox News. “Martland is who we want out there.”
In the wake of the Martland scandal, some U.S. service members told the New York Times that they were told by the U.S. command in Afghanistan to ignore the widespread rape of children by Afghan soldiers and police officers.