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more on the special forces sgt.

Posted by WANKA @ 20:12 on October 10, 2015  

Florida Keys News – Key West Citizen

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Army delays controversial discharge of dive instructor


The Army is delaying the discharge of a decorated Special Forces combat dive instructor who is getting kicked out of the Army for shoving an Afghan commander who reportedly confessed to raping a boy in 2011.

Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland has been a dive instructor at the Special Forces Underwater Operations School on Fleming Key since 2012. A year prior, he was with a Special Forces team on deployment in the Konduz province, Afghanistan, when he confronted an Afghan police commander who confessed to raping a 12-year-old boy and then beating the child’s mother when she told authorities, according to the Army Times.

Witness accounts state Martland and his detachment commander, Army Special Forces Capt. Daniel Quinn, both confronted the police commander, but Martland reportedly shoved the local police commander after he laughed and confessed to the rape and beating.

The delay followed intervention on Martland’s behalf from Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, who has a reputation for being a strong advocate for service members.

“Out of respect for Chairman Thornberry’s continued strong support for our military, and his personal appeal, Army Secretary McHugh has agreed to postpone Sgt. First Class Martland’s discharge from the Army for 60 days to allow him to file an appeal with the Army Board for the Correction of Military Records,” reads a statement sent to The Citizen from Army officials at the Pentagon on Thursday.

Officials at the Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School public affairs office at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, referred the matter to Pentagon officials. The JFK Special Warfare Center and School oversees operations at the Special Forces dive school in Key West.

Special Forces Underwater Operations School commanding officer Maj. Josh Eaton declined to comment, and stated his command staff also cannot comment.

Martland has been a standout soldier throughout his career and was the runner-up for the 2014 Special Warfare Training Group Instructor of the Year from a pool of 400 senior leaders in Special Forces.

Martland’s discharge falls under a bureaucratic program in the Army called the Qualitative Management Program, a review process that can be triggered if a soldier does something wrong. The military claims the program is not a back-door way to downsize the Army, but “it is aiding in force reduction efforts by weeding out less desirable soldiers,” according to Army Times reports.

Anyone with a black mark on their record can be dismissed from the service as per the program.

“As Chairman Thornberry noted, the Army has no choice but to reduce the size of its ranks, and the QMP process is vitally important to ensure that the Army retains only the best qualified soldiers,” the Army’s statement to The Citizen reads. “While the material in Martland’s file required that he be considered by the QMP board, it is our desire to ensure every soldier receives fairness and due process and we continue to act accordingly.”

Martland was deployed to Iraq in 2008 and also to Afghanistan in 2010. During his 2010 deployment, Martland was awarded a Bronze Star with Valor for exposing himself to enemy fire after jumping into the turret of a Humvee damaged by a roadside bomb and returning fire while helping his teammates gather equipment, according to a Military.com article.

The same article states Martland was also “praised” in an evaluation by Gen. David Petraeus, then commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan.

Martland was a standout football player who played at Florida State before leaving to join the Army. He graduated from the Special Forces qualification course at Fort Bragg in 2006 and completed the Combat Dive Qualification Course in Key West several years thereafter.

The allegations against the Afghan commander concerned the ancient Afghan practice of “bacha bazi,” which literally means “boy play,” in which Afghans in authority take young boys as virtual sex slaves, according to a Military.com article.

In a letter obtained by the Army Times, Martland said he and his team had seen Afghan police officers beating, conducting honor killings and raping villagers and not being punished.

“My detachment commander and I felt that morally we could no longer stand by and allow our (Afghan allies) to commit atrocities,” Martland reportedly said in the letter.



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Post by the Golden Rule. Oasis not responsible for content/accuracy of posts. DYODD.