A decorated Green Beret being forced out of the military in a matter of months was taken to task in 2011 by a top Army general for confronting an accused Afghan rapist, according to an official reprimand obtained by Fox News – bolstering claims he is being discharged over the incident.
Fox News first reported last week that Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland is being kicked out, and that his supporters suspect it is because of his actions standing up for a young Afghan rape victim. This has outraged his colleagues, as well as Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who calls it a “black mark” for the U.S. Army and wants Defense Secretary Ash Carter to reverse the decision.
The October 2011 “memorandum of reprimand” obtained by Fox News indeed makes clear that Martland was blasted by the brass for his intervention after the alleged rape.
In the memo, Brig. Gen. Christopher Haas, then-commander of Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command Afghanistan, accused Martland and his Green Beret team leader of a “flagrant departure from the integrity, professionalism and even-tempered leadership” expected of Special Forces soldiers.
“Your behavior is inexcusable and incompatible with the high standards of performance, military discipline and operational readiness of Special Forces,” the memo states.
This, because Martland and Capt. Daniel Quinn shoved an Afghan local police commander, Abdul Rahman, after an investigation implicated him in the rape of a 12-year-old Afghan boy.
The boy allegedly had been assaulted for 7-10 days while chained to a bed, Quinn told Fox News' Megyn Kelly. Quinn and Martland confronted Rahman after learning he also allegedly beat the boy’s mother for reporting the crime. Rahman apparently confessed but then “laughed about it,” after which the Green Berets reportedly shoved him to the ground.
Another witness has since come forward defending the Green Berets’ actions.
The witness, a cultural adviser and linguist who was in Kunduz, Afghanistan, where the incident took place, told Fox News that Rahman faked his injuries after the confrontation with the Americans.
“Everything is a lie. He only had a minor scratch,” said the linguist, who asked to remain anonymous.
Martland is an 11-year Green Beret veteran of three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The linguist said the Americans were the mother’s “last hope” as she couldn’t go to the local authorities.
“The mother was persuaded to go to the Green Beret base to seek American help,” the source said.
He said the provincial police chief even sided with the Green Berets in the incident, and was “furious” when he learned the Army sent Martland and Quinn home from Afghanistan.
The linguist said the Kunduz provincial governor liked the Green Berets and was sorry to see them go.
When asked why Rahman was never arrested, despite the Afghans taking the side of the Americans, the linguist called it a “politically sensitive” situation since Rahman was Uzbek.
“To put Abdul Rahman in jail would mean a lot of chaos. It would send a bad signal to [the] Uzbek community because of the conflicting political loyalties,” he said.
In February 2015, the Army conducted a "Qualitative Management Program" review board. Martland’s supporters suspect because Martland had a "relief for cause" evaluation in his service record, the U.S. Army ordered Martland to be "involuntary discharged" by Nov. 1, 2015. Martland has since been fighting to stay in the Army.
When asked about Gen. Haas’ memo, the U.S. Army did not return a request for comment. Reached for comment last week, an Army spokesman could not confirm the specifics of Martland's separation from service due to privacy reasons.
When Fox News read aloud the 2011 reprimand memo about the incident claiming the Green Berets lacked “integrity,” the linguist expressed shock.
“That is bulls---,” he said.
Hunter says the “incident that was seriously misrepresented by Army leadership, without even taking into account the moral necessity to intervene—is now the determining factor in SFC Martland’s career.”