Army won't discharge Green Beret who beat up accused child rapist

Army won't discharge Green Beret who beat up accused child rapist
© Greg Nash

A Green Beret who was facing discharge for his role in beating up an alleged Afghan child rapist will be allowed to stay in the Army.

Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland was facing discharge under a process known as the Qualitative Management Program (QMP), which involuntarily ejects soldiers with marks on their records from the service. Martland was given a mark for his role in beating up an Afghan police commander who was accused of kidnapping a young boy and raping him repeatedly.

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Martland appealed the discharge. After reviewing the appeal, the Army Board for Correction of Military Records decided to remove Martland from the QMP list, said Lt. Col. Jerry Pionk, an Army spokesman.

“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,” Pionk said in a written statement.

Martland’s case became the face of an alleged Pentagon policy that encouraged American troops to look the other way when Afghan police and militia officials sexually assaulted children. U.S. troops were allegedly punished when they did report the abuse.

Two inspectors general are in the process of investigating the allegations. Defense Department officials have repeatedly denied any such policy exists.

Martland had a slew of supporters in Congress who urged the Army to reverse course on the discharge.

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) commended the decision to keep Martland in the Army but said it took too long.

“While the Pentagon’s refusal to correct this injustice quickly was troubling, I’m glad that he will be able to continue serving our country in uniform,” Buchanan said in a written statement Friday. “Sgt. Martland’s actions to stop an Afghan rapist from abusing children in 2011 warranted appreciation, not punishment. We need to make sure this never happens again.”