A decision is imminent regarding whether Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland will be kicked out of the Army for confronting an Afghan child rapist while serving in Afghanistan in 2011.
Martland, a decorated Green Beret, was reprimanded by the Army after he retaliated against an Afghan police commander at an outpost for repeatedly raping a young boy. Martland and another soldier confronted the commander, reportedly throwing him to the ground and causing him to leave the base.
The Army Human Resources Command recently recommended that Martland be kicked out of the service, but an official decision from the Army is expected by March 1.
Some Republican members of Congress, notably former Marine officer Rep. Duncan Hunter (R., Calif.), have advocated on Martland’s behalf, arguing that he should be allowed to continue his service. Martland has spent 11 years in the U.S. special forces.
"Charles did the right thing in Afghanistan by standing up to a child rapist and corrupt commander, and now it’s the Army’s turn to do the right thing and reverse the decision to expel him from the service," Hunter told Fox News. "Permitting Charles to continue serving is in the best interest of the Army and the nation."
Martland faced a Qualitative Management Program review board last February, and the Army argued then that his actions warranted his discharge from the service. He appealed the decision, which was denied outright. Martland was allowed to resubmit an appeal, and a decision has been delayed until now.
Martland was one of several U.S. soldiers and Marines who were allegedly reprimanded for sounding the alarm on Afghan forces sexually assaulting children, according to a New York Times report last September. The commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan subsequently denied the existence of a policy directing service members to ignore suspicions of rape at the hands of Afghan forces.