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BREAKING: Army Starts Proceedings to Kick Golsteyn Out of Military

Separations proceedings begun on same day Congressman publishes article highlighting case

Major Matt Golsteyn in Afghanistan, April 2010
• February 9, 2015 2:16 pm

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Separations proceedings were initiated against Army Major Matt Golsteyn on the same day that Congressman Duncan Hunter (R., Calif.) published an article in the Daily Beast highlighting Golsteyn's case, according to a letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The letter, signed by Hunter and addressed to Secretary of the Army John McHugh, states the investigation into allegations of wrongdoing by Golsteyn began on November 29, 2011, and concluded on November 24, 2013, with no charges being pressed.

Hunter's original article appeared on the the Daily Beast‘s website on Tuesday, February 3, 2015. The Army initiated proceedings to eject Golsteyn from the military the same day, the letter states.

The letter also raises questions about whether Golsteyn was offered appropriate due process in response to the decision to revoke his Silver Star made late last year, noting that, "denial of [Golsteyn's] appeal appears not to have been reviewed by the appropriate authority–underscored by the fact that Matt was notified of his record change via a system generated e-mail on January 8, 2015." Hunter goes on to ask McHugh to confirm that the appeal was reviewed by the appropriate authority and was not influenced by McHugh's office.

The letter also suggested that there had been "questionable actions" on the part of investigators during the course of the inquiry into Golsteyn, and offers to share information regarding those actions with McHugh's office.

Golsteyn had been awarded the Silver Star for actions during the Battle of Marjah on February 20, 2010. Following his return from Afghanistan, he was featured in a book by Bing West, The Wrong War, and extensively quoted making critical comments regarding U.S. policy in Afghanistan. He was notified in the fall of 2011 that he was being investigated by the Army about allegations of "an undisclosed violation of the military’s rules of engagement in combat for killing a known enemy fighter and bomb maker," as the Washington Post put the matter last Wednesday.

On Friday, the Washington Post reported that the investigation had begun "after the CIA shared information it gathered about Golsteyn while he was going through screening for a potential job."

Hunter's letter concludes by noting that "from the beginning, I have urged the Army to bring a case forward against Matt should the full scope of evidence point to a crime."

However, instead of criminal charges, Golsteyn has faced exclusively administrative actions that offer little chance for self-defense, now including the initiation of proceedings to eject him from the Army after thirteen years of service.

Disclosure: I served with Golsteyn in Afghanistan, and have written about his treatment by the Army before.

Hunter McHugh by Washington Free Beacon