As hard as it is to believe, the US Army under Barack Obama had a policy in Afghanistan of coddling child-rapists. More than coddling, actually. The policy was to let militia and police commanders who were nominally on our side have their harems of young boys (bacha bazi). Never mind that the did it on American bases, which makes it against US federal law, never mind that it was against Afghan law, never mind that not stopping it was a war crime.
Back in 2012, a couple of Army Special Forces soldiers, Captain Daniel Quinn and Sergeant First Class Charles Martland, were in some godforsaken, flyblown sh**hole in Afghanistan (yes, I know that doesn’t narrow it down very much). The local Afghan police commander had taken to abducting young boys for his harem. Parents had complained to Quinn and Martland. They complained to their commander who was too busy thinking of career enhancing ways to include transgenders in Special Forces to worry about such piddly-sh** as child rape, war crimes, and the way this NAMBLA-chapter-president wannabe was damaging relations with the villagers the Army needed to fight the Taliban. They beat the guy’s ass. (I have a couple of good posts, or they are good IMO, on the subject here | here)
Quinn was relieved for cause. With an officer this means your career is over. Quinn eventually resigned before the grim reaper of a promotion or suitability board took him out. Martland suddenly showed up on a list of soldiers to be considered for involuntary discharge under the Army’s Qualitative Management Program (QMP). This is a program designed to get rid of deadwood in the senior NCO ranks but it can be used against anyone. With the Army going through a reduction in force, just having your name on the list was a career death warrant. Martland was supposed to be discharged in November.
Martland didn’t go easy. News media and members of Congress started questioning the commonsense of anyone who would support the barbaric practice of child-rape. He appealed his discharge to the Army Board for the Correction of Military Records (ABCMR):
In a stunning reversal, the U.S. Army decided late Thursday to retain a decorated Green Beret it had planned to kick out after he physically confronted a local Afghan commander accused of raping a boy over the course of many days.
An Army spokesman said Thursday that Martland’s status has been changed, allowing him to stay in the Army in a statement to Fox News.
“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,” said Lt. Col. Jerry Pionk.
What happened was that Martland’s legal team made a compelling case to the ABCMR that part of the efficiency report that Martland received in Afghanistan, the one that caused him to end up in the cross-hairs of the QMP, was in error. They removed that part from his record. Then they reviewed the record in light of the standard used to recommend soldiers for the QMP and determined that he should not have been selected for the QMP.
The shame is that Martland is obviously a top quality non-commissioned officer. He went from enlisting to a senior NCO (SFC or E-7) in less than ten years. That is exceptional. Even though he survived this attack on his career, the attack was carried out by senior Special Forces officers and Martland will continue to serve with/around them for the rest of his career. While they will probably be reticent about taking another run at discharging him, you can nearly bet he has seen his last promotion.