At this point most know the story of SFC Charles Martland. He’s the Special Forces soldier that beat and physically evicted the commander of an Afghan Local Police (ALP) unit who laughed and admitted he raped a boy from the post his Special Forces team was on. Martland and his lesser known commander Captain Dan Quinn who initiated the “wall locker counseling” on Abdul Rahman were relieved and received General Officer Letters of Reprimand (LOR). Quinn was also instrumental in the case of an allied commander who raped a 14 year old girl. In that case the commander was “forced” to marry the girl.
Being relieved of your command is a career stopper for an officer, an LOR which is just as serious was whipped cream. Quinn left the service. Martland decided to continue to serve. As a SFC Martland would at least be allowed to reach 20 years of service and secure a pension though he would likely never be given the best assignments with a relief and LOR in his record.
That’s true until the Army reestablished its Quality Management Program (QMP), a program designed to separate soldiers who were “at risk” for continued service because of “bad paper” in their file. While sounding like a common sense approach, the program is often used to cut numbers during drawdowns where an administrative action form a decade ago can overshadow distinguished service. Martland was identified as an “at risk” soldier and notified that he would be separated.
Senator Duncan Hunter has been defending Martland. He recently wrote a letter to Senator Pat Roberts who is blocking the appointment of Eric Fanning to Secretary of the Army over concern that the President will unilaterally close Gitmo. Duncan asked Roberts to also consider Martland’s case in his consideration of Fanning’s nomination. Duncan reiterated much of what’s above adding that Abdul Rahman exaggerated his injuries and that Army Human Resources Command has upheld the Army decision to separate Martland.
“De Opresso Liber” is the motto of the Army’s Special Forces. It means “to liberate the oppressed.” The larger Army, whose motto is “This We’ll Defend” seems to be on final approach in regards to the decision to separate Martland. Neither organization is doing their mottos justice.