The Green Beret who faced separation for beating up an Afghan child rapist has said he will name a son after the congressman who had his six.
It was Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who vehemently fought to save Martland's career when the soldier was flagged for involuntary separation last year. Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland's wife is expecting twin boys, and the second one to arrive will be named Duncan Hunter Martland, Army Times has learned, to honor Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.
"I am extremely thankful for your help over the course of the last nine months and giving me the opportunity to continue to serve. If it was not for your leadership, my career would be over. My wife an I can never thank you enough," Martland wrote to Hunter, a former Marine.
The soldier's wife is due in July. His first-born son will be named Konrad (they're undecided on the middle name).
Martland has admitted he lost his cool on his 2011 deployment to Konduz province, Afghanistan. That's when he and his captain struck an Afghan local police officer — one who had allegedly confessed to raping a boy and then beating the child's mother for telling authorities. Martland said that he and the detachment commander, Capt. Daniel Quinn, received a "relief for cause" from that 2011 deployment for the assault, according to documentation provided to Army Times.
Last year, the blemish in Martland's NCO evaluation report from that incident flagged the soldier for involuntary separation. With the help of Hunter, he fought the Army, and the service last month decided the soldier could remain in uniform and continue serving in Special Forces.
Martland in his letter thanked Hunter for bringing attention to sexual assault against young boys in Afghanistan.
Other reports have noted that American service members often find themselves powerless to stop abuse, even when it's plainly known to be occurring, whether for cultural, political or other reasons. Troops don't have police powers to enforce Afghan laws, and their reports of the incidents, some have said, often result in no action.
"My Special Forces ODA team members and I were extremely disturbed by the lack of justice in several Afghan sexual assaults. I believe the national attention you have brought to this issue will help reduce sexual assaults in Afghanistan and bring a much more serious policy towards how the US deals with sexual assaults committed by all host nation forces," Martland wrote.