An American soldier is in serious trouble for trying to rescue a 12-year old boy who was being repeatedly raped on a U.S. military base, and despite pleas from local congressman Duncan Hunter to act, Defense Secretary Ash Carter so far has failed to do anything for the soldier, Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland.
Instead, Sgt. Martland is being forced into leaving the Army by November 1 for confronting the child rapist, according to reports in various online organizations, including the StarsandStripes. Local congressman, Rep. Duncan Hunter, has been pleading with Defense Secretary Ash Carter to do his part, but as of yet nothing has been done on behalf of the soldier. (See Hunter’s letter to Carter at Foxnews.)
The fact that Defense Secretary Carter, just last April, wrote out a message for the troops and asked every American soldier to do his or her part and “eliminate sexual assault,” seems to underscore the fact that the troops who know about such assaults must then be expected to act and not look the other way.
The speech, titled “Eliminate Sexual Assault: Know Your Part. Do Your Part” included this:
“The values of honor and trust are the lifeblood of our military, and every act of sexual assault directly undermines those values. So too does every act of retaliation against those who report these crimes.” (Sec. Carter, 2015.)
‘Last place a sexual offender wants to be‘
Secretary Carter likely did not mean that this message was only going to be in force during Sexual Awareness month, as he had much more to say to troops. “[I]t is the responsibility of every servicemember to help make our military the last place a sexual offender wants to be. Together, we must assure an environment where sexual assault is neither condoned nor ignored; we must reinforce a culture of prevention, accountability, dignity, and respect throughout our ranks; and we must advocate for and staunchly support all who courageously report this crime.
Carter expected his troops to “lead boldly” and ended his speech by commanding every member of the military to “… know our part, do our part, and keep doing whatever it takes to eliminate sexual assault…”
Perhaps Secretary Carter will respond to Rep. Hunter’s plea on behalf of soldiers who are responding boldly as directed, but according to the Stripes article, Sgt. Martland is being told he does not even merit an appeal. Corey Dickstein writes this: “… Sgt. Martland, who has been fighting to stay in military, was reportedly told by the U.S. Army Human Resources Command that he ‘does not meet the criteria’ for an appeal.”