Captain Matt Golsteyn risked his life in the face of intense enemy fire to save other soldiers. He is a hero. In 2011 he was awarded the Silver Star, the third highest military award for bravery. He was then recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest military award for bravery. However, the Army began an investigation after accusations of wrongdoing by Captain Golsteyn and others surfaced. After investigating the allegations for several years, the Army closed the investigation without bringing charges against Golsteyn or any other soldier.
The Army is not going to award Golsteyn, now a Major, the Distinguished Service Cross. In fact, the Secretary of the Army has just revoked Matt Golsteyn’s Siver Star. Yes, the one he was already awarded back in 2011. In doing so, the Secretary of the Army has cited the investigation as the reason for the revocation. This is one of the more offensive and insulting actions taken by the military’s top leadership. We send our warriors off to fight a war in a dangerous, confusing and hostile environment. We tell him to kill as many of the enemy as possible, be aggressive, and strike fear in the hearts of the enemy. Yet at the same time, we limit our warriors with unrealistic rules of engagement and are ready to throw them under the bus whenever someone raises an eyebrow or doesn’t like the way our warriors fight. We are quick to court-martial our warriors and then use the power of the government to try and throw them in confinement for years or the rest of their lives. The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.
Major Matt Golsteyn is a decorated Green Beret and one of the true heroes in our armed forces. And while maybe we should be grateful that he is not facing charges for war crimes, it is unconscionable that the Army is stripping him of a medal for true valor and courage in the face of real danger. Perhaps the Secretary of the Army, along with a bunch of generals, should pull a tour in Afghanistan running patrols himself instead of making such decisions while sitting in a desk in Washington DC. Only then will he maybe understand the decisions and actions by our real warriors on the ground.
Our servicemembers do not trust the leadership at the top. A recent survey by Military Times showed that only 27% of our servicemembers believe that the top leadership has their best interests in mind. This is a significant loss of trust of the very men and women who order our warriors into battle. Just a few years ago, this percentage was much higher. Anyone serving in today’s armed forces has seen or felt this betrayal. On one hand, a commander will give some motivational speech to his men and women to do their best and that they will be backed up if anyone makes an accusation. However, if such an accusation does arise, those same commanders go scurrying for cover and are quick to charge those same warriors with crimes lest they be held responsible themselves. No wonder there is such a loss in trust in confidence by our enlisted members and junior officers.
If you find yourself being charged with war crimes or any offense arising from a combat zone, you need a military lawyer who will take the government and its highest leaders to the task. You need an aggressive defense attorney who is not afraid of threats or pressure coming from senior officers or officials. Call the Law Firm of Colby Vokey PC.