Tag Archives: Djibouti

Woman Writes Letter to General Who Made Decision to Prosecute Soldier-Brother on Sexual Assault Allegations

Today, in my continuing effort to expose the injustice surrounding the prosecution of Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin, I share the text of a letter written by Juliet Andes, a sister of the Army Ranger and attack helicopter pilot who stands falsely accused of sexual assault and other crimes by the woman he long considered his “legal” wife. Why do I share this letter now? Because Major Martin is set to go on trial Oct. 12 Dec. 1 inside a military courtroom at Fort Campbell, Ky., unless the effort can be shut down before it begins.

Army Maj. Christian "Kit" Martin is shown with two of his nephews in this 2012 photo.

Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin is shown with two of his nephews in this 2012 his sister, Juliet, included in her letter June 19, 2014, letter to then-Brig. Gen. Mark R. Stammer.

Dated June 19, 2014, the letter was sent to then-Brig. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, the man who was serving as acting commanding general and senior officer at the post that’s home of the vaunted 101st Airborne Division, before he received a promotion to major general and assumed command of Africa Command’s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa at Camp Lemonnier in the East African nation of Djibouti.

Why did the North Carolina woman send the letter to General Stammer? Because he’s the man who appears to have completely ignored the findings of multiple military and civilian agency investigations before deciding to press forward with the prosecution of Major Martin.

And why did General Stammer ignore those findings and opt for prosecution? One can only suspect General Stammer’s decision resulted from his desires: (1) to satisfy his superiors at the Pentagon who are under intense political pressure to prosecute any and all sexual assault allegations, regardless of any facts that surface; and (2) to earn a coveted second star.

The text of the letter from Major Martin’s sister to General Stammer appears below:

Dear General Stammer,

First, thank you for taking time to read this letter. I am writing to you as a mother, a daughter and a sister. I will try to keep it brief to respect your time, as I know you are a very busy man. I would like to begin by thanking you for your faithful and selfless service to our country, and for being a man committed to family values and doing the right thing. As a very busy working mother of 3 small children under the age of 6, I appreciate what it takes to command and lead, although my “army” is much smaller than yours. I am writing you in regards to my brother, Maj. Christian Martin. He is one of your men, a decorated veteran and also a man of strong faith and family values. He has served this country and your Army honorably. He is also in very big trouble. Perhaps my brother’s biggest fault is one of the things that make him a great soldier. He is a rescuer.

Several years ago, against strong reservations from our family, my brother met a woman online who told him she was a victim of abuse and he instantly came to her aid. He found her and her 3 children a safe place to live and married her a short time later (The marriage was just nullified by a Court of law as she was still married to her previous spouse). To make a long story short and spare you the gory details, years later my brother had finally had enough and asked for a divorce. The first words of of this woman’s mouth were “I’m going to ruin your career” and she has succeeded. My brother now finds himself facing a court marshal for a slew of disgusting charges that sicken me, as a mother, to even name. This woman, who hasn’t worked since she met my brother, has no integrity and was reprimanded in a civilian court for coaching her children to lie, is now not only victimizing my brother, but my family, my children (who adore their Uncle) and my aging parents. My brother has passed every test the Army has given him concerning these charges with flying colors, please; I beg of you, give him five minutes of your time to just hear his side of the story. The facts of the case speak for themselves, he has been found innocent on all charges in a civilian court of law. This has been going on for over two years and he needs help. Please stand by your soldier, give him the benefit of the doubt and give him a chance to defend his name and his honor when he’s spent so many years of his life defending ours.

I will end on a personal note if I can. We come from a long line of public servants; our father is a Vietnam veteran with 30 years of service, my sister a retired nurse in the Air Force. My twin sister and I are both local government employees who try to make a positive difference in this world. We are proud people of service and integrity. This woman has lied to my family about everything from having cancer (my parents are both cancer survivors) to being the first woman to climb Mt. Hood. She is not well. I worry for her children, whom my family loved as our own. The charges she has made to the military are vulgar and baseless and they are also very serious. As a mother and a woman, I am perhaps most offended by her abuse of the system. There are real women and children who experience this kind of unthinkable abuse everyday and taking that pain and cheapening it by using it in an untruthful way to exact revenge is the work of a very sick and disturbed person.

I appreciate your time and your commitment to your men, your Army and family. All I’m asking for is a voice for my brother. The facts will speak for themselves. I sincerely hope this letter lands on your desk and not in the waste bin. I feel helpless, frustrated, sad and scared. I want to raise my children in a just world, where their superheroes do save the day. Please, give my brother a chance to defend himself and make that happen.

“We’re going to focus on taking care of our people….” — Fort Campbell Courier, March, 2013.

Sincerely and respectfully,

Juliet Andes

To learn more about this case, read my Sept. 4 piece, Army Soldier-Aviator Faces Possible 58-Year Sentence As Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Witch Hunt Seeks New Victim, and the other follow-up pieces I’ve written and published.

If, after reading about Major Martin’s case and watching the related videos, you find yourself in a state of disbelief or, perhaps, anger, I encourage you to channel those feelings by contacting any of the individuals listed below:

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer
c/o CJTF-HOA Public Affairs Office
Phone: +253 21-359-523
Email: africom.cldj.cjtf-hoa.mbx.public-affairs@mail.mil

Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky
c/o 101st Airborne Division
Bldg. 2700, Indiana Avenue
Fort Campbell, KY 42223
(270) 798-3025
usarmy.campbell.93-sig-bde.list.public-website@mail.mil

Mr. Ashton Carter
Secretary of Defense
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400
https://kb.defense.gov/app/ask

Mr. Jon T. Rymer
Inspector General
U. S. Department of Defense
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22350-1500

John M. McHugh
Secretary of the Army
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400

General Mark A. Milley
Chief of Staff, United States Army
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400

Senator Rand Paul
167 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510
(202) 224-4343
http://www.paul.senate.gov/connect/email-rand

Senator Mitch McConnell
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2541
http://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactForm

Senator Lamar Alexander
455 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-4944
http://www.alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email

Senator Bob Corker
425 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3344
http://www.corker.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/emailme

Thanks in advance for getting involved and for sharing this news and updates about the case as it moves forward!

UPDATE 9/17/2015 at 12:22 p.m. Central: Moments ago, I obtained a copy of General Stammer’s brief and cold reply to Ms. Andes’ letter. The text of that reply appears below:

Ms. Andes,

Thank you very much for your letter and your heartfelt concern for your brother, Major Martin. i can assure you that he will get full due process under the law and he will be ably assisted by his defense counsel. Feel free to contact either his civilian or military defense counsel: Mrs. Katherine Demps at [phone # and email address redacted], or CPT J Hunter Whyte at [phone # and email address redacted]. Either one will be happy to provide the details on the court-martial process and how you can assist.

Very respectfully,

Mark Stammer

This article was updated to reflect a change in the trial date.

UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:26 a.m. Central: A military judge continued the military trial date for Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin to sometime in March 2016, though no specific date has been set.

UPDATE 12/10/2015 at 11:14 a.m. Central: I’ve learned that Major Martin’s military trial date is set for March 14-18, 2016.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

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Unlawful Command Influence, Prosecutorial Misconduct Cited as Reasons to Dismiss Charges Against Army Officer

Attorneys representing Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin cited unlawful command influence and prosecutorial misconduct as reasons why all charges against their client, including charges of sexual assault, should be dismissed before their 47-year-old client goes on trial Oct. 12 Dec. 1 at Fort Campbell, Ky. If convicted on all counts, he faces the possibility of being sentenced to 58 years in prison.

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, gives Secretary of State John Kerry a tour of Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 6.

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, gives Secretary of State John Kerry a tour of Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 6.

Among those alleged to have engaged in unlawful command influence and prosecutorial misconduct, according to the motion to dismiss dated June 28, 2015, is Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, the former acting commanding general at the post who now serves as commander of Africa Command’s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa in the East African nation, Djibouti. Others named are members of the Army prosecution team and include Special Victim Prosecutor Maj. Jacob D. Bashore, a man who was highlighted recently in a post under the headline, Army Lawyer Surfaces in New Bogus Prosecution Effort, and Capt. James P. Garrett, the lead prosecutor in the case.

Beginning on page 14 of the motion, defense attorneys William L. Summers and R. Tucker Richardson III offer a recap of their UCI argument that focuses on actions taken by then-Brigadier General Stammer (Note: I’ve removed the names of Major Martin’s accuser and her family members. In addition, I’ve deciphered a few Army acronyms as necessary):

The entire case and charges against MAJ Martin are solely the result of undo command influence by BG Mark Stammer as part of his personal agenda to make a name for himself in the current politically charged environment of sexual assault and domestic violence in the military. He has done this continually by repeatedly starting new investigations by new agencies against MAJ Martin and pushing all related allegations to a court martial, regardless of the recommendations of his Article 32 Investigating Officer (IO), Special Victim Prosecutor, lead Prosecutor, Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, and even the recommendations of the alleged “victims.”

A review of MAJ Martin’s timeline shows that all the actions taken against him were done in retribution for his and his family’s Congressional Requests, his Inspector General complaint, and his family and friend’s correspondence and complaints to BG Stammer and his supervisors. The “evidence” against MAJ Martin has been created through dubious and selective means while important facts showing the motives and past history of his ex-“wife” Ms. (accuser and her two aka’s) doing the exact same techniques of using and then “burning” men, like (accuser’s first legal husband and father of accuser’s second and third child), has been ignored. (Accuser’s first legal husband) will testify that after spurious allegations were alleged by (accuser), she took his children, two daughters, and has secreted them for over twelve years. He will testify.

The Fort Campbell Prosecution feloniously interfered in civilian court proceedings in order to try and have MAJ Martin’s “ex’s” pending felony charge of bigamy dismissed in Tennessee and Kentucky courts so that they could continue to prosecute him, a violation of ethics and Posse Comitatus that limits the powers of the federal government in using its military personnel to act as domestic law enforcement (18 U.S.C. § 1385, original at 20 Stat. 152).

In fact MAJ Martin’s entire case has been created and recreated by the Prosecution and Army Criminal Investigation Division when they were ordered to open a third new investigation against him by BG Stammer on 2 April 2014, 18 months after he had separated from (accuser) and after he had previously been cleared by civilian law enforcement, child protective services, civilian court under Judge Flemming, and Army Counter Intelligence (CI).

Army CI conducted a secret six month investigation and surveillance on him based solely upon the accusations of (accuser). They had thoroughly interrogated him and searched his house, with his expressed consent. MAJ Martin later passed a three hour polygraph examination conducted by CI experts flown in from Fort Meade (Sep 19, 2013). At the conclusion of the polygraph MAJ Martin was told by Agent Harris that he “would hear no more about any of his ex’s accusations.” Despite all of this, BG Stammer consistently involved and re-involved himself in MAJ Martin’s case. He had him re-assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, secretly flagged him, fired him from his position, punished him, had him report daily to a junior officer with no assigned position, and then had MAJ Martin continually reinvestigated over and over again until BG Stammer could get the false statements he needed from (accuser) to justify a court martial.

On 11 July 2014, the charges were reviewed at an Article 32 pre-trial investigation. Despite the Defense not fighting any charges, only recording statements, on 3 August 2014, the investigating officer recommended that none of the sexual charges be referred to a court-martial as there were not reasonable grounds to go forward and witness testimony did not match the timelines and evidence given. The Prosecution then dropped (accuser’s) allegations of rape and sodomy on their own accord, because they knew she was a patently untruthful. Her Article 32 testimony changed repeatedly so often it was obviously a reckless disregard for the truth by her.

Despite this, BG Stammer overruled this recommendation and insisted all allegations should be resolved at a Court Martial. When MAJ Martin was later advised by his attorneys to resign, with the recommendation of the Prosecution including Special Victims Prosecutor MAJ Bashore, the lead prosecutor CPT Garrett, and even the alleged “victims” (accuser and her children), BG Stammer once again overruled them and demanded a Court Martial (EX CC, Memo ).

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer

Further into their motion to dismiss, the defense attorneys highlighted specifics of the alleged UCI violations by General Stammer and prosecutors. Rather than stretch this out to include everything in the 37-page document, I’ll offer some of the allegations as bullet points:

• Acting outside of Army jurisdiction;

• Reassigning Major Martin after he lodged a Congressional inquiry about his situation;

• Launching a second investigation of Major Martin by Military Police Investigations (MPI) after the major had been cleared by a lengthy Army CID investigation;

• Retaliating against Major Martin after being contacted by the major’s father and sister, both Air Force retirees;

• Violating Major Martin’s right to due process;

• Creating a court-martial by initiating a third investigation;

• Witness tampering/obstruction of justice;

• Witness intimidation (at least two instances); and

• Illegal search.

There is much more to come for Major Martin, a man who put on his first military uniform as a private in 1986, marking the beginning of a career that would not only include serving as an Army Ranger, cavalry scout and attack helicopter pilot but also include becoming a Regular Army officer and serving three combat tours in Iraq.

Learn more about Major Martin and his case by reading this story as well as others. After you read them, please SHARE THEM and stay tuned for more updates!

This article was updated to reflect a change in the trial date.

UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:27 a.m. Central: A military judge continued the military trial date for Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin to sometime in March 2016, though no specific date has been set.

UPDATE 12/10/2015 at 11:15 a.m. Central: I’ve learned that Major Martin’s military trial date is set for March 14-18, 2016.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Army General Asked to Explain Decision to Prosecute

In an effort to get answers regarding the case of Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin, the Army Soldier-aviator facing a possible 58-year prison sentence if found guilty next month on sexual assault charges, I contacted Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, the one-time acting commanding general at Fort Campbell, Ky., who is responsible for the decision to prosecute the Army Ranger, master Army aviator and veteran of three combat tours in Iraq.

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, gives Secretary of State John Kerry a tour of Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 6.

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, gives Secretary of State John Kerry a tour of Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 6.

At 9:41 a.m. Central today, I sent an email message to now-Major General Stammer who now lives in the East African nation of Djibouti and serves as commander of Africa Command‘s Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. The text of my message, sent to him via Africom.cldj.cjtf-hoa.mbx.public-affairs@mail.mil and in care of the CJTF-HOA Public Affairs Office, appears below:

Please Forward to Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer:

Dear General Stammer:

In light of the three circumstances highlighted below, I have some questions regarding the upcoming court-martial of Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin:

First, Army counter-intelligence investigators cleared Major Martin of any wrongdoing related to allegations he stole a laptop that had been out of the Army inventory for 7 years, he had mishandled classified information on CDs, and he passed classified information to foreign agents;

Second, officials with the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services had issued a finding almost 18 months earlier that all allegations of child abuse and/or neglect against Major Martin were unsubstantiated, recommended no action be taken against Major Martin; and

Third, government officials in the states of Kentucky and Tennessee have filed bigamy charges against the woman who brought forward the allegations against Major Martin which are, coincidentally, almost identical to allegations she had brought years early against the man who fathered two of her three children.

Now, the questions:

1) Why did you elect to pursue prosecution of Major Martin after the Article 32 investigating officer recommended no action be taken against him?

2) Why did you elect to pursue prosecution of Major Martin after LTC Robert Insani, your staff judge advocate, recommended he be allowed to resign?

3) Perhaps realizing you overlooked, or were not made aware of, the three circumstances highlighted above, would you consider recommending the charges against Major Martin be dismissed? If not, why?

Due to the fact that the court-martial for Major Martin is scheduled to begin Oct. 12, 2015, I request you reply within 48 hours or explain to me why that is not possible.

Sincerely,

Bob McCarty, Investigative Journalist & Author

Do I expect General Stammer, the man I’m told many Soldiers refer to as “Stammer the Hammer,” to reply in a timely fashion to my inquiry? Not really. He might, however, respond more quickly if he receives a lot of inquiries. Therefore, I offer the contact information below in hopes that readers of this article and the related stories about Major Martin’s case will reach out to the general:

CJTF-HOA Public Affairs Office
Phone: +253 21-359-523
Africom.cldj.cjtf-hoa.mbx.public-affairs@mail.mil

In addition to contacting General Stammer, I encourage you to reach out to the individuals listed below and demand an immediate review of this case and/or that the charges against Major Martin be dropped immediately:

Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky
c/o 101st Airborne Division
Bldg. 2700, Indiana Avenue
Fort Campbell, KY 42223
(270) 798-3025
usarmy.campbell.93-sig-bde.list.public-website@mail.mil

Mr. Ashton Carter
Secretary of Defense
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400
https://kb.defense.gov/app/ask

Mr. Jon T. Rymer
Inspector General
U. S. Department of Defense
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22350-1500

John M. McHugh
Secretary of the Army
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400

General Mark A. Milley
Chief of Staff, United States Army
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400

Senator Rand Paul
167 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510
(202) 224-4343
http://www.paul.senate.gov/connect/email-rand

Senator Mitch McConnell
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2541
http://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactForm

Please share this news and stay tuned for updates about this case as it moves forward!

UPDATE 9/09/2015 at 9:49 a.m. Central:  Twenty-four hours has passed without a reply from General Stammer. Stay tuned for more updates.

UPDATE 9/10/2015 at 8:56 a.m. Central:  Forty-eight hours and a few minutes ago, I received a predictable reply from General Stammer’s spokesperson in Africa:

Mr. McCarty,

Good morning.  We received your message and can provide the following statement for your use, which you can attribute to me:

“It is inappropriate for anyone who had a role in the review process of this case to comment during the current ongoing Courts-Martial.  Thus, Major General Stammer cannot comment at this time.”

Have a nice day.

Sincerely,

BRUS E. VIDAL, Lt Col, USAF
Director, Public Affairs
Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa
Tel: 253-21-359-523
Cell:  77-861-487
DSN (311) 824-5387
brus.e.vidal.mil@mail.mil

Since this article was published, the date for Major Martin’s trial was changed to Dec. 1, 2015.

UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:28 a.m. Central: A military judge continued the military trial date for Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin to sometime in March 2016, though no specific date has been set.

UPDATE 12/10/2015 at 11:16 a.m. Central: I’ve learned that Major Martin’s military trial date is set for March 14-18, 2016.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Army Soldier-Aviator Faces Possible 58-Year Sentence As Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Witch Hunt Seeks New Victim

Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin is an Army Ranger and master Army aviator with some 1,000 hours of combat flying time, including 500 while using night-vision gear. Though he’s been to war and back three times, fighting both on the ground and in the air, nothing prepared the 47-year-old for the battle he’s fighting now, trying to avoid becoming another victim of the Pentagon’s sexual assault witch hunt that could send him to prison for 58 years* for something he did not do.

Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin stands in front of an AH-64D Longbow helicopter.

Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin stands in front of an AH-64D Longbow helicopter in Balad, Iraq, in 2008. Though he’s piloted the U.S. Army’s most-sophisticated attack helicopters, nothing prepared him for his battle with the military justice system.

Facing dubious sexual assault allegations, Major Martin’s case is set to go to trial Oct. 12 Dec. 1* inside a military courtroom at Fort Campbell, Ky. In addition to having his stellar military career ended, he faces the very-real possibility of spending the rest of his life behind bars if found guilty.

The man chiefly responsible for the court-martial push is Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, now commander of Africa Command’s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, gives Secretary of State John Kerry a tour of Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 6.

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, gives Secretary of State John Kerry a tour of Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 6.

At the time of his hands-on involvement in Major Martin’s case, General Stammer was a brigadier general — a “one-star” serving as acting commanding general at Fort Campbell where troops often referred to him as “Stammer the Hammer.” Like so many of his fellow graduates of “charm school,” the course where general officer selectees undergo grooming prior to their first star-studded assignments, General Stammer knew he would never get a second star if he didn’t “play ball” with his Pentagon bosses who were — and still are — under intense pressure from politically-correct politicians in Washington, D.C., demanding military leaders deliver swift and severe punishment for anyone accused of sexual assault.

‘UNQUESTIONABLE INTEGRITY’

As important as it is to understand what has taken place in the case already and what lies ahead, it’s equally important to understand the man at the center of this sexual assault witch hunt.

As a young man, Martin earned the rank of Eagle Scout before joining the U.S. Army Reserve a a private in 1986 and working his way up to E-5. Soon after, he worked a full-time job at night while studying during the day at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Four years later, he graduated with honors as the distinguished graduate of its ROTC program. More importantly, he received his coveted Regular Army commission as a second lieutenant and began his new life. That life included marrying his first love, Stacey, in 1991, and welcoming a daughter into their world two years later, followed by two sons. He was on the right path.

Gen. Raymont T. Odierno, USA Ret.

Gen. Raymont T. Odierno, USA Ret.

During his first three years as an officer, Martin completed Ranger School and served a stint at Fort Ord, Calif., before moving on to Fort Lewis, Wash. There, he served as a company executive officer for Raymond T. Odierno, a lieutenant colonel who would go on to earn four stars and serve as chief of staff of the Army before retiring this year. A man who wrote Martin a “top of the line” officer evaluation and made note of his “unquestionable integrity.”

In December 1993, Martin left active duty and joined the Tennessee Army National Guard. One month later, he began flight school at Fort Rucker, Ala. After graduation one year later, he began a stint with TNARNG that would last almost 11 years and involve flying OH-58, UH-60, AH-64 and AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters and serving as commander of a Cobra company and as Brigade Aviation Officer for the 278 Armored Cavalry Regiment under Max Haston, a colonel who went on to earn several promotions before being named Adjutant General for the Tennessee National Guard.

While Martin’s work with TNARNG prepared him well for his professional future, his marriage to his first wife didn’t fare as well and, as the family’s time in Tennessee neared it’s end in early 2004, they divorced amicably. Martin’s wife soon remarried and, he maintains, his relationships with her and their three children — one daughter and two sons — are very good.

NEW BEGINNING

A few months after the divorce, Major Martin was contacted by a woman via Yahoo! Personals, and they began a relationship. During the first year of their relationship, Martin said, the woman told him about the two men who had fathered her children. He recalled her telling him that the father of her oldest child, a boy, had been decapitated prior to his birth in a logging accident in Oregon; and he remembered her talking about having had to obtain a restraining order against the Guatemala-born father of her two girls after he allegedly sexually abused them. On top of that, he said she claimed he was still stalking them at the time.

Taking her at her word and believing her children might truly be at risk, Major Martin said he rented a U-haul and moved her and her children to a rental house he owned. In addition to allowing the four to live there for free, he provided money for food and other necessities and gave her time to adjust. At the same time, he considered ending their dating relationship but did not. Instead, the relationship continued.

Major Martin said the courtship flourished and, after a whirlwind seven-month relationship, they exchanged vows Dec. 7, 2004. At that time, he assumed much of the parental and all of the financial responsibilities for her three children — two girls and a boy, then ranging in age from 7 years to 9 months.

In July 2005, Major Martin applied to return to active duty and was approved. One month later, he and his new family began a five-year stint in Germany that included three deployments to Iraq  and led to him to receive — with the help of a letter of recommendation from a three-star general — a coveted slot at the U.S. Navy War College in Newport, R.I.

Major Christian "Kit" Martin is shown at the controls of an AH-64A Apache helicopter in Iraq.

Major Christian “Kit” Martin is shown at the controls of an AH-64A Apache helicopter in Iraq.

After relocating his family to Rhode Island in May 2010, Major Martin completed the one-year course with honors and earned his master’s degree before moving his family back to Fort Campbell. There, his adult daughter became a member of the household. It was while he began serving in the vaunted 101st Airborne Division the proverbial “shit” began to hit the fan and he probably began to wonder if getting married on the 63rd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had been such a good idea after all.

‘I WILL RUIN YOUR LIFE…’

Though warning signs had surfaced earlier in their relationship, Major Martin pointed to one milestone date — Sept. 5, 2012 — on which he decided he had had enough of what he described as “the cheating, abuse, and turmoil the woman seemed intent on dishing out” and asked her for a divorce. In response, he said she threatened him in front of his adult daughter, screaming words to the effect of “I will ruin your life if you divorce me. I will ruin your career, I can do it. I’ll tell them you’re abusive….”

Rather than wait for her to take action, Major Martin called the police, and officers who came to the home and investigated found no evidence of a physical confrontation.  After that, he and his daughter left for the night.

The next day, Major Martin said, the woman responded by seeking an emergency protection order from a local judge. As a result of the EPO being issued automatically and temporarily until a hearing could take place, he and his adult daughter were forced to vacate the home for several weeks. While they were away, the woman and a male neighbor with whom she was close ransacked the home and destroyed its contents, including many irreplaceable items.

Two weeks later at a family court hearing about validating the EPO, the extension was denied after questions arose regarding the truthfulness of statements made by the woman and her children.

Two months into the drama, Major Martin said, his lawyer found evidence the woman he was trying to divorce had never legally been divorced from the father of her two youngest children. He reported her bigamy to Army agencies, but no action was taken.

Soon after she learned about the lawyer’s findings during divorce negotiations, she and the aforementioned male neighbor went to the FBI with an outlandish claim that Major Martin was an international spy and proceeded to hand over an inoperable $60 laptop computer and several compact discs allegedly containing classified information as “evidence” of his alleged illicit activities. Though their statements about the time and the place they supposedly found these items did not match, FBI officials still alerted the Army about the claims. Soon after, Army counter-intelligence officials began an extensive investigation that included surveillance and wiretapping as well as an extensive search of his off-post home and interrogation sessions that included a lengthy polygraph exam.

Major Martin said he knew he was innocent. He knew he had never visited or had contact with anyone at the Maryland-based military intelligence unit to which the computer had belonged, and he had been assigned to Germany during the entire period the laptop in question was in the Army inventory. On top of that, he had never mishandled classified materials — more less, taken such materials home with him.

While under investigation, Major Martin said he was not only blacklisted by the Army and ordered to undergo domestic violence counseling for one year — a career killer for an officer, but he was also reassigned by General Stammer — and later fired from the coveted aviation officer position with his unit. He also lost the chance to deploy to Afghanistan with his unit and, afterward, to attend British Advanced Command and Staff College. While checking on the status of the latter, he learned his personnel file had been “flagged” and took his concerns about that action to the Army Inspector General. His career hung in limbo for two years.

In the end, the Army counter-intelligence investigators cleared Major Martin of any wrongdoing connected to the allegedly-stolen items, including the laptop that had been out of the Army inventory for seven years. But the damage had already been done. And more would follow.

NEW ACCUSATIONS

After learning about the aforementioned “flag” on his personnel file, Major Martin said members of his family — including his father, a retired Air Force chief master sergeant, and his sister, a retired Air Force nurse — contacted General Stammer and warned him they would “go public” about the “irregularities” in the case. Soon after, the general ordered Military Police Investigations to launch a new investigation and tried to give the major an Article 15 — another career killer for an officer.

When Major Martin tried to request an unbiased adjudicating authority, he said Army prosecutors blocked his meeting with the division commander and began trying to dig up new reasons to charge him and force a court-martial, ignoring the fact he had already been cleared by military and civilian investigatory agencies.

On June 18, 2014, Major Martin learned he was facing 13 new charges which seemed to be a product of Army prosecutors working with his accuser to find something — anything — with which to charge him. This time, he said, the angry woman in his life alleged he had sexually abused the woman and her three children on diverse occasions between 2007 and 2012. Interestingly, he said he learned later that the allegations were almost identical to ones she had made against the father of her two girls ten years earlier. Those allegations were never prosecuted because, according to Martin, the local prosecutor had been unable to locate the woman’s husband.

Major Martin denied all of the charges against him and was, at one point, willing to resign his Regular commission simply to bring the matter to an end and not stress his family, including his elderly parents, any more. His offer did not, however, mean he was guilty. Instead, he simply wanted to avoid the possibility of being found guilty by the severely-flawed Army criminal justice system — the same one that’s under pressure to punish individuals for even being the target of allegation — and being sentenced to 58 years in prison. General Stammer, however, recommended he not be allowed to resign. In doing so, he opted to ignore two key findings:

First, he ignored the findings of the investigating officer who, because he was aware investigators with the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services had issued a finding almost 18 months earlier that all allegations of child abuse and/or neglect against Major Martin were unsubstantiated, recommended no action be taken against Major Martin; and

Second, he ignored similar advice from LTC Robert Insani, his top legal advisor as the staff judge advocate at Fort Campbell.

General Stammer, it seems, was simply unwilling to risk his chance for promotion over the fate of a mere field-grade officer. The prosecution of Major Martin would continue!

BIGAMY CHARGE

On July 15, 2014, the prosecutor for the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Christian County, Ky., announced news that should have weighed heavily on General Stammer’s decision to move toward a court-martial date. She had been charged with one count of felony bigamy. Four days later, she was arrested, taken to the county jail and released on $5,000 bond until her trial begins Oct. 22, less than two weeks after Major Martin’s court-martial is set to begin.

Six months later, a grand jury in Coffee County, Tenn., indicted her for the same thing. She has not, however, been tried. Beyond those charges, I’m told she could face additional federal charges for defrauding TRICARE, the military healthcare system, for eight years while posing as Major Martin’s spouse.

Of course, there are many more sordid details in this case, but I think I’ve given enough to show Major Martin is on his way to becoming a victim of a kangaroo court-martial if someone in power — be it General Stammer or Brig. Gen. John E. Novalis II, the new commanding general who assumed command at Fort Campbell Aug. 17 — doesn’t step up and take action.

To show people in charge of this kangaroo court-martial effort how you feel about the case against Major Martin, contact your elected officials as well as the officials listed below and let them know the prosecution of this Soldier, who’s already been cleared of wrongdoing by multiple investigations, needs to end immediately!

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer
c/o CJTF-HOA Public Affairs Office
Phone: +253 21-359-523
Email: africom.cldj.cjtf-hoa.mbx.public-affairs@mail.mil

Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky
c/o 101st Airborne Division
Bldg. 2700, Indiana Avenue
Fort Campbell, KY 42223
(270) 798-3025
usarmy.campbell.93-sig-bde.list.public-website@mail.mil

Mr. Ashton Carter
Secretary of Defense
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400
https://kb.defense.gov/app/ask

Mr. Jon T. Rymer
Inspector General
U. S. Department of Defense
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22350-1500

John M. McHugh
Secretary of the Army
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400

General Mark A. Milley
Chief of Staff, United States Army
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400

Senator Rand Paul
167 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510
(202) 224-4343
http://www.paul.senate.gov/connect/email-rand

Senator Mitch McConnell
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2541
http://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactForm

Senator Lamar Alexander
455 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-4944
http://www.alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email

Senator Bob Corker
425 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3344
http://www.corker.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/emailme

NOTE: Contact information for officials listed above has been updated since first publication.

Please share this news and stay tuned for updates about this case as it moves forward!

UPDATE: The trial date was moved back to Dec. 1. More details at here.

*UPDATE: After publishing this article, I learned Army prosecutors agreed to limit any possible punishment in this case to 10 years. A sign they have a weak case?”

UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:31 a.m. Central: A military judge continued the military trial date for Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin to sometime in March 2016, though no specific date has been set.

UPDATE 12/10/2015 at 11:20 a.m. Central: I’ve learned that Major Martin’s military trial date is set for March 14-18, 2016.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Book Excerpt: ‘That Others May Live’

My first crime-fiction thriller, The National Bet, went on sale last week, and I thought I’d offer another excerpt to go along with one I shared earlier this month.

HH-60_Pave_Hawk

“K-man! K-man! Wake up! We’ve gotta go!” Waking to those words, Master Sergeant Josh Kastens knew the day was about to get serious.

A twelve-year veteran who had reached his current rank almost two years ahead of his peers, Josh was a member of the elite Air Force pararescue fraternity known as “PJs.” Assigned to the 347th Rescue Group at Moody Air Force Base near Valdosta, Georgia, he was pulling his first six-month tour in Somalia even as most Americans didn’t realize members of their country’s military had been deployed to the African nation since 2007.

Being rousted out of bed at “oh-dark-thirty”—2:15 a.m. local time on this occasion—usually meant an aircraft was down and a pilot needed rescue—or, in PJ vernacular, “saved.”

“A viper flamed out,” said Captain Eddie Hoskins, speaking loud and being unmistakably clear. “Briefing room in five!”

During the briefing, Josh learned the mission would take him and his crew from their base near Berbera on the coast of the Gulf of Aden to an insurgent stronghold almost fifteen miles west of Saylac and ten miles south of Somalia’s border with Djibouti.

By 2:30, their HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter was airborne. Estimated time to target: twenty minutes. Outside the chopper, the early morning temperature was a stifling ninety-seven degrees Fahrenheit. Inside, the heat was even more oppressive as engine noise drowned out everything but the headset chatter between crewmembers.

Two gunners stood ready at their GAU-2/B miniguns, while Josh and his PJ partner, Staff Sergeant Stu Duckworth, sat with their legs hanging out opposite doors, M-4 carbines across their laps. Just in case.

Josh had made six saves during previous combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, but something about this new battlefield gave him the creeps.

Flying fast and low at a ten o’clock heading, the chopper pilot followed instructions from controllers aboard an E-3B Sentry Airborne Warning and Control Systems aircraft flying high above, and they reached the downed pilot’s location without incident.

Due to the latest round of Pentagon budget cuts that had dramatically reduced the number of rescue aircraft in theater, only one chopper participated in this mission. And, thanks to misguided Rules of Engagement that no longer allowed gunners to use preliminary fire to clear landing zones of bad guys, every LZ was considered hot.

Approaching the LZ, the pilot took his chopper down at a steep angle while making a number of irregular turns designed to make it more difficult for anyone to shoot his bird down. Then, after dropping the PJs in a clearing, he climbed back into the sky. The entire process took less than forty seconds, and his chopper took no incoming fire. Now, he and his crew would keep watch over the area as the PJs went to work.

Equipped with night-vision goggles, the PJs reached the downed pilot quickly after spotting him crouched behind an abandoned truck some fifty yards north of the LZ.

“Are you hurt?” Josh asked the pilot, Captain Bud McGowan, who showed no signs of serious injury but was understandably nervous.

“No, but I think there are some bad guys out there,” the pilot replied, motioning with his eyes toward the east. “I heard them shouting to each other, so they can’t be too far away.”

Captain McGowan’s F-16C Fighting Falcon had lost hydraulic pressure in its lone engine. As a result, he had to eject in an area only a few miles away from an enemy base where, a short time earlier, members of the terror group al-Shabaab had been on the receiving end of one of his laser-guided five-hundred-pound bombs. Now, instead of being the hunter, he’d become the prey, hunted by dark-skinned men now less than half a mile away and closing fast.

After attaching a harness to the pilot, Josh radioed the chopper to return for an immediate pickup. As the word “copy” left his lips, a single shot rang out and, out of the corner of his eye, he saw Sergeant Duckworth—“Duck” to his friends—reach up with his left hand to the side of his head. A large chunk had been ripped out of the PJ’s helmet, but it didn’t appear as if the bullet had penetrated his partner’s skull. It did, however, cause him to be disoriented and have a hard time keeping his balance.

“Mama bear, we’re taking fire!” Josh screamed into his radio. “Duck’s hit! Duck’s hit! We need cover! East, one hundred yards! We need cover!”

More shots rang out, but all missed.

As Josh half-carried his partner toward the makeshift LZ, Captain McGowan fired his 9 mm Beretta in the direction of the attackers who had cut the distance between themselves and their prey in half.

“How many are–” Josh began to ask Captain McGowan before stopping in mid-sentence as an AK-47 round grazed the left side of his neck. Then another round hit him inches above his right hip. Adrenaline surging, a quick assessment confirmed neither wound was life threatening.

Seconds later, the chopper—their lifeline to the world— appeared out of nowhere from over a ridge to the south. After the helo’s right-side gunner spotted the rebels through his night-vision goggles, he unloaded a barrage of 7.62 mm rounds on the enemy positions and declared over the radio, “Enemy destroyed!”

Such an outcome had been made possible only after a U.S. Marine Corps three-star general had taken over as commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and succeeded in convincing his superiors in the chain of command to allow crews aboard casualty- evacuation choppers (a.k.a., “CASEVACs” or “dustoffs”) to defend themselves in hot LZs.

Upon hearing the E-D announcement, the chopper pilot dropped his aircraft to the ground within twenty yards of the PJs and the aviator they had come to save.

Ignoring his own wounds, Josh partnered with Captain McGowan to load Sergeant Duckworth onto the chopper. As they began lifting him up to the floor of the chopper, three more gunshots rang out in quick succession and Josh felt more pain. Looking down as he began to collapse, he saw his left leg nearly severed above the knee.

For what seemed an eternity, Josh watched through his night-vision goggles as his own warm blood poured from the leg, yielding a bright-red thermal-infrared signature. Less than a minute after he was hit, he lost consciousness.

Responding to the burst of unexpected gunfire, the chopper’s right-side gunner quickly located and eliminated its source, another Somali sniper who seemed to appear out of nowhere some sixty yards northeast of the LZ. But it was too late for Josh.

While both PJs stayed true to their warrior fraternity’s creed, “That Others May Live,” only one survived.

The National Bet isn’t a military fiction novel, but the action in the book begins in East Africa and makes its way to several locations across the United States. One of those locations, tiny Effingham, Ill., is home to several of the book’s characters, including the father of the fallen PJ.

You can learn more about the book here and order a copy of the book here.

UPDATE 4/19/2015 at 1:31 p.m. Central: Check out the limited-time free-books offer here.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.