Photo by Israel Palacio on Unsplash
Army Major Matthew Matthew Golsteyn’s request for restoration of his Special Forces tab was rejected by the Army’s top Special Forces commander. According to his lawyer Phillip Stackhouse, the U.S. Army recently issued a letter dated 03 DEC 2019 notifying Major Golsteyn that his appeal to have his Special Forces tab restored had been rejected. The Special Forces tab signifies membership in the elite force, and is a highly venerated symbol of military excellence amongst U.S. Armed Forces .
Dan Lamothe, a reporter for the Washington Post, first published that the head of U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Lt. Gen. Francis Beaudette, had denied Golsteyn’s request to get his Special Forces tab back. Upon learning about General Beaudette’s decision on Thursday 09 JAN 2019, Mr. Stackhouse expressed his intention to forward the matter to the White House on behalf of his client, hoping for President Trump’s assistance in the matter. “I don’t think the president could have been more clear in what he wants,” Mr. Stackhouse stated in an interview, fiercely disagreeing with the decision made by the Army. Mr. Stackhouse further stated that the decision ultimately goes against the stated wishes of President Trump and his pardoning of Golsteyn for the murder of an Afghan man committed in 2010.
In Major Golsteyn’s defense of his actions in the incident in question, the Afghan man who was the subject individual and victim is described as a suspected Taliban bomb maker, and Golsteyn twice confessed to killing him. However, Golsteyn also maintained that the killing of the Afghan man was justified and played a crucial role in a legal combat action (targeted ambush) that was arranged to protect lives during the conduct of legitimate and necessary tactical operations. President Trump granted clemency to Major Golsteyn in in November2019.
After its initial investigation into Major Golsteyn’s alleged war crimes, the Army decided to strip the green beret of his Special Forces tab. Task & Purpose reported that U.S. Army officials disclosed that it now falls within the purview of the U.S. Army Board for Correction of Military Records to decide whether or not Golsteyn’s Special Forces tab and his Distinguished Service Cross should be reinstated.