The civilian secretary of the Army stripped a Green Beret officer of the third-highest military decoration for valor awarded to soldiers, and U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter is determined to get it back.
Maj. Matthew L. Golsteyn was awarded a Silver Star for actions he took while leading a Special Forces team who came under heavy enemy fire in Afghanistan in 2010, The Washington Post reported.
Because the Obama administration has to cater to its anti-war political base, Hunter said, Golsteyn was not only stripped of the award, but he’s being also separated from service.
“Not only is he kicked out of the Green Berets, but the secretary of the Army, that has no military service whatsoever, John M. McHugh, revokes his Silver Star for a combat engagement that he earned at a totally different time and place than what they’re alleging he did,” Hunter said Thursday during an appearance on “Fox and Friends.
An Army summary of Golsteyn’s actions said he responded with calm resolve and braved enemy fire repeatedly the day his unit came under fire. He was later approved for an upgrade to the Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor in recognizing combat heroism, The Post reported.
But Golsteyn ended up with neither.
While taking a polygraph for a job application, Golsteyn remarked that he killed an enemy fighter who was making improvised explosive devices, according to the Washington Times. The Army launched a criminal investigation to determine if the military’s rules of engagement were violated.
The investigation concluded last year and no charges were filed, but McHugh not only denied Golsteyn the Distinguished Service Cross, but also stripped him of his Silver Star, according to The Post.
Hunter, a former Marine officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is pushing legislation that will restore Golsteyn’s medals and no longer allow civilian leaders of the U.S. armed forces to revoke combat valor awards.
“You have guys doing what the American people want them to do,” the California Republican told host Brian Kilmeade. “The American people want their guys to go over wherever they are, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, kill the bad guys and come home safely. Matt Golsteyn did that.”
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