U.S. Army strips Special Forces, War Hero Major of his awards


The U.S. Army is an institution of greatness. Its history and tradition are steeped in the service of sacrifice of generations of Americans who have stepped forward in times of war and peace.

These soldiers have also counted on the steady hand of strong leadership at the top. Many times, a decision regarding one soldier is a decision that affects all. But there are times when that same leadership gets things wrong and stubbornly refuses to do the right thing —for whatever reason.

The latest example of such a mistake involves a former Special Forces soldier and war hero, Maj. Matthew Golsteyn. Soon, Matt will face a board of inquiry to decide his future in the Army. The allegation under review: In 2010, he killed an unarmed insurgent bomb maker responsible for the death of at least two Marines in the area of Marjah.

The same leadership in place to protect soldiers like Matt has already created a premature presumption of guilt without a shred of verifying evidence. Specifically, based on the allegation alone, Secretary McHugh revoked Matt’s Silver Star, which was the interim award for an earlier and separate incident that led to a Distinguished Service Cross nomination. McHugh even signed off on the DSC, but he revoked that, too. And, as a thumb in the eye, McHugh directed that Matt be stripped of his Special Forces tab, which he earned, along with the Silver Star and DSC.

This is not just the Army trying to hurt Matt. It’s kicking him when he’s down. A point of deep pride and respect is that Matt refuses to fall. He’s so far withstood it all. Even without his tab or his awards, he’s the same soldier he was through the course of operations in Marjah and over his service career.

As a Green Beret, Matt, like many others in this position, dedicated himself to the life of a Special Forces soldier. He accepted the dangers that came with it. He embraced the good, as well as the bad, and he commanded a deep sense of respect among his fellow soldiers.


Commentary: Army unfairly stripped major of awards.

Maj Goldstein

U.S. Army strips Special Forces, War Hero Major of his awards

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