Major, United States Army
In December 2018 Major Matthew Golsteyn, a highly decorated Army Special Forces officer, was charged with premeditated murder of a Taliban bomb-maker, who is known to be responsible for the deaths of at least two U.S. Marines in Marjah, despite the prior conclusion of an Army Board of Inquiry that no clear evidence of any violation of the rules of engagement during Major Golsteyn’s 2010 deployment existed. A previous probe into Golsteyn’s actions was closed.
Major Golsteyn, a graduate of the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point and a respected member of the 3rd Special Forces group of Fort Bragg, was awarded the Silver Star, our nation’s 3rd highest award for combat (Valor), for his actions in Afghanistan in 2010 while a pending Distinguished Service Cross was being routed to the Secretary of the Army. Golsteyn was awarded the Silver Star for “displaying heroic behavior and valor” by repeatedly exposing himself to direct enemy fire and personally neutralizing multiple enemy positions during “four grueling hours of heavy combat with a determined force.”
Despite the Secretary of the Army personally signing the prestigious Distinguished Service Cross for his heroic actions in combat, Golsteyn was arbitrarily stripped of his Silver Star and his Special Forces tab during the investigation without any due process rights.
Numerous individuals have made statements supporting Major Golsteyn in the past, from Marine Corps General Officers to members of his ODA. Over the course of the Army’s prior investigation, no other service members would serve as witnesses against Golsteyn, despite offers of immunity for themselves. The senior medic attached to Golsteyn’s Green Beret unit expressed disbelief that such an event ever occurred. A best-selling author and embedded journalist, Bing West, who spent time with the Green Beret unit stated he had never seen the unit do anything inappropriate.
Longtime supporter of Golsteyn, former Congressman Duncan Hunter previously stated the Army “ought to be embarrassed” and upon hearing newest charge stated,“This situation is a complete travesty. Matt Golsteyn is a war hero and the Army he served is failing him. It is important to remember that zero evidence has been provided to substantiate the charges against Matt and the Army’s recent actions, perhaps blinded by their own bureaucracy, appear to be retaliatory in nature….The men that served with Matt, including a Medal of Honor recipient, stand by him, as do I.”
Golsteyn maintained any accusation by the U.S. Army is a mischaracterization of combat actions as murder, and his lawyer had previously stated these were exaggerated claims with narratives that had been “taken out of context.”
On November 15, 2019, President Trump intervened in the case and used his Executive Clemency powers to pardon Major Matt Golsteyn.
UAP continues to support Major Matt Golsteyn in his fight to have his Special Forces tab restored and his Distinguished Service Cross medal (that the Army had already approved) presented.