Colonel Wesley Martin retired from active duty in 2010. During his rise from private to colonel he accumulated over ten years of command time, including two battalions, one group, and one base. During his two combat tours he served as the senior Antiterrorism/Force Protection Officer for all coalition forces in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom 1 and 2, as Senior Operations Officer for Task Force 134 (Detention Operations), and as Commander of Forward Operating Base Ashraf (working with the Iranian Mujahedin). During his three Pentagon tours of duty he served as Force Protection Assessment Team Chief, Army Operations Center Crisis Action Team Chief, and Department of Army Information Operations Chief. Colonel Martin completed his military service as the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) Information Operations Chief. As the Antiterrorism Officer in Iraq, Colonel Martin’s lead from the front/on ground style of leadership resulted in blocking Al Qaeda from killing the moderate Shia Grand Ayatollah Sistani and blowing up the Baghdad doctors’ convention. He also prevented the theft of over one thousand Cobalt 60 radioactive sources and an attack on the Baghdad trade fair. As the USFK Information Operations Chief, Colonel Martin developed the Computer Network Operations oversight program that became the template for all U.S. Department of Defense major commands. He is also a retired Member of Technical Staff at Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories. While at Sandia he came through the ranks as a member of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) force, Protective Force Lieutenant, Operations Security Program Manager, and served as Operations Chief of the Laboratory’s Security Force. Colonel Martin earned his Bachelors’ degree from Northeast Missouri State University (Law Enforcement and Corrections) and earned two Masters’ Degrees (International Politics and International Business) from Webster University. He has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress and parliaments of Canada, Great Britain, and European Union. Colonel Martin has scores of published articles focusing on leadership, military history, Europe, Middle-East, and Africa.
Before my combat deployments into Iraq, I, Colonel Wes Martin, had successfully fought another war. As a military police officer, I spent many years fighting against sexual misconduct, abuse of authority, and cover-ups within the senior officer and sergeant ranks in the United States Army. During this fight I faced continual criticism from my senior officers who claimed I was discrediting the Army by exposing the corrupt and immoral behavior of senior officers and sergeants.
During the early days of standing up to the corruption, when I had the rank of Major, I received retaliatory evaluations and was forced to temporarily leave active duty. After successfully appealing and having the retaliatory evaluations removed from my records, I was determined no one should suffer the consequences of doing the harder right over the easier wrong. Teaming with military icon Colonel (Retired) David Hackworth and other officers determined to create a just system, I played a pivotal role in forcing reforms throughout the Army. While helping other victims of sexual harassment and abuse of authority I wrote three articles that found their way throughout the Army.
During this same period, I progressed through four successful commands. In each of those commands I aggressively enforced his standards of “mutual respect” and “trust.” In formations and training I warned all subordinates of the consequences of involvement in sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and racism. Even though I firmly drew the line when assuming each of my commands, there was always at least one subordinate in each who crossed the line thinking he was immune from being held accountable. The result was an immediate end to the transgressions and all dedicated soldiers realizing they had a champion to protect them from abuse.
The Army did change for the better and also commenced holding senior officers and sergeants accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, the continuing deployments into combat has had a negative effect on Army leadership. A lot of outstanding junior officers and sergeants left the ranks to build family-oriented lives and civilian careers. Their departures have created vacancies and promotion opportunities for substandard performers. This has in turn resulted in a resurgence of misbehavior. The fortunate part is top Army leadership is no longer blatantly covering the corruption.
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Martin, Wesley (2020) "Combating Sexual Misconduct and Abuse of Authority in the United States Army: Same Long Fight," Dignity: A Journal of Analysis of Exploitation and Violence: Vol. 5: Iss. 1, Article 1. https://doi.org/10.23860/dignity.2020.05.01.01
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