Marine Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller Jr. put his career on the line in late August when he called out his chain of command over the bungled efforts to evacuate Afghanistan.
In a five-minute video, Scheller set forth his rationale — and acknowledged there would be consequences for voicing his criticisms publicly. He ended his message with this: “I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders ‘I demand accountability.’”
As streiff noted at the time,
This is what leadership is about. If senior officers are not willing to push back against their political masters by resigning in protest, if need be, they have broken faith with the troops whose lives depend upon their judgment and integrity. A point has been reached where the military rank structure has devolved into a bizarre perversion of what a military organization should look like. Now, the higher you move up in rank, the less accountability you have. Where a junior officer gets burned down for minor errors, the general officer corps has become a troop of macaque monkeys engaged in perpetual group grooming.
Streiff further observed: “LTC Scheller is right. If you won’t lay your rank on the table rather than participate in a criminal endeavor, you’re part of the problem.”
To almost no one’s surprise, the repercussions as to Scheller’s actions were swift. (See, Military Acts Quickly Against Marine Commander Who Demanded Accountability From Leaders on Afghanistan.) The day after the video was released, Scheller announced he had been relieved for cause.
UPDATE: Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, who in a viral video called for accountability among senior leaders after the attack in Afghanistan, has announced on Facebook that he’s been fired https://t.co/2dfBxc1upY pic.twitter.com/i83QFqqYm6
— Dave Brown (@dave_brown24) August 27, 2021
Last week came news that Lt. Col. Scheller had been thrown in the brig. His father, Stu Scheller Sr. had this to say at the time:
All our son did is ask the questions that everybody was asking themselves, but they were too scared to speak out loud….He was asking for accountability. In fact, I think he even asked for an apology that we made mistakes, but they couldn’t do that, which is mind-blowing.
They had a gag order on him and asked him not to speak….He did, and they incarcerated him. They don’t know what to do with him.
The elder Scheller was a guest on the Marc Cox Show on 97.1 FM Talk in St. Louis this morning and noted that his son had been in solitary confinement for eight days and they had not been able to speak with him. You can listen to that interview here. He did note that a hearing was scheduled for this afternoon.
Following that hearing, Scheller was released, pending trial by court-martial. Per the Daily Mail:
Lt. Colonel Stuart Scheller Jr. is being released from military brig today after winning a landslide of public support for his condemnation of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
His media team released an update on Tuesday saying: ‘An IRO hearing was scheduled to review LtCol Stuart Scheller’s pre-trial detention at 1:30 pm today.
‘The Marine Corps refused to provide an open hearing or to record the hearing. Media outlets objected and asked that the hearing be delayed to allow for action in federal court.
‘Prior to the hearing, the Marine Corps agreed to release LtCol Scheller pending trial by court martial.
‘Lt Col Scheller remains subject to the unlawful gag order previously issued by his commander Col David Emmel. LtCol Scheller has submitted a request for redress regarding the unlawful order to his command. The command has not yet replied to the request.
‘Lt Col Scheller has submitted a request for resignation of his commission in lieu of trial to the Secretary of the Navy. Numerous members of Congress have urged the Secretary to accept this request.
LtCol Scheller appreciates the support of the American people, his legal team, family and friends who have stood by him, Members of Congress, the Pipe Hitter Foundation and the Marines.’
The update was posted on the Piper Hitter Foundation that has raised $2million for his defense.
Obviously, the ultimate determination as to Lt. Col. Scheller’s fate remains to be seen, but for now, he is a free man.