UNITED STATES—Marine Corps Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, was relieved of his duties on August 27, for ignoring a gag order and demanding accountability from senior command about the U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
“I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders, I demand accountability,” Scheller said in a statement.
Video posted on Facebook on August 26, was the same day 13 soldiers in Afghanistan were killed at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
Eleven of the soldiers killed were fellow Marines of Lt. Col. Scheller. Seven children were killed by a military drone. The video received 800,000 views by August 30.
Scheller stated, “People are upset because their senior leaders let them down, and none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying, ‘We messed this up.’”
The 17-year veteran asked U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Generals Milley and McKenzie:
“Hey, it’s a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic airbase, before we evacuate everyone? Did anyone do that? And when you didn’t think to do that, did anyone raise their hand and say, ‘We completely messed this up.’”
The Military Times reported, “an influx of support,” for Scheller. A brief look at his Facebook page confirmed his support system. The following message received 2.1K views:
“This entire experience has illustrated to me just how hungry Americans are for honesty, accountability, and reform across the government. This was expressed to me by ALL political parties. We the people want change. We the people WILL take it. We the people are ALL Americans.”
Parents of Lt. Col. Scheller, Stuart Scheller Sr., and Cathy Scheller publicly demanded the Pentagon “Free our Marine.” Stuart Scheller Sr. reiterated:
…”while he broke the chain of command, Austin, Milley, McKenzie, broke the chain of trust and confidence in the American people. We’re mad. We’re mad as hell. And I’m asking the American people to find your voice. Stand up, demand accountability of your Congresspeople. Ask for Lieutenant Scheller to be freed…”
According to information from the Military Times from Captain Sam Stephenson, Spokesman for Training and Education Command, Lt. Col. Scheller is confined to prison. He faces no charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Offenses under consideration at the Article 32 hearing are Article 88, Contempt Toward Officials; Article 90, Willfully Disobeying a Superior Commissioned Officer; Article 92, Failure to Obey Lawful General Orders; Article 133, Conduct Unbecoming of an Officer and a Gentleman.