Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller has been charged with six violations and will face a special court-martial for publicly criticizing the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan
A naval officer who publicly criticized the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan will plead guilty to multiple charges brought against him for his comments, his lawyer has said.
Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller Jr took to Facebook in August after 13 servicemen were killed in a suicide bombing at Kabul airport to demand responsibility from those in senior positions within the military branch.
Scheller can be seen in uniform in the viral video, saying, “It’s time for a new generation to take over American power. We are ready, and we reject the current system… Follow me, and we will take down the whole f***ing system… in a constitutional way with one loud voice.”
He had to spend a week in solitary confinement and will appear in court on Thursday at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
He is court-martialed for six offenses: contempt of officers, disrespect to senior non-commissioned officers, willful disobedience to senior non-commissioned officers, dereliction of duty, disobeying order or regulation, and conduct not befitting an officer and a gentleman.
But Tim Parlatore, one of Scheller’s attorneys, told The Hill that Scheller chose to plead guilty in the case.
“This case started with a call to accountability and Lieutenant Colonel Scheller will demonstrate to senior leadership how he can take responsibility for his own actions,” Parlatore said.
Parlatore said he is working on an agreement to obtain Scheller an honorable discharge or discharge on honorable terms.
He added that Scheller should only receive a letter of reprimand and no additional sentences after the “totally excessive and unnecessary” prison week.
Marine Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller was jailed for breaking gag order after soldier panned US hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan
Some US representatives have said Scheller Jr’s jail term “appears to be for messaging, retaliation and convenience.” The brig is pictured
A source close to the case says Scheller stayed in an area of the brigade that is normally for killers
Scheller was three days into retirement when he was stripped of his post and thrown into grim confinement quarters awaiting a military trial for contempt.
THE COST OF THE ARMY AGAINST LIEUTENANT COLONEL STUART SCHELLER
- Cocontempt for officials
- Disrespectful to the senior NCOs
- Willfully disobeying a senior non-commissioned officer
- Absence in the performance of duties
- Failure to obey order or regulation
- Conduct inappropriately an officer and a gentleman
He also tried to resign, in a written request, and waive his $2 million pension, but the military has not accepted.
After he was released on October 5, Scheller’s media team released an update stating: “An IRO hearing was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today to review the pre-trial detention of Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller.
“The Marine Corps declined to hold a public hearing or record the hearing. Media outlets objected, asking for the hearing to be postponed to allow for action in federal court.
“Prior to the hearing, the Marine Corps agreed to release Lieutenant Colonel Scheller pending court-martial trial.
Lieutenant Colonel Scheller remains subject to the unlawful gag order previously issued by his commander Colonel David Emmel.
Lt. Colonel Scheller has filed a motion for redress with regard to the wrongful order to his warrant. Lieutenant Colonel Scheller has filed a request for resignation from his commission in lieu of a trial with the Secretary of the Navy.
Numerous members of Congress have urged the secretary to accept this request.
“Lt Col Scheller appreciates the support of the American people, his legal team, family and friends who have assisted him, members of Congress, the Pipe Hitter Foundation and the Marines.”
The update was posted to the Piper Hitter Foundation which raised $2M for its defense
Supporters have raised more than $2 million for the Marine imprisoned for ignoring orders to stop publicly criticizing the country’s withdrawal from Afghanistan
Scheller publicly shared his letter of resignation, addressed to Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Torro, calling “a lack of confidence and confidence in your ability to lead.”
The Washington Times reports that Scheller’s first court appearance was quietly postponed after media protests that they should not observe it.
In a statement, they told DailyMail.com, “Lt. Colonel Stuart Scheller Jr. will be released from confinement today, October 5, 2021, as a result of a mutual agreement between Lieutenant Colonel Scheller, his defense adviser, and the Commanding General of the Training Command.”
Scheller, based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, was three years after his retirement when he posted a scathing video criticizing superiors on August 26, the same day the 13 US troops were killed in Kabul.
“I’m not saying we have to be in Afghanistan forever, but I’m saying, did any of you throw your rank on the table and say, ‘Hey, it’s a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic air base, before we get everyone else? evacuate’?’ Scheller Jr said in the widely distributed clip.
Scheller was removed from command of the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the day after he posted his first video “because of a loss of confidence and confidence in his ability to command,” said Major Jim Stenger, a spokesman for the marines.
On October 2, his mother told Cathy how the family had been left “heartbroken” by the way the military had treated him.
Stu and Cathy Scheller, parents of Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller
US Marine Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller, pictured with Mother Catherine and Father Stuart Sr.
“He’s in a cell with no books, no phone, nothing. We are devastated and so is he.
“We love America and we are so shocked by what we are learning about what the new military is like in this country,” she told The New York Post.
On September 27, Scheller’s father Stu Scheller Sr told Task & Purpose that his son had been taken into custody for violating a gag order imposed by his warrant.
“All our son did was ask the questions everyone was asking themselves, but they were too scared to speak out loud,” said Scheller Sr. “He asked for accountability. In fact, I think he even asked for an apology for the fact that we made mistakes, but they couldn’t do that, which is mind-boggling.”
The Pipe Hitter Foundation, founded by Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher — who was charged in 2017 with murdering an ISIS prisoner of war and subsequently pardoned by Donald Trump — began the fundraiser, which has received more than 26,000 donations and a total of $2,081. 913 picked up.
It says the donations will be used to fund rising legal costs, help financially help Scheller’s wife and three children, and help Scheller’s transition from the military.