The Marine lieutenant colonel who demanded accountability from senior military leaders for the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan has announced that he has been officially discharged from the Marine Corps and is planning to go on a media blitz.
Former Marine Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller wrote on his Facebook page on December 23: “Out of respect to my senior leaders, I haven’t done a single interview since this began. But now it’s my turn. My television media blitz starts with Tucker Carlson on 4 January.”
He said he would write a post a day up to the January 4 interview and evoked George Washington’s first major victory in the American Revolutionary War on December 26, 1776.
“The attack on December 26th wasn’t decisive, but as history shows, it was a turning point in the war,” he wrote before recounting his own battle with Marine Corps leadership. He wrote:
To recap my series of defeats after demanding accountability; I was relieved of command, slandered as homicidal/suicidal by the USMC’s public affairs team, ordered to get a mental health evaluation, lied about in the investigation by my “friends”, denied my legal right to prefer charges against another service member beholden to the UCMJ, imprisoned under the false pretense of ‘flight risk’, left without basic items in prison for five days, offered a legal deal while held illegally in jail (you can’t be placed in pre-trial for a special court martial), slandered again when my medical records and investigation were released to the media, fined 5K dollars, called a narcissist in my letter of reprimand, kept under a gag order for over four months, denied the ability to request mast twice, given the lowest characterization (General under Honorable Conditions) allowed by the plea deal, and lost my retirement.
He added, “Was it worth it? Well … unfortunately for them … the war isn’t over. I think we just arrived at a turning point. The old system underestimated US then … and they underestimate US now.”
Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)
He vowed to make one post per day on social media up through his first interview with Carlson, beginning on December 26 — the day of Washington’s attack.
“2022 is the start of a new year. It’s the start of a new generation. The lions are home from war. And we aren’t assimilating anymore. We Can’t All Be Wrong,” he added.
On Christmas Day, he posted a Socratic dialogue addressing why he spoke out against his chain of command, even though he knew he could be punished for doing so on social media.
“If we don’t address consistent failure and hypocrisy in an open forum, we accelerate the collapse of the system. Do you really believe the same senior leaders who can’t admit fault are going to turn around and make changes?” he wrote.
On using social media to demand accountability, he said, “The Commandant’s office releases all white papers, official correspondence, and birthday messages through social media. Are we saying military communication through social media is reserved only for senior military leaders? Isn’t that the opposite of how our philosophy works?”
If we only had senior military officers with the courage to publicly address our failures, or assume any kind of accountability for that matter, I might not feel morally obligated to speak on behalf of the military service. You remember the My Lai moral courage case study? Fun fact rarely focused on in that case study… the only officers held accountable were at the Company level. Not a single General was fired over the incident. Sound familiar?
On December 26, he summarized a September 2, 2021, email from a civilian official with the Marine Corps Communications Directorate, that allegedly said, “Communications Directorate is running the following campaign to counter the narrative, ‘There is a forum in which Marine leaders can address their disagreements with the chain of command, but it’s not social media.’ This narrative was able to affect the sentiment with many of the articles, with 17% of the overall articles including the statement.”
Scheller said the email was placed into his command investigation, which he obtained.
“The takeaway … if you speak out against the Marine Corps, they literally have an entire department whose only goal is to discredit you while spinning the narrative in their favor. And all the senior Generals, despite stating their impartiality during the legal process … are on the email chain,” he said.
He said the Marine Corps tried to paint him as suicidal, homicidal, and guilty.
“When I was released from jail, a week before my court martial, the Marine Corps, still trying to spin the narrative, released my command investigation and medical records to the media. Thus, a week before my court-martial … news agencies were able to cherry pick selective quotes to make me look guilty.”
“After 17 years of representing the Marine Corps … it breaks my heart that this is how the system works.”