Lt. Colonel Stuart Scheller has been charged with six violations and will face a special court martial for publicly criticizing the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal
A Marine officer who publicly criticized the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan will plead guilty to multiple charges filed against him for his comments, his lawyer has said.
Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller Jr took to Facebook in August after 13 service members were killed in a suicide bombing at Kabul airport to demand accountability from those occupying higher roles within the military branch.
Scheller is seen in uniform in the viral video and says: ‘It’s time for a new generation to assume American power. We are ready, and we reject the current system… Follow me, and we will bring the whole f***ing system down… in a constitutional manner 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 faces a court-martial on six violations: contempt toward officials, disrespect toward the superior commissioned officers, willfully disobeying superior commissioned officers, dereliction in the performance of duties, failure to obey order or regulation, and conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman.
But Tim Parlatore, one of Scheller’s attorneys, told The Hill that Scheller has chosen to plead guilty in the case.
‘This case began with a call for accountability and Lt. Col. Scheller will demonstrate to senior leadership how to accept accountability for his own actions,’ Parlatore said.
Parlatore said that he is working on an agreement to obtain Scheller an honorable discharge or a discharge with honorable conditions.
He added that Scheller should only get a letter of reprimand and no additional punishments after the ‘totally excessive and unnecessary’ week in prison.
Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller was thrown in brig for breaking gag order after the soldier had panned the US hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan
Some US representatives have said Scheller Jr’s imprisonment ‘appears to be for messaging, retribution, and convenience.’ The brig is pictured
A source close to the case says Scheller stayed in an area of the brig normally for murderers
Scheller was three days from retirement when he was stripped of his post and thrown in the grim confinement quarters to await military trial for contempt.
THE MILITARY’S CHARGES AGAINST LIEUTENANT COLONEL STUART SCHELLER
- Contempt towards officials
- Disrespect toward the superior commissioned officers
- Willfully disobeying superior commissioned officer
- Dereliction in the performance of duties
- Failure to obey order or regulation
- Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman
He has also tried to resign, in a written request, and relinquish his $2million pension, but the military hasn’t accepted it.
After he was released on October 5th, Scheller’s media team released an update saying: ‘An IRO hearing was scheduled to review Lt Col 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.
‘Lt Col Scheller has submitted a request for redress regarding the unlawful order to his command. 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.
‘Lt Col 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
Supporters have raised over $2 million for the marine who was jailed for defying orders to stop publicly criticizing the nation’s Afghanistan withdrawal
Scheller publicly shared his resignation letter, addressing it to Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Torro and citing ‘a lack of trust and confidence in your ability to lead’
The Washington Times reports that Scheller’s initial court appearance was quietly delayed after protests from the media that they would not be allowed to observe it.
In a statement, they told DailyMail.com: ‘Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. is being released from confinement today, Oct. 5, 2021, as a result of a mutual agreement between Lt. Col. Scheller, his Defense counsel, and the Commanding General, Training Command.’
Scheller, based in North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune, was three years from retirement when he posted a scathing video criticizing superiors on August 26, the same day that the 13 US troops were killed in Kabul.
‘I’m not saying we need to be in Afghanistan forever, but I am 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 airbase, before we evacuate everyone’?’ Scheller Jr said in the widely-shared 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 ‘due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command,’ according to Maj. Jim Stenger, a spokesman for the Marines.
On October 2nd, his mother Cathy told how the family had been left ‘heartbroken’ by how the military had treated him.
Stu and Cathy Scheller, parents of Lt. Col. 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 no nothing. We’re heartbroken over this and so is he.
‘We love America and we are so shocked at what we’re 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 command.
‘All our son did is ask the questions that everybody was asking themselves, but they were too scared to speak out loud,’ Scheller Sr. said. ‘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.’
The Pipe Hitter Foundation, founded by Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher – who was accused of murdering an ISIS prisoner of war in 2017 and then pardoned by Donald Trump – started the fundraiser, which has received more than 26,000 donations and raised a total of $2,081,913.
It says that the donations will go towards funding mounting legal expenses, helping Scheller’s wife and three kids financially and to aid Scheller’s transition out of the military.