After being released from the brig, Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, the outspoken Marine who went viral for criticizing military leadership during the U.S. departure from Afghanistan, was charged with six offenses.
Scheller will face a misdemeanor-level special court-martial for his viral videos that attacked both civilian and military authority.
In August, Scheller released a video responding to a suicide bombing in Kabul that killed 13 U.S. service members and over 100 Afghan civilians. Scheller stated in the video that senior officials should raise their hands and accept responsibility for the withdrawal, which he described as a disaster, CBS News reported.
“People are upset because their senior leaders let them down and none of them are raising their hands and accepting responsibility and saying we messed this up,” Scheller said in the video.
He chastised Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley for closing Bagram Air Post, the country’s principal U.S. military base, and for failing to predict the fall of the Afghan National Security Forces.
According to Fox News, Maj. Gen. Julian D. Alford referred the allegations to court-martial on Wednesday, Oct. 6, one day after Scheller was freed from pre-trial custody for breaking a social media agreement,
After the attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport killed 13 U.S. service members, Scheller was removed from his command at one of Camp Lejeune’s infantry training battalions for sharing the footage to Facebook and LinkedIn.
Scheller is accused of showing contempt for officials, disrespecting higher commissioned officers, wilfully defying a superior commissioned officer, dereliction of duty and refusal to obey an order or regulation, and acting in a manner unfit for an officer and gentleman.
The Marine Corps believes that personnel should raise concerns within their chain of command rather than publicly criticizing leadership on social media.
However, while Scheller’s case moves through military tribunals, many have defended him, which has helped the outspoken officer gather funding through the Pipe Hitter Foundation.
Scheller’s legal defense has received funding from the Pipe Hitter Foundation, founded by former Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher after he was charged with war crimes and faced a court-martial in 2019.
Scheller’s parents have also defended him, claiming that all he was doing was demanding accountability from military superiors. “All our son did is ask the questions that everybody was asking themselves, but they were too scared to speak out loud,” Scheller’s father, Stu Scheller Sr., told Task & Purpose last week.“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.”