Veteran panel debates whether Scheller should receive honorable discharge
Veterans Joey Jones, Dakota Meyer and David Bellavia discuss if GOP influence could help Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, who spoke out against the Afghanistan withdrawal, get an honorable discharge
Former Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. announced that he has been discharged from the Marine Corps, approximately four months after his criticism of the Afghanistan withdrawal went viral.
In a lengthy Facebook post on Thursday, Scheller recapped what he went through after posting videos on social media in August criticizing the Afghan exit, including a letter of reprimand, special court-martial, detention, and a fine. Still, as he returns to civilian life he remains thankful for what his military experience provided.
“I was released from the Marine Corps today, Thursday, December 23rd, 2021. I am filled with mixed emotions. I would like to sincerely thank the Marine Corps for forging me into a man,” Scheller said. “And from the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank all the Marines who served, led, bled, and suffered alongside me the past 17 years.”
The now-former Marine said he received a general discharge under honorable conditions, which is lower than an honorable discharge.
Scheller recalled that since August he has been “relieved of command” and “slandered as homicidal/suicidal by the USMC’s public affairs team,” in addition to being imprisoned for days “under the false pretense of ‘flight risk,'” and had his medical records and details of the investigation into him leaked to media.
The firestorm began Aug. 26 when Scheller, dressed in uniform, posted a video on social media slamming military brass for an ISIS-K suicide bombing at Kabul airport that left 13 service members and at least 169 Afghan civilians dead.
“I’m not saying we’ve got 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?’” said Scheller. “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?'”
He was relieved of command the next day, but kept posting videos until he was court-martialed and placed in the brig for nine days before he ultimately pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor-level violations of military law on Oct. 15.
Scheller, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, received a sentence of a $5,000 fine and letter of reprimand. The letter, from Gen. Maj. Gen. Julian D. Alford, said that Scheller had violated his solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution.
“Your actions have harmed good order and discipline with the service as well as publicly discredited the U.S. Marine Corps,” the general scolded. “Your narcissistic acts can serve only to erode the rule of law.”
Scheller took issue with that characterization, and in a two-page response letter he blasted his superiors for putting him in jail “on the claim that I was a flight risk, which was unsupported by any facts” – and refusing to provide underwear, socks and other basic necessities during the first five days in solitary confinement. He insisted that he is not “narcisstic” and called for an investigation into the leak of his medical records, which he accused his superiors of doing in retaliation for speaking out about the withdrawal.
In his Thursday Facebook post, Scheller thanked “the 40K Americans who donated to my foundation while I was in jail,” saying that seeing the outpouring of support “fills my heart with love for Americans.” He also thanked those who contacted members of Congress and military leaders on his behalf.
“Your support was instrumental in enabling my release from the institution,” he said.
Scheller had been silenced by a gag order for the past four months, but he is now eager to tell his story. He announced that in the new year he will be going on a “media blitz,” beginning with an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on January 4.
A Marine Corps spokesperson confirmed Scheller’s release.
“Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller is no longer on active duty and was separated from the service on Dec. 24, 2021,” the spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News. “Out of respect for the privacy rights afforded uniformed service members, we have nothing further to add regarding his status or the characterization of his service in the Marine Corps.”
Fox News’ Rebecca Rosenberg contributed to this report.
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