The US military fired a Marine officer for demanding accountability from the military leadership Specifically, he called out officers for avoiding responsibility for the recent Kabul airport mess.
Afterward, the officer clarified that he quit so that the military brass wouldn’t need to fire him.
Marine Officer Video Went Viral
The United States Marine Corps Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller is a 17-year Marine veteran. Last week, he posted a video demanding accountability from senior officers over the Kabul suicide bombing.
In particular, the bombing resulted in 13 Marines killed and dozens injured. The tragedy happened as the US military was evacuating thousands of Americans from Afghanistan. “People are upset because their senior leaders let them down, and none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying, ‘We messed this up,’” Scheller said.
Specifically, he called out his superior, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David H. Berger. Scheller also called out Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. In addition, he also mentioned Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley.
Later that week, Scheller said that the Marine leadership fired him. He posted on social media that was “relieved for cause based on a lack of trust and confidence as of 14:30” Friday.
The 41-year old Marine officer is three years short of qualifying for a full pension. However, he said that in the aftermath of his video that went viral, he’s okay losing his pension and benefits. In a follow-up YouTube post, Scheller made up his mind to quit.
He said he’ll be resigning his commission. As a result, he will lose around $2 million in pension. This is what he earned for his 17 years of service.
In addition, the Marine officer also doubled down on his decision to walk away. “I could stay in the Marine Corps for another three years, but I don’t think that’s the path I’m on.
I’m resigning my commission as a United States Marine effective now. I am forfeiting retirements, all entitlements. I don’t want a single dollar,” he said. In addition, Scheller said he’s okay losing his veteran benefits as well. “I don’t want any money from the VA. I don’t want any VA benefits. I’m sure I’m entitled 100 percent,” he said.
Scheller Demanded Accountability From Higher Officers
In his original video, Scheller said that the US should have held onto their most strategic airbase, Bagram. Earlier, General Milley said that Bagram was not “tactically or operationally necessary” for the US military’s final exit from Afghanistan.
When his fellow officers saw his video, some showed their support for his message. However, some also urged him to take it down. Later, Scheller posted on Facebook his reaction to the suggestions.
“Obviously I didn’t take it down. I’ll offer this … we can’t ALL be wrong. If you all agree … then step up. They only have the power because we allow it. What if we all demanded accountability?”
Show of Support for Scheller
Meanwhile, the Marine officer’s video received more than 30,000 likes and comments. In fact, some of the support came from soldiers he worked within his tours.
“Proud to have served under your command sir, we’ll follow you to the pits of hell and back,” wrote Zach Olbrys of Worcester, Massachusetts. Then, another supporter from Lexington, Kentucky, hopes that the Marine officer will run for a political seat.
“I see a seat in Washington in your near future!! It was always an honor serving with you sir! Semper Fi!,” commented Ryan Holland. In addition, another follower praised Scheller for standing up for his beliefs.
“It took big brass balls to do what you did … [knowing] it came at a huge risk to your career personally. An Officer with integrity … hard to find at the senior levels these days. My hat is off to you Sir!,” wrote Paul Zedalis.
Watch TheDC Shorts video where a Marine Officer Speaks Out About Afghanistan Disaster:
Do you agree with Lt. Col. Scheller’s assertion that the military leadership should hold themselves accountable? Also, do you agree with the way Scheller brought it up? In addition, do you think he should have talked to his superiors directly about his grievance?
Let us know what you think. Share your thoughts below.