Stuart Scheller, the marine who spoke out and criticized the United States military regarding the withdrawal from Afghanistan, offered to resign under honorable conditions. His offer was, however, rejected, and he is now facing pre-trial.
The marine is Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, and his offer was reportedly rejected by Maj. Gen. Julian Alford, the commander of the Marine Corps Training Command. In August, Scheller posted a video demanding accountability over senior military officials regarding the Afghanistan withdrawal and said he was willing to throw away his years of military service over it. Shortly after that, he uploaded another video saying he was relieved for cause and posted recently that he was ordered to refrain from posting.
According to CBS News, Scheller hasn’t been charged yet, but as per legal documents, he is facing potential charges of conduct unbecoming an officer, contempt toward officials, disobeying a senior officer, and failure to obey an order or regulation.
He is currently being held in the brig.
What His Parents Are Saying
Scheller’s parents revealed in an interview that their son offered to resign, but the Marine Corps told them that he served at the president’s pleasure, so they were not required to accept his resignation. Instead of accepting the resignation, Scheller was removed from his post “with no pension and no benefits. It was verbal, and he did not accept that.”
Scheller’s parents said there would be an Initial Review Officer’s (IRO) hearing this week or next week, but Scheller’s attorney did not receive information yet as to the time or date of the hearing. His parents noted they have not spoken to him since being incarcerated, and they only have information coming from his attorney.
The parents further revealed, “Stuart’s lawyer has lowered our expectations that they could keep him in jail for 6, 9, 12 months prior to an official Court Martial trial. Charges have not even been filed yet by the Marine Corps. We don’t even know why he’s in jail other than breaking a gag order, so it’s kind of hard to mount a defense if we don’t know what he’s being charged with.”
His parents are not pleading for the Marine Corps to act on this matter. His father said, “I’m going to answer on behalf of our son, Stuart, but also on behalf of the United States Marine Corps. I have been a proud father of a marine for the last 17 years. I’m proud of our military, I’m proud of America, and I’m proud of the Marine Corps. And I’m telling you that because if the Marine Corps goes through with this, they daily continue to destroy their credibility and I don’t want to tear down the Marine Corps, I don’t want to tear down this institution, so I’m imploring them: let’s settle this, let Stuart out. He should be out with his pension, his benefits, and in my opinion it should be an honorable discharge.”
Scheller’s mom also said that the Marines wanted her son to look unstable as they let him undergo a psychological evaluation after being relieved of his command. His mom said she has no confidence in the Marines now because, for the last 30 days, they have “done the opposite of everything a normal leadership team would do.”
The pre-trial hearing this week or next week is based on potential charges of conduct unbecoming an officer, contempt toward officials, disobeying a senior officer, and failure to obey an order or regulation.
Also Read: Marine Officer Who Criticized Afghanistan Withdrawal Wants To Prosecute CENTCOM Commander For Neglect Of Duty