September 28, 2021
“Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. is currently in pre-trial confinement in the Regional Brig for Marine Corps Installations East aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune pending an Article 32 preliminary hearing,” the Marine Corps Training and Education Command spokesperson Captain Sam Stephenson said in a statement to news website Task & Purpose.
Stephenson added that the date and location of the trial have not yet been determined, and Scheller will have all his legal rights respected.
The marine’s father, Stu Scheller Sr., told the website his son wanted accountability for the chaotic situation in Afghanistan, which unfolded during the late stages of the withdrawal of US troops.
“All our son did is ask the questions that everybody was asking themselves, but they were too scared to speak out loud,” the senior Scheller said.
They had a gag order on him and asked him not to speak. He did, and they incarcerated him. They don’t know what to do with him.
The lieutenant colonel became famous last month after a video was posted on social media of him speaking about his “growing discontent and contempt” for the US’ handling of the withdrawal. “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,’” the marine said.
The video was posted shortly after 13 US service members and more than 160 Afghan civilians were killed in a suicide bombing outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul amid the frantic, last-minute evacuation of Western nationals and local helpers. The Taliban seized the capital with little to no resistance on August 15 as US soldiers were leaving the country.
In his rant, Scheller questioned the decision to remove American troops from the Bagram Airfield, formerly the largest US military base in Afghanistan, before organizing the evacuation of civilians from Kabul and elsewhere. The next day after making his criticism public, Scheller said he had been relieved as battalion commander.
Scheller’s remarks drew praise from conservative figures, including former President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Jr. Republican Party Congressman Matt Gaetz tweeted at the time that the outspoken marine would do a better job than current Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.