A marine battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller was relieved of his duties on Friday 27th August, 2021 after publicly demanding leadership take accountability for the deadly disaster in Afghanistan.
In a video posted on Facebook by Lt.Col Scheller with the caption: “To the American leadership. Very Respectfully, US”, the marine commander called out Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and others for not ‘raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying, “We messed this up.”‘
‘The reason people are so upset on social media right now is not because the Marine on the battlefield let someone down,’ Scheller said in a nearly five-minute video he posted on Facebook.
‘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.”‘
In the video, he said he knew he was risking his stellar 17-year career that included tours in Iraq and Afghanistan by posting the video, but he still ran head-on into metaphorical gunfire.
‘I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders, “I demand accountability.”‘
‘I think what you believe in can only be defined by what you’re willing to risk,’ he said. So, I think it gives me some moral high ground to demand the same honesty, integrity, accountability from my senior leaders.’
Lt. Col. Scheller said he had a personal relationship with one of the Marines who died in Thursday’s ISIS-K bombing and ‘potentially, all those people did die in vain’ if the leaders don’t take ownership of the debacle.
The marine battalion commander who was relieved of his duty for warning superiors over the Afghanistan exit strategy says he will bring ‘accountability’ and that the military ‘needs a revolution.’
In a follow up post to the video, Lt.Col Scheller revealed that he was relieved of his duty.
“To all my friends across the social networks. I have been relieved for cause based on a lack of trust and confidence as of 14:30 today.
My chain of command is doing exactly what I would do… if I were in their shoes. I appreciate the opportunities AITB command provided. To all the news agencies asking for interviews… I will not be making any statements other than what’s on my social platforms until I exit the Marine Corps.
America has many issues… but it’s my home… it’s where my three sons will become men. America is still the light shining in a fog of chaos. When my Marine Corps career comes to an end, I look forward to a new beginning. My life’s purpose is to make America the most lethal and effective foreign diplomacy instrument. While my days of hand to hand violence may be ending…I see a new light on the horizon.
He claimed in another Facebook post that some of his fellow officers have urged him to take down the video despite agreeing with him.
I can’t possibly respond to the overwhelming response. Facebook has stopped allowing me to accept friend requests. But I’ll offer you one more thought… Last night when I posted the video I immediately had multiple Marines call and ask me to take down the post. “We all agree with you Stu, but nothing will change, and it will come at a huge personal cost to you.”
Obviously I didn’t take it down. Now that I’ve had time to process… 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?
“Every generation needs a revolution” Thomas Jefferson”
Watch the video here: