Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, the Marine officer whose meteoric rise to internet began with a video criticizing military leadership in Afghanistan, is currently in the brig, his father told Task & Purpose.
“All our son did is ask the questions that everybody was asking themselves, but they were too scared to speak out loud,” said Stu Scheller Sr. “He was asking for accountability. In fact, I think he even asked for an apology that we made mistakes, but they couldn’t do that, which is mind-blowing.”
He said that his son is expected to appear before a military hearing on Thursday.
“They had a gag order on him and asked him not to speak,” the senior Scheller said. “He did, and they incarcerated him. They don’t know what to do with him.”
Where is Stuart Scheller?
After this story was first published, the Marine Corps issued a statement confirming that Scheller has been sent to the brig.
“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,” said Capt. Sam Stephenson, a spokesman for Training and Education Command. “The time, date, and location of the proceedings have not been determined. Lt. Col. Scheller will be afforded all due process,” according to Military Times.
However, although confined, Scheller currently faces no charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Stephenson said. However, multiple UCMJ charges are being considered.
“The general nature of the offenses being considered at the Art. 32 hearing are: Article 88 (contempt toward officials), Article 90 (willfully disobeying superior commissioned officer), Article 92 (failure to obey lawful general orders), Article 133 (conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman),” Stephenson told Marine Corps Times via email Tuesday.
Why is Lt Col Scheller jailed?
The Marine Corps declined to comment on the specific events that led to Scheller’s confinement.
Scheller rose to prominence on August 26 after posting a video on Facebook and Linkedin criticizing the handling of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. In the video, Scheller accused senior military leaders of abdicating their responsibilities and questioned some of the command decisions made in the run-up to, and during, America’s longest war.
“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 in the video.
Stu Scheller Sr. described his son as a proud American who loves the Marine Corps and has served proudly for the past 17 years.
“He’s asking for the same accountability that is expected of him and his men,” Scheller Sr. said.
In August, Scheller also posted on Facebook announcing that he had been relieved as battalion commander for Advanced Infantry Training Battalion at School of Infantry East at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Andrew Milburn, who retired from the Marine Corps as a colonel in 2019, wrote a commentary:
No one was surprised at the decision to fire him — least of all Scheller, who commented in a social media post, “My chain of command is doing exactly what I would do…. if I were in their shoes.”
All of us who have worn the same uniform know that his actions violated the canons of our profession — so did he. Scheller broke the rules, and there is little room to question the rationale for his firing. Unfortunately, the method in which Scheller chose to deliver his message has become a distraction from the message itself.
Marine Stuart Scheller faces military hearing
‘Fox & Friends’ hosts discuss the jailing of an outspoken Marine officer, Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, who criticized the military’s leadership during the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Scheller would go on to release several more videos, eliciting both praise and criticism, as well as the ire of military leaders. Superiors eventually told him to stop posting to social media entirely, an order he immediately defied by posting about the gag order.
The officer also appeared to be aware that his last post could result in a trip to the brig.
“What happens when all you do is speak truth and no one wants to hear it. But they can probably stop listening because… I’m crazy… right?” Scheller wrote at the end of the post. “Col Emmel please have the MPs waiting for me at 0800 on Monday. I’m ready for jail.”
The Pipe Hitter Foundation announced Wednesday that it is “assisting” Scheller in both his pending legal fight and his transition out of the Marine Corps.
Updated: Parents Of Imprisoned Marine: ‘His Crime Was Speaking Truth To Power’
Cathy Scheller said that they don’t know what the charges are against their son, although Stu Scheller Sr. suggested that it was tied to his son’s decision to break a gag order that he was under.
“Probably a week or two ago, or maybe it was a week ago, they put him under a gag order. They took away his right to post, to talk on social media, to email, to text,” Stu Scheller Sr. told Fox News host Tucker Carlson. “He shared it with America. And he knew this weekend, when he posted again and he broke his silence, that they were probably going to arrest him on Monday. So, he is a very intelligent man. He understands what’s going to happen to him.”
“And I said last night on a program, Tucker, his crime was speaking truth to power, and power couldn’t handle it,” Stu Scheller Sr. continued. “I also said that while he broke chain of command, Austin, Milley, McKenzie, they broke the chain of trust and confidence in the American people. We’re mad, we’re mad as hell. And I’m asking the American people to find your voice. Stand up, demand accountability of your Congresspeople. Ask for Lieutenant Scheller to be freed. In my opinion, of course, I’m dad, so it’s probably not fair, but I think he should receive his pension after 17 years of fighting for this country. I think he and his family should have their health benefits and VA benefits for the rest of their lives for the sacrifices he’s made.”