Recently fired Marine Officer for asking senior Pentagon leaders to take responsibility for the suicide bombing attack on U.S. military personnel that killed U.S. troops last week. He has now doubled down and indicated that he is ready to make a difference within the Defense Department.
Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller posted a Facebook video asking whether any top Pentagon officials reacted to President Joe Biden’s decision in July to abandon the easier-defended Bagram Air Base and instead evacuate from Kabul’s harder-to-defend Airport at Kabul. He said that he would continue to push for “accountability.”
“The baby boomer’s turn is over,” he told the paper. “I demand accountability, at all levels. If we don’t get it, I’m bringing it.”
He then went on to quote Thomas Jefferson, adding that “every generation needs a revolution.”
Last week, Scheller said in a four-plus minute video someone in the Pentagon needed to take responsibility for the attack and for the decision to abandon the air base, the primary hub for all U.S. and NATO operations throughout the war.
For criticism, he specifically named Marine Corps Commandant General David H. Berger and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin as well as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley.
“The reason people are so upset on social media right now is not because the Marine on the battlefield let someone down,” he stated.
“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,’” he said.
It’s extremely rare and unusual for a lower-ranking military officer to call out senior Pentagon and Defense Department officials. Scheller seemed to realize that he was putting his own career at risk when he posted the video.
“I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders, ‘I demand accountability,’” he added.
“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.”
Scheller said he personally kScheller claimed that he knew one of those Marines who were killed in Thursday’s attack. He also said that “potentially, all those people did die in vain” if no one steps up and accepts responsibility.
Last week, Biden told a Fox News reporter that he was ultimately responsible for Afghanistan’s decisions as commander-in-chief. However, no other senior military leader has stated the same.
Maj. Jim Stenger, a spokesperson for the Marine Corps, stated to the Daily Mail that Scheller, a battalion commanding officer, was relieved by Col. David Emmel Commanding Officer of School of Infantry East “due to loss of trust and conviction in his ability to direct,” which is military jargon.
“This is obviously an emotional time for a lot of Marines, and we encourage anyone struggling right now to seek counseling or talk to a fellow Marine,” Stenger stated .
“There is a forum in which Marine leaders can address their disagreements with the chain of command, but it’s not social media,” he stated.