The U.S. Marine who criticized the military withdrawal from Afghanistan in a viral video has resigned his commission after being dismissed from command of the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Stars & Stripes reports.
Lt. Col. Stu Scheller last week posted a video to social media criticizing senior military and civilian leaders over the withdrawal from Afghanistan after an attack at an airport in Kabul killed 13 U.S. service members and almost 200 Afghani citizens.
“The reason people are so upset on social media right now is not because the Marine on the battlefield let someone down,” Scheller says in the video. “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 a video released on Sunday that he is resigning his commission effective immediately after he was dismissed from his command over the initial video. He says in the second video that he is not currently being investigated and that he could probably remain in the Marines for the remaining three years of his commission and retire if he were to remain silent.
“I don’t think that’s the path I’m on,” he says in the clip, which was recorded in an “abandoned school bus,” in North Carolina. “I’m resigning my commission as a United States Marine, effective now … [and] I am forfeiting my retirement, all entitlements. I don’t want a single dollar.”
He said last Friday, after he was relieved of command, that “my chain of command is doing exactly what I would do … if I were in their shoes.”
Maj. Jim Stenger, a spokesperson for the Marine Corps, said in a statement to Stars & Stripes that while Marine leaders are allowed to bring up disagreements with the chain of command, they are not supposed to do so on social media.
“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 said in a statement.
“The Marine Corps is taking appropriate action to ensure the safety and well-being of LtCol Scheller and his family,” spokesman Capt. Sam Stephenson in an emailed statement on Monday. “As this is a developing situation, we cannot comment further at this time.”