- A naval officer who was jailed after a viral video criticizing leaders of failures in Afghanistan has been released.
- Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller faces a special court-martial, the date of which has not yet been set.
- Six charges, including contempt for officials, have been referred to special court-martial.
The Marine Corps referred six charges against an outspoken naval officer who claimed responsibility from senior military leaders for failures in Afghanistan in a viral video last month, to a special court-martial on Wednesday.
Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller, former commander of the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, became infamous after putting his 17-year career in the Marine Corps at stake in a video calling the Secretary of Defense, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and others for missteps in Afghanistan.
The video, posted on social media the same day as 13 U.S. troops were killed in a suicide bombing in the middle of evacuation operations at Kabul airport, accused leaders of betraying U.S. service members.
After the video came out, Scheller revealed in a follow-up post that he had been relieved of his command. The naval officer initially sought to resign his commission and leave the military, but this did not happen.
Towards the end of September, the Marine Corps revealed that Scheller was incarcerated in a preliminary lawsuit in the Regional Brig for Marine Corps Installations East aboard the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
Service members are being detained before the trial if a crime has been committed that can be tried by the courts in part, and defendants are considered a flight risk that could engage in further criminal conduct, according to the Marine Corps.
While Scheller is still facing martial law, he was released from detention on Tuesday as part of an agreement between Scheller, his defense attorney and the commander-in-chief of the Training Command.
For his criticism of senior U.S. military leaders as an active uniformed official, Scheller has been accused by the UCMJ of contempt for officials, disrespect for senior commissioners, intentional obedience to a senior commissioner, failure to perform duties, failure to comply with an order or regulation and conduct without being served by an officer and a gentleman.
In response to questions about Scheller’s right to freedom of expression, Training Command said in a statement that “there are proper forums to raise concerns with the chain of command”, adding that in general it was not social media posts that criticized the chain of command to travel properly. concerns on “and may constitute a UCMJ infringement.