Marine Removed From Post After Demanding Senior Leaders Take ‘Accountability’ Over For Afghanistan

Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, who called for accountability over the ongoing debacle in Afghanistan  has been relieved from his post following his now-viral video where he demanded that senior American leaders take responsibility for the actions related to the US military withdrawal in the country which led to the death of at least 13 US servicemen.

Reports said 11 Marines, an Army soldier and a Navy corpsman were killed in multiple terror attacks near Kabul’s airport on Thursday as US forces scramble to beat an August 31 deadline to evacuate its citizens, allies, as well as troops from the country. 

The suicide bombings — which the Islamic State – Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) has claimed responsibility for — also caused the death of 169 Afghans, with hundred others injured.

In his video, Scheller, who has served in the USMC Infantry for 17 years, slammed senior military leaders like Marine Commandant Gen. David H. Berger, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark A. Milley, whom he said was “supposed to advise” in the ongoing operations in Afghanistan.

“I’m not saying we need to be in Afghanistan forever, but I am saying, did any of you throw your rank on the table and say, ‘Hey, it’s a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic airbase, before we evacuate everyone’? Did anyone do that? And when you didn’t think to do that, did anyone raise their hand and say, ‘We completely messed this up’?”

Scheller relieved after criticizing military leadership

In an update on Friday, Scheller said he had been “relieved for cause based on a lack of trust and confidence.”

“My chain of command is doing exactly what I would do … if I were in their shoes,” Scheller wrote on Facebook. 

“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,” he added.

Scheller went on to lament how America may have “issues” but that the country remains his home. He also pointed out that though his career may be ending — he is looking forward to a “new beginning.”

“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,” Scheller said in his social media post.

“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 added.

Responding to Scheller’s removal, Marine Corps spokesman Maj. Jim Stenger said Scheller “was relieved of command by Col. David Emmel, Commanding Officer of School of Infantry-East, due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command.”

“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. There is a forum in which Marine leaders can address their disagreements with the chain of command, but it’s not social media,” the statement added.

Scheller also read a letter from Marine Commandant Gen. Berger saying that the service members’ sacrifices in Afghanistan were not made in vain — as he encouraged those who need it to seek counselling.

“I get it. People have killed people. I’ve killed people, and I see counseling, and that’s fine. There’s a time and place for that.” 

“The reason people are so upset on social media right now is not because the Marine on the battlefield let someone down. That service member has always risen to the occasion and done extraordinary things. People are upset because their senior leaders let them down, and none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability and saying, ‘We messed this up,’” Scheller said, referring to the angry sentiments on social media over the messy exit of US troops in Afghanistan.

He went on to note that others could see that service members did “die in vain if we don’t have senior leaders who own up and raise their hand and say, ‘we did not do this well in the end.’”

“Without that, we just keep repeating the same mistakes,” Scheller added. “…I want to say this very strongly. 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.