Marine Stuart Scheller is relieved of duty after demanding military leaders admit 'we messed up' Afghanistan withdrawal

A US Marine was relieved of his command for publicly demanding senior US military brass take “accountability” for overseeing the execution of the pullout from Afghanistan after 13 troops died in Thursday’s suicide bombing. 

“I have been relieved for cause based on a lack of trust and confidence…”  Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller posted on his social media page. 


RESPECTS DECISION

The soldier didn’t appear to be spiteful in the least. 

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

On Thursday, ISIS-K took credit for sending in a suicide bomber into the Kabul airport security gate who detonated a device that slain at least 170 people dead and wounded 155. 

The blast rocked Kabul leaving 12 Marines and one Navy medic and 15 other US soldiers injured. 

The attack came only days before the US Aug. 31 date to be completely out of Afghanistan. 

Marine Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie has estimated there are now some 5,000 individuals awaiting evacuation from the country and 104,000 civilians have been evacuated – including about 5,000 Americans.

'MESS GOING ON THERE'

The father of three who has served the US Marine Corps Infantry for 17 years first openly admitted that part of what compelled him to come forward to speak out was losing his comrades to the “mess going on [in Afghanistan].”

“I know through an inside channel that one of the people that was killed was someone I have a personal relationship with,” he said.

Scheller then tried to make he drew on the courage to “demand the same honesty, integrity and accountability from my senior leaders.”

'LEADERS LET US DOWN'

He questioned Marine Commandant Gen. David H. Berger, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark A. Milley and expressed heavy-hearted emotions that these superiors were "supposed to advise."

The Marine also read a portion from an Aug. 18 letter signed by Berger that emphasizes that members' sacrifices meant something. 

“You should take pride in your service,” the letter reads. “It gives meaning to all the Marines who served including those whose sacrifice was ultimate.”

The Marine was lost on why nobody in the decider position has owned up to misses in the mission after the terror attack.

“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,” he said in the video testimonial while decked out in his Marine uniform and first reported by Fox News.

'WE COMPLETELY MESSED UP'

Scheller called on the leaders in charge of the Afghanistan mission to explain why soldiers died as a result of the architecture of the evacuation.

"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?'"

He then questioned the heart and honesty of the leaders of the Afghanistan withdrawal for “not holding up their end of the bargain.”

"Without that, we just keep repeating the same mistakes," he said. "…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." 

FALLOUT

On Friday, Scheller confirmed he was being “relieved for cause” and that he was “exiting the Marine Corps.”

Marine Corps spokesman Maj. Jim Stenger confirmed on Friday evening that 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.”

The main sticking point that led to Scheller getting the hook was taking his protest in the public square. 

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


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