UPDATED 2:49 PM PT – Thursday, October 14, 2021
The decorated Marine who publicly criticized top military brass over the failed Afghanistan withdrawal pleaded guilty to all charges. Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. entered his plea on Thursday during a court martial hearing at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
In August, Scheller was relieved of his command after posting blistering videos on social media calling for accountability over the Afghanistan crisis. He was then thrown in the brig and spent a week in solitary confinement.
The 40-year-old pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor charges including disobeying a superior and conduct unbecoming of an officer. Scheller admitted he could’ve chosen to word his statements differently, but at times still defended what he had said.
“I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders, I demand accountability.” – Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller on the failures in Afghanistan that led to American servicemen dying. pic.twitter.com/JPH3nTctrG
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) August 27, 2021
When asked by the judge why he acted the way he did, Scheller responded “a message of accountability was more important than the lawfulness of my behavior. I chose to speak out knowing it is unlawful in an effort to illustrate the hypocrisy of my senior leaders.”
Scheller’s lawyer hopes his punishment will be honorable discharge.