One Marine recently voiced his frustrations with how the senior military leaders have handled the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Marine infantry officer and battalion commander posted a video to his Facebook and LinkedIn accounts calling the military’s leaders out on their “lack of accountability.”
He puts into words what many Americans have already thought. He also gives a voice to those within the military who have been saying the same thing. He points out that the windrawl from the 20-year war could have been done better.
Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller did not mince words in the video.
“I’m not saying we’ve got 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.’”
Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller
He went on to say, “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 posted the video on Thursday evening, clearly identifying who he was along with giving his two cents. Then, less than 24 hours later, he let his followers on Facebook know he had been relieved of command.
Consequences of Free Speech
His response was a rather length Facebook post.
“My chain of command is doing exactly what I would do… if I were in their shoes. I appreciate the opportunities the 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. 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. 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.”Lt. Col. Scheller
The Marine Corps confirmed his statement. Maj. Jim Stenger said he was relieved “due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command.” However, Stenger also pointed out plenty of other channels, and Scheller did not have to involve social media.