Lawyer for Lt. Colonel Stuart Scheller SLAMS prime army brass over consumer’s courtroom martial

9/11 enraged and pained me like all Individuals. However not like lots of my friends, the occasions of 9/11 aren’t what compelled me to hitch the army. For me, I discovered myself working as an accountant in a cubical put up faculty. From my cubical at some point in 2004, I used to be in a position to watch the Marines shifting by way of town of Fallujah on the information. On the heart of this violent assault, was the unit V18. Watching these Marines stuffed me with awe, respect, and love. I knew how a lot I liked America, and I used to be mad at myself for not making extra sacrifices for the nation. I referred to as the Marine Corps that day and started my journey.

After 17 years, I wish to specific how grateful I’m for every little thing the Marine Corps did to mildew me into the person I’m. Regardless of the current occasions, and every little thing that has been mentioned at present I owe the Marine Corps loads.

The Marine Corps for me was by no means speculated to be a profession. However I’ve stayed so long as I’ve for 2 causes:

1. Love for the Marines and

2. The chance to make a distinction on the battlefield as a pacesetter.

I really imagine America is the best nation on this planet.

I really imagine the American army is the best army on this planet.

I really imagine the Marine Corps has the most effective expertise of all of the army providers.

However I additionally actually imagine basic change must happen within the army. I’ve noticed that the Common officers are unable or unwilling to carry themselves accountable.

I’ve all the time liked the Marines. However as my current public feedback illustrate, I’ve began questioning the long-standing system of the Marine Corps, and for that matter, the army as an entire.

Previous to the withdrawal of Afghanistan, I used to be reflecting on the often-told tales concerning the earlier Commandants Wilson and Barrow. These two Commandants led the USMC after the failures in Vietnam. The narrative informed at present is that Commandants Wilson and Barrow ‘mounted the service’ with their generational shift. They mounted the Service by elevating the requirements on the junior enlisted Marine. Mentioned one other approach, the junior enlisted Marines weren’t able to profitable the Vietnam warfare, or the following warfare, so the Generals wanted to repair the Service.

I used to be fascinated by the parallels of Vietnam and Afghanistan as I learn Common Berger’s letter to the Power dated 18 August. This letter in my view completely illustrates senior army chief’s incapability to see the true ache in Service members following a failed warfare effort. Common Berger informed Service members their sacrifices have been price it with out providing any connection again to an even bigger goal. He concluded the letter with how Service members ought to go search counseling. At no level did he acknowledge any failures of the management.

Per week after studying his assertion, I used to be sitting in my workplace on August twenty sixth, and I used to be informed that 13 service members had been killed and plenty of extra injured in an SVEST assault. I additionally knew the vast majority of the casualties have been from V18… my first unit. My thoughts was instantly taken again to my buddy Dave Borden, who was hit with an SVEST once we served in Ramadi along with V18. It was the identical scenario enjoying out once more. I thought of on a regular basis I spent with Dave in Walter Reed, and within the half-way remedy home months later. I thought of LCpl Gluff who was killed in that SVEST assault subsequent to Dave. And similtaneously these ideas ran by way of my thoughts, I used to be receiving photos from a buddy on my telephone from Marines who have been concerned within the current Abby Gate Afghanistan SVEST incident.

In that second I had readability. I spotted the army was persevering with to make the identical errors as a result of senior leaders continued to diagnose the flawed downside. I concluded that our senior leaders have been both unable or unwilling to have an trustworthy dialogue about our failures in a public discussion board that might necessitate REAL change. I additionally determined that quietly addressing these considerations throughout the chain of command could be ineffective. I knew my complaints would by no means be heard by the Commandant, the SECDEF, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, or the American folks if I went by way of the right channels. Reference the costs I attempted to choose in opposition to Common McKenzie. It’s a excellent instance of how going by way of the system does not work.

Within the first video I related the failed Afghan withdraw, the assaults on V18, and Common Berger’s letter to the pressure. I acknowledged, ‘The rationale individuals are so upset proper now’s NOT due to the Marine on the battlefield. That Service member has all the time rose to the event and finished extraordinary issues. The rationale individuals are so upset proper now’s as a result of their senior leaders allow them to down, and none of them are elevating their arms and taking accountability.’ I ended by saying, ‘I have been preventing for 17 years and I am keen to throw all of it away to say to my senior leaders… I demand accountability.’

That Thursday evening, because the video began to go viral, I acknowledged on my LinkedIn web page that I didn’t plan to resign regardless of all of the calls for for my resignation. At the moment, that’s how I felt. I needed to stay within the Marine Corps.

Once I got here into work the following morning, on August twenty seventh, the primary individual I spoke to was Col Emmel. He requested what I used to be making an attempt to realize with the video. He informed me he did not suppose I might be capable of have an effect on any actual change. He then informed me that morning that I might NOT be relieved instantly. He informed me to go dwelling for the weekend and an investigation would happen, and that following the investigation the command would resolve if it warranted my aid and/or follow-on administrative motion.

When Col Emmel left my workplace, my Battalion Govt Officer got here in so we may conduct a turnover. He was going to run the Battalion in my absence. He mentioned, ‘I do not want something from you sir. I simply need you to know the way a lot I respect you, and the way political and fucked up the Marine Corps has gotten. That is why loads of guys are getting out. That is why our outdated Gunner bought out. In reality, I first heard about your video when our outdated Gunner referred to as me this morning. He mentioned, your new boss simply posted a video that’s all reality. I am certain he is taking place, however somebody wanted to have the braveness to say it. Please inform him how proud all of us are of him.’ My Battalion Govt Officer then went on to say, ‘Everyone knows it is political. You understand the joint chiefs who signed a letter condemning the January sixth assaults… how political was that? I am not saying I condone the January sixth assaults, however I’m saying for all of the joint chiefs to signal a letter on that matter, however to not condemn any of the opposite current riots which have brought on extra harm and deaths is only political.’ To which I responded… ‘Sure, these idiots on January sixth have been unorganized and unintelligent. If ever there was a pressure that used deliberate thought, the result might be a lot worse.’

At no time did I ever advocate for the violent overthrow of the federal government. I used to be led into the dialog of the January sixth assaults by somebody I trusted, after which my phrases have been twisted. Moreover, the investigating officer then took that assertion and led each witness he interviewed with questions on my involvement within the January sixth assaults. This in my notion, was as an try by the Marine Corps to color me into one thing I am not. The Marine Corps, regardless of their finest efforts, was not capable of finding any proof of revolt. If the Marine Corps may have charged me with revolt… they might have.

Then later that very same Friday the twenty seventh, whereas I used to be again at my home, with out clarification, Col Emmel referred to as me again into work, although he informed me to take the weekend off. Once I got here again into work, he relieved me for trigger. He by no means defined why he did a 180, and I did not ask. I am unsure if it was my Battalion Govt Officer’s feedback, or a choice made above Col Emmel. However on the time, not even understanding what my Battalion Govt Officer had mentioned, I agreed that the aid was finest for the Marine Corps. And I needed, and nonetheless need, what was finest for the Marine Corps. Once I left work, I made a put up stating that I had been relieved, ‘and that my command was doing precisely what I might have finished.’ After publicly asserting my aid, at the moment, I nonetheless deliberate on permitting the investigation to run its course, and to stay within the Marine Corps with out additional statements.

However after my aid, once I bought dwelling and again on my social media, I noticed a put up from my outdated commanding officer Colonel Hobbs. He commented beneath my assertion on LinkedIn that I did not plan to resign and acknowledged, ‘If Stuart Scheller have been honorable, he would resign.’ This remark devastated me. He did not name me. He did not textual content me. He did not e-mail me. Somebody who I even acknowledged in my second video, ‘That I liked like a father.’ He demonstrated that he did not care about me in any respect. And although he is retired, Colonel Hobbs continues to be very energetic within the Marine Corps. In reality, he referred to as after my second video and left me a voicemail stating that he and Common Neller have been discussing my scenario. That is the affect Col Hobbs nonetheless has.

After studying his remark following my aid, my ideas went from disappointment to anger. It was the primary time I began fascinated by resigning. I began considering, if my name for accountability may end up in me being fired and investigated in 24 hours, and my biggest mentor within the Marine Corps can instantly activate me with none empathy for me as a human being, perhaps my senior leaders do not care about me in any respect. Possibly, this isn’t a corporation that I wish to be part of. This led me to my second put up on Friday the twenty seventh, the place I acknowledged, ‘Final evening once I posted the video I instantly had a number of Marines name and ask me to take down the put up. ‘All of us agree with you Stu, however nothing will change, and it’ll come at an enormous private value to you.’ Now that I’ve had time to course of… I will provide this… we won’t ALL be flawed. If you happen to all agree… then step up. They solely have the ability as a result of we permit it. What if all of us demanded accountability? Each era wants a revolution.’

This put up is the place the Marine Corps and I began parting methods dramatically. My requires revolution have been all the time about altering the system. A system that centralizes energy and fails to carry senior leaders accountable. A system that can instantly activate you when you communicate out.

Col Emmel referred to as me that Friday evening and made it very clear that I used to be heading in direction of authorized motion with the latest put up and jogged my memory once more of the social media coverage.

So I took Saturday to ponder my scenario. In that day I got here to the conclusion that the Marine Corps did not actually care about me, and that finest case, I might be hidden in an workplace for 3 years as a failure. However that almost certainly I used to be heading in direction of a BOI for separation primarily based on my use of the phrase revolution. This example led me into the second video that I posted on Sunday August twenty ninth. The second video was me declaring that I felt just like the Common Officers and leaders of the army did not perceive or care. Within the video I acknowledged my intention to resign and quit my retirement. I additionally acknowledged, ‘I wish to be clear that I really like the Marine Corps.’ After which I went on to state, ‘Comply with me and we are going to convey the entire fucking system down.’ If I may return, I might have chosen totally different phrases. However at no time was {that a} name to violence. I used to be stating that the system is damaged and must be rebuilt. I nonetheless really feel that is the case. I nonetheless really feel basic change is required. I nonetheless really feel a revolution, or rebuilding the damaged system is the one strategy to repair the shortfalls if senior leaders are unable or unwilling to repair it themselves.

Following the put up of the second video, that Sunday afternoon my CO texted me to name him. Instantly after he texted me, the SOI XO referred to as me. I answered his name and spoke to him for over ten minutes. He clearly thought I used to be suicidal, which I knew I wasn’t. He stored stating that he would come meet me, and I stored stating that it wasn’t vital. We repeated the identical factor time and again to one another till lastly I bought annoyed and mentioned, ‘That is sufficient. I answered your name out {of professional} courtesy. I’m not suicidal. And I am not going to proceed having this dialog.’ After which the telephone name ended. I did not name Col Emmel again as a result of I had simply spoken to his XO for an excellent size of time, and I assumed that was enough.

I stored my telephone on for the remainder of the day and nobody referred to as me till later that evening. Two Marines I do know, Main Cummings and LtCol Helminski texted me that NCIS arrived at their homes respectively. Each informed me NCIS was in search of me. To which I responded, ‘Why did not they simply name me and ask the place I used to be?’ They did not know. So I informed each of them the identical factor, ‘I am positive, and I can speak to NCIS tomorrow morning at 08:00 once I present as much as work. I’m not suicidal.’ Then I noticed an announcement launched by the Marine Corps public affairs workplace that acknowledged, ‘the Marine Corps is making an attempt to find LtCol Scheller to make sure his security and the protection of these round him.’ I used to be livid about this assertion. I assumed if the Marine Corps was REALLY making an attempt to find me, that they might have been sensible sufficient to name me. The SOI XO was in a position to attain me. My friends have been in a position to attain me. This appeared like an apparent try from the Marine Corps to color me as suicidal. Which was one other indicator to me that the system did not actually care about me, however solely needed to guard itself. In the event that they actually thought I used to be suicidal… why not name me… until they have been truly hoping I might commit suicide.

Once I went into work the following morning the Marine Corps narrative of my unstable psychological well being continued to be mentioned. My CO informed me he needed me to volunteer for a psychological analysis. I informed him that wasn’t vital. So he ordered me to get a psychological well being analysis. I did, and so they decided what I knew all alongside, which I wasn’t mentally unstable, simply very offended at what I perceived to be constant betrayal.

The psychological well being angle is irritating for a lot of causes. The Marine Corps by no means ordered me to get a psychological well being analysis once I missed the beginning of my first baby whereas deployed to Afghanistan. The Marine Corps by no means ordered me to get a psychological well being analysis once I missed the funerals of all three of my grandparents whereas on totally different deployments. The Marine Corps solely cared about my psychological well being as soon as I publicly challenged the management.

After I used to be launched from the hospital, I felt like all bets have been off. I felt just like the Marine Corps was out to get me, and I did not really feel like a single officer or earlier peer had my again. Simply reference the feedback about me within the investigation. They referred to as me, ‘narcissistic, egotistical, entitled, too relaxed, abusive, bi-polar, poor choice to battalion command, treats folks like shit, embellished fight document, smirks unnecessarily, helps January sixth assaults, ought to go to jail, and so on.’ Nobody mentioned something optimistic. Not one. Whereas presently I hadn’t truly learn the investigation, I may really feel their contempt in each dialog.

Additionally, presently my household was out of state and my marriage was falling aside. All I needed to do was to journey as much as my spouse and attempt to make amends. I requested Col Emmel for depart, however he would not permit it till all my medial and out-processing administration was finished. He mentioned my primary precedence ought to be making ready to exit the Marine Corps, and all different issues may wait. So I needed to proceed to return into work each day, which in my view, was by no means about my finest curiosity.

The next day, on Tuesday, August thirty first, I submitted my resignation letter as a result of I knew the divide between the Marine Corps and myself was too deep for restore.

The following day, Wednesday September 1st, I made 4 posts that I later deleted. Two have been on to Common Berger; in a single put up I acknowledged that I heard Common Burger was making an attempt to courtroom martial me. I then went on to remark about his present initiative to revoke the authority of Battalion Commander’s to handle their unit’s social media. To me that is an instance of the system centralizing management. In a second put up to Common Berger, I thanked him for addressing the necessity to focus on the withdraw of Afghanistan. A 3rd put up I made that day was in response to the assault on my small enterprise. I spoke to my enterprise companion who informed me MCCS was doubtlessly pulling my product, The Excellent Ribbon, off the cabinets of the Marine Corps exchanges due to my actions. Once more, this was simply one other instance of how I believed the Marine Corps was unlawfully attacking me. Once more I believed, why would they do this if they really cared about me? My fourth put up that day was to my spouse. She wasn’t answering my telephone calls. I wasn’t in a position to take depart, and although I knew she had taken down her social media, I knew my plea to her could be forwarded. However in hindsight, I should not have made any of these posts. So I ended up deleting all 4 posts from that Wednesday. I concluded that I used to be beneath duress and that the posts did not precisely mirror my message. I additionally deeply remorse the way in which I dealt with what ought to have been a non-public dialog with my spouse.

However I by no means went again and deleted my messages demanding accountability, or how I believed the system was failing. I made one other put up on Thursday 2 September clarifying my place and demand for accountability. I very clearly acknowledged that ‘I deliberate to convey the entire system down… in a constitutional method with one loud voice.’

At this level, I felt the world was in opposition to me, and all I may see was the hypocrisy of the system. Every little thing I thought of annoyed me. So I made one other put up on Labor Day that quoted the correct within the Declaration of Independence for the folks to throw off the outdated type of authorities if it is not serving the pursuits of the folks. I additionally illustrated my frustration with Common officers who take jobs with excessive paying authorities contractors following their retirement. This appears extremely unethical to me and is one other symptom of our incapability to carry senior leaders accountable. For instance, the present Secretary of Protection bought a excessive paying job with Raytheon to be on the board of administrators following his army retirement, which in itself is unethical. However then he was chosen to turn into the Secretary of Protection. The moral points with this battle of curiosity are apparent to me.

Later that week, on Friday September tenth, I printed a 3rd video titled United WE stand. On this video I used to be making an attempt to speak my emotional course of. I used to be making an attempt to point out all of the individuals who stored calling me loopy that I used to be only a regular man, like all different Service members requested to kill folks within the final 20 years. I needed to normalize the psychological influence on service members after a failed warfare. I needed different Service Members to see that it is regular to get mad. And that simply since you’re mad, does not imply you are bi-polar or have a psychological sickness. That it is regular to cry. That it is regular to query why your authorities requested you to commit violence. That it is regular to demand accountability from the identical senior leaders who requested you to commit the violence. At no time in that video did I state I used to be going to make use of violence to carry my senior leaders accountable. However once more, that’s how the message was spun. I posted the video to exhibit how these feelings are regular, however by some means I used to be painted as even crazier than earlier than. Everybody was telling me that I used to be having a psychological break down.

Following this video my lawyer was making an attempt to make a deal.

However on the time, I felt like my honor and repute have been at stake. I felt the Marine Corps was difficult me with out addressing my calls for for accountability… AT ALL. I felt like at that time, if I had taken any agreed upon deal, I might all the time have been painted because the stereotypical loopy veteran. I felt like all my very legitimate factors would have been forgotten.

And to be clear, I’m a command chosen Battalion Commander. Are you able to think about a LCpl demanding accountability for rape or another legitimate grievance? How do you suppose the command would deal with these Marines? Do you suppose the command could be extra sympathetic to them than how they’ve handled me? This complete course of, in my view, ought to be a case research on how the system can activate somebody who speaks out. I really hope going ahead that Marine Corps leaders can higher tolerate challenges to the system.

I ended up deciding to put up a fourth video, on Thursday September sixteenth, to make sure my request for accountability was not forgotten. I posted the video in my uniform, as a result of not like my earlier two movies, I used to be very managed and deliberate within the fourth video. Within the fourth video, I used to be talking on to the Common officers. I additionally acknowledged my intention to choose authorized costs in opposition to Common McKenzie in order that my command, who was making an attempt to carry me accountable, would even be pressured to take a proper place on the costs I levied in opposition to Common McKenzie. However up thus far, they’ve denied me this proper.

After I posted the fourth video, my command lastly grew uninterested in reminding me concerning the social media coverage and issued me the gag order. To be clear, I by no means acknowledged that I might cease posting. I solely signed and acknowledge that Col Emmel gave me a gag order. After signing, I remained silent for the remainder of the week on social media. Throughout that week I used to be preventing 4 sperate authorized battles with 4 totally different teams of legal professionals. My spouse handed me a separation settlement, my enterprise companion initiated a course of to purchase me out of the corporate since my identify harm the model, I used to be making an attempt unsuccessfully to choose authorized motion in opposition to Common McKenzie, and I used to be additionally making an attempt to defend myself in opposition to the authorized actions being introduced in direction of me by the command. It was a tricky week for me personally and professionally.

Then that weekend, on Saturday, September twenty fifth, I intentionally made three posts that violated the gag order. I did so willingly.

I knew if I mentioned true issues that have been onerous to listen to, my command would doubtless overreact and ship me to jail. I felt this overreaction would in the end convey protection to my scenario and pressure the Common officers to reply powerful questions concerning the hypocrisy of our conditions.

However although I anticipated my command would ship me to jail, once I went into work on Monday, I used to be very disturbed that Col Emmel acknowledged on the confinement order that I used to be a flight danger. As much as that time, I knew Col Emmel was very upset with me, however I did not take it personally. I additionally sympathized together with his duty to carry the occasion line. However when he acknowledged formally that I used to be a flight danger with completely no proof of this, I felt like he lied to silence and punish me. The reality is that I got here into work each day and had responded to each request even after he refused to let me take depart. The one time I failed to speak with him was the one textual content he despatched me after my second video, which once more, I felt was appropriately addressed after I spoke to his XO for ten minutes. But nonetheless by some means, he listed on a proper doc that I used to be a flight danger to justify my confinement.

Whereas within the brig I once more tried to submit a resignation in lieu of trial, however my command rejected it. They needed a conviction of guilt. Thus, I clearly signed a deal to plead responsible to a litany of costs at particular courtroom martial, which brings us to at present. However the assaults from the Marine Corps continued even after my launch. Following my launch, the Marine Corps leaked confidential paperwork to the senior pentagon journalist for Process and Function. Of observe, the Marine Corps positioned my medical data within the investigation, after which leaked these paperwork to Process and Function. For them to leak my medical data is actually heartbreaking. Moreover, had I leaked one thing to the media, I might have gone again to jail. However nobody within the Marine Corps can be held accountable for the leaked paperwork. Within the article ran by Process and Function, I used to be painted as a violent extremist, Fascist, and the journalist even made a connection to Hitler. Clearly, you’ll be able to perceive that I used to be very offended following the article. After every little thing I have been by way of, I really feel it is affordable to conclude that the Marine Corps and Process and Function have been working collectively in an effort to smear my identify. I additionally really feel that it is potential the Marine Corps was making an attempt to bait me into posting once more.

This isn’t the America I do know. This isn’t the America that I’ve fought so onerous to defend the final 17 years.

In abstract, I used to be by no means charged with a false official assertion. As a result of every little thing I’ve mentioned is true. If the Marine Corps may have charged me with, they might have. My statements all focus on the truth that I don’t imagine Common Officers are held to the identical requirements as junior leaders. I additionally imagine, that just like put up Vietnam, the Marine Corps management is making an attempt to spin the narrative about our failures on the junior enlisted with out taking a tough have a look at themselves. I additionally imagine that when I spoke out, the Marine Corps wholistically took each alternative to assault me, and by no means truly cared about my well-being.

Nevertheless it’s onerous for the Marine Corps to defeat somebody who refuses to stop. Going ahead, I’m nonetheless demanding accountability from my senior Common officers. Since this endeavor started, not a single Common officer has accepted accountability. Not a single Common officer has contacted me instantly in any discussion board to deescalate the scenario. Since this endeavor started, I’ve acknowledged that I ought to be held accountable for my actions. I’m standing right here at present pleading responsible. That is me accepting accountability. Nevertheless it deeply pains me that my senior leaders are incapable of being as brave.

With out accountability from our senior leaders, the system can not evolve, and the army will in the end maintain repeating the identical errors sooner or later. It does not matter if a SSgt squad chief is extremely environment friendly in distributed operations if the Common officers have relegated themselves to ‘sure sir’ responses. We’d like senior leaders who possess the morale braveness to push again when one thing does not make sense.

Moreover, I perceive that my technique of criticism was unorothodoxed and never inside official Marine Corps channels. I basically requested mast in a really public setting. I acknowledge that it was doubtlessly damaging to the Marine Corps’ repute. However I felt the dialog and wish for change outweighed the potential unfavourable dangerous press. I did what I did as a result of I believed it was in the most effective long-term curiosity of the Marine Corps. I’ve all the time needed to make the Marine Corps higher. Not harm the Marine Corps. I acknowledge that my actions positioned the Marine Corps able the place they have been pressured to reply and could not quietly disguise behind closed doorways.

My actions have been very public, and at occasions, very emotional. However I believe the emotional rollercoaster that I went by way of, is what each service member within the nation goes by way of. The one distinction is that my expertise was very public. And in contrast to the 22 Service Members a day who kill themselves, I made a decision a very long time in the past that I’ll by no means be damaged. Regardless of the wrestle… I’ll prevail stronger. Publish Traumatic Development. However even with that mindset, that does not imply I do not expertise ache. That does not imply I do not expertise despair. That does not imply I do not take time to cry.

If the leaders of the army truly cared about service members, and their sacrifices, all the present and former senior leaders would interact in public discussions concerning the shortfalls of their resolution making. Senior leaders accepting accountability would heal extra service members than another initiative. The junior service members deserve that from their management.

I imagine the Common officers have demonstrated that they’re unable or unwilling to carry themselves accountable. In consequence, I imagine basic change must happen within the army.

I’m being held accountable for my actions. The Common officers ought to be held accountable for his or her failures.

Thank You,

Lt. Col. Stu Scheller


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