After pleading guilty to all six charges against him relating to his public criticism of top military leaders amid the Afghanistan withdrawal, Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. has been handed his sentence.
The judge issued a letter of reprimand and Scheller was ordered to forfeit $5,000 of one month’s pay, which would’ve been a two-month forfeiture of pay had he not already been in the brig for nine days for breaking a gag order.
The judge said he does not condone Scheller’s offenses, but noted his 17 year USMC career, saying that prior to his social media incident, he was an officer with an outstanding record – a record, he said, he weighed heavily.
The letter of reprimand was much less than what was recommended. The prosecution recommended a forfeiture of $5,000 of pay for 6 months and a letter of reprimand. The maximum penalty could have been forfeiture of 2/3 monthly pay for 12 months and a letter of reprimand. (Fox News)
Scheller first made waves when he posted a video in uniform the day of the Kabul terror attack that killed 13 U.S. service members and 170 Afghans.
“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,’” Scheller said in the video, which was posted on social media.
“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.’”
"I’m not saying we can take back what has been done. All I asked for was accountability, for people to comment on what I said and to say, ‘Yes. Mistakes were made,’ he added. “And had they done that I would've gone back into rank and file, submitted, and accomplished what I wanted."