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Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller forced to forfeit $5,000 and gets letter of reprimand

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Image source: Department of Defense

The Marine Corps officer who criticized the military's top brass over the tumultuous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan learned his fate on Friday. Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller will be required to forfeit $5,000 in pay and received a punitive letter of reprimand.

Earlier this month, Scheller was charged with six violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice:

  • Article 88: Contempt toward officials
  • Article 89: Disrespect toward superior commissioned officers
  • Article 90: Willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer
  • Article 92: Dereliction in the performance of duties
  • Article 92: Failure to obey order or regulation
  • Article 133: Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman

During his court-martial hearing this week, Scheller pleaded guilty to all six misdemeanor-level charges stemming from his blistering criticism of the military leaders in viral videos posted to social media.

Scheller's legal team spoke on his behalf during closing arguments at the court-martial.

"For two decades, warriors like Stu Scheller have given their youth, their health, their limbs and sometimes their lives to the cause of freedom. They did so willingly, believing they were fighting for a righteous cause and that senior leadership would have their back," said Timothy Parlatore, one of Scheller's attorneys.

"There has been a persistent, growing feeling that the focus is not on the well-being of the individual Marines and service members — or even mission success — but rather the continuation of an endless war that feeds the military-industrial complex where retired generals and admirals could go make their millions," the attorney added.

A judge sentenced Scheller to forfeit $5,000 worth of pay for one month. Scheller, who has served in the USMC for 17 years, faced a maximum punishment of forfeiting two-thirds of one month's pay for 12 months. "The judge said in open court that he would have docked Scheller's pay for two months, but he gave the Marine lieutenant colonel credit for time he had served in the brig," Task & Purpose reported.

Scheller was sent to military jail in late September for allegedly violating a gag order.

Scheller, who was deployed to Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan in 2010, was relieved of his command of an Advanced Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for criticizing U.S. military leaders in August.

Scheller published videos on social media with scathing criticism on how the U.S. military was handling the Afghanistan withdrawal. Scheller demanded that senior U.S. military leaders be held accountable for the Afghanistan withdrawal, specifically the deaths of 13 American service members and the 18 who were wounded.

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