GOP Reps push for honorable discharge for Marine who criticized chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan

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Four Republican Congressmen have called for the “honorable discharge” of Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller who was court-martialed for criticizing the Biden administration’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.

In a letter to the Secretary of the Navy Friday, Texas GOP Reps. Louie Gohmert and Randy Weber, along with Florida Reps. Daniel Webster and Bill Posey asked that Scheller’s “valorous service record of over 17 years” contribute to his favorable military discharge.

Oct 14, 2021; Jacksonville, NC, USA; Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. and his lawyers walk to the courtroom on Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville NC on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. Scheller is being court-martialed following his public comments in August and September that criticized the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Mandatory Credit: John Althouse-USA TODAY NETWORK

“By pleading guilty Lt. Col. Scheller took responsibility for speaking out against whoever was responsible for the 4th deadliest day in the 20 years of armed conflict in Afghanistan,” the lawmakers wrote. 

Last month Scheller was sentenced to a reprimand and fined $5,000 for his actions after he pleaded guilty to nine counts of violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Prosecutors for the Marine Corps had suggested a letter of reprimand along with the forfeiture of $5,000 of pay per month for six months. 

Col. Glen Hines said he had leaned “heavily” on Scheller’s previous stellar service and “a career on the upward slope” while making his judgment. 

“We are asking you to weigh the judge’s statements and Lt. Col. Scheller’s outstanding service record as you prepare his final discharge petition,” the lawmakers wrote to the Navy Secretary, adding he had lost his command and lifelong retirement funds, of which he was just three years from obtaining. 

“In fact, he never received a negative counseling statement or had anything but high marks from his frontline supervisors,” they added. 

(Fox News)

Scheller reportedly received several awards during tours he completed in Iraq and Afghanistan, which included an Army Commendation medal for Valor and a Bronze Star. 

“Lt. Col. Scheller displayed his dedication to our nation by placing himself in harm’s way to protect his subordinates on countless occasions,” the lawmakers said. 

“We respectfully request that you award Lt. Col Scheller an honorable discharge and show U.S. service members everywhere that a single incident such as this one will not negate an entire career’s worth of exemplary service,” they concluded. 

( Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller FB)

Scheller garnered national attention after he posted a video on social media slamming military leaders for an ISIS-K suicide bombing in Afghanistan that killed 13 service members and at least 169 Afghan civilians.

Scheller was relieved of his command but continued to post videos to social media, leading to a stint in the brig in the lead-up to his court-martial. 

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