Marine Lt. Col. Scheller Fired, But Vindman Got Praised
Marine Lt. Col. Scheller Fired, But Vindman Got Praised
August 28, 2021
There is a chain of command in the military, and a code of behavior that is required from commanding officers.
Unfortunately, the military has become a political tool over the course of time. So let us look at the case of Marine Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller, who took to social media to demand accountability for the absolute unmitigated disaster that Afghanistan has become. Now, the Marine commander knew exactly what he was doing. He knew that it would cost him to post this video. And he did it anyway.
The infantry officer began the video message by addressing the terrorist attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan by Islamic State militants on Thursday, which claimed the lives of 13 U.S. service members. On Friday, the Marine Corps issued a statement confirming that 11 of those killed in the attack were Marines.”
“I’ve been in the Marine infantry for 17 years. I started my tour with Victor 1-8, that’s the current unit that’s doing perimeter security, dealing with the mess that’s going on there,” Scheller said. “You can see open-source reporting that there was an explosion and some people were killed. I know through my inside channels that one of the people that was killed was someone that I have a personal relationship with. I won’t go into more detail because the families are still being notified.”
“I’m not making this video because it’s potentially an emotional time,” continued Scheller, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who’s held billets as a commander from the platoon, to company, and battalion level. “I’m making it because I have a growing discontent and contempt for my perceived ineptitude at the foreign policy level and I want to specifically ask some questions to some of my senior leaders.”
“But what I’ll say is, from my position, potentially all those people did die in vain if we don’t have senior leaders that own up and raise their hand and say ‘we did not do this well in the end,’” he said. “Without that we just keep repeating the same mistakes.”
“I want to say this very strongly: I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders ‘I demand accountability.’”
Now, as the sister of an officer, I have a pretty clear idea of what can and cannot be said publicly, and especially on social media. When you are in leadership, your mouth, much like your life while in any of the armed services, is not your own. Scheller knew fully that posting this video likely would be the end of his career, and he was right.
UPDATE: Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, who in a viral video called for accountability among senior leaders after the attack in Afghanistan, has announced on Facebook that he's been fired https://t.co/2dfBxc1upY pic.twitter.com/i83QFqqYm6
— Dave Brown (@dave_brown24) August 27, 2021
And as you can see from his statement, he takes responsibility for his own actions. His days in the Marine Corps, not just in command, are at an end with this one video. However, the political rules of the game have changed.
1. Lt Col Scheller is substantively 100% right.
2. When I was in, and if he made this, I would’ve relieved him of command. No politics.
3. But the standard has changed. The leadership changed it. The rule is now uniformed military can do politics. So I would give him a medal. https://t.co/ruHzagEQf0
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) August 27, 2021
So, Lieutenant Colonel Scheller can be “relieved for cause” because he called out the chain of command and demanded accountability, but Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman – remember him? – can tattle on the President of the United States and testify against him in an impeachment trial, and be fêted by the media as a “resistance hero” because he took on the Bad Orange Man. And when President Trump “fired” him from his National Security Council post later, Vindman was not kicked out of the Army. Vindman voluntarily chose to leave the Army in July 2020 after complaining that the White House was blocking his promotion to colonel, and that the Army wasn’t “supporting” him enough. After Vindman left the Army, he published an op-ed in the Washington Post about what a tremendous hero he was for standing up to his commander-in-chief, and then got a book deal – for a book that apparently no one cares about at all.
I’m in NYC to begin media engagements. Taking a random poll, it seem most New Yorkers are unaware that my book is out on Tuesday, August 3 and that I’m on @CBSSunday tomorrow between 9 and 10 eastern. Help get the word out an retweet this far and wide!
— Alexander S. Vindman (@AVindman) August 1, 2021
Before Afghanistan happened, CNN was STILL bringing Vindman on to… complain about Trump not being impeached, because then people would have been saved from COVID-19. No, really. That’s how desperate they were to help Vindman sell books and prop up his resistance credibility.
So, here we have two lieutenant colonels. One from the Army, one from the Marine Corps. Both called out their chain of command over a decision they objected to. One was let go from his job, but chose to leave the Army later, and one is being let go immediately and will lose his career immediately as well. One got glowing coverage from the media, chances to write op-eds, and a book deal.
I look forward to reading Lt. Col. Scheller’s upcoming op-ed in the Washington Post about the failures in Afghanistan leading to a catastrophic withdrawl and the murders of young servicemen. Aren’t those the rules now? (Yes, I am being sarcastic.)
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