Jailed Marine who demanded accountability offered to resign under honorable conditions, was rejected

DCNFJennie Taer, DCNF

  • Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller offered to resign under honorable conditions and his request was rejected, according to Marine Corps documents exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
  • “Charges have not even been filed yet by the Marine Corps. We don’t even know why he’s in jail other than breaking a gag order, so it’s kind of hard to mount a defense if we don’t know what he’s being charged with,” Stu Scheller Sr. told the DCNF.
  • Scheller’s parents hope their son will be honorably discharged and said the Marine Corps act quickly “so they don’t lose more credibility.”

Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller offered to resign his commission under honorable conditions, according to Marine Corps documents exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The offer was rejected by Maj. Gen. Julian Alford, the commander of the Marine Corps Training Command.

Scheller posted a video in August demanding accountability from senior military officials over the Afghanistan withdrawal, saying he was willing to “throw” away his years of military service over it.

Shortly after the video was posted, Scheller posted on social media that he had been “relieved for cause.” He posted Saturday that he was “ordered to refrain from posting” and was later thrown in the brig, where he remains awaiting trial.

Alford did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment. The Marine Corps did not respond by publication.

Scheller, who has served in the Marines for 17 years, earlier offered to resign on Sept. 11 in what his parents described to the DCNF as a “symbolic” resignation letter.

Scheller’s parents Stu Sr. and Cathy Scheller explained that they were told by the Marine Corps “that he served at the pleasure of the president” and that they weren’t required to accept his resignation.

“But they didn’t accept that,” Scheller Sr. said. “They gave him an offer that was less than honorable discharge with no pension and no benefits. It was verbal and he did not accept that.”

Scheller’s family was told that there would be an Initial Review Officer’s (IRO) hearing Thursday or next week, but said that his attorney has yet to be given a time or date for that hearing.

“We have not spoken to him [Stuart] since he was incarcerated, so we honestly, except what his attorney tells us, we don’t know,” Scheller Sr. said.

Brian Ferguson is the lead attorney working pro bono on Scheller’s case.

He added: “Stuart’s lawyer has lowered our expectations that they could keep him in jail for 6, 9, 12 months prior to an official Court Martial trial.”

“Charges have not even been filed yet by the Marine Corps. We don’t even know why he’s in jail other than breaking a gag order, so it’s kind of hard to mount a defense if we don’t know what he’s being charged with,” Scheller Sr. explained

The best outcome for their son would be the honorable discharge, his parents said, pleading for the Marine Corps to act quickly.

“I’m going to answer on behalf of our son, Stuart, but also on behalf of the United States Marine Corps. I have been a proud father of a marine for the last 17 years,” Scheller Sr. said. “I’m proud of our military, I’m proud of America, and I’m proud of the Marine Corps. And I’m telling you that because if the Marine Corps goes through with this, they daily continue to destroy their credibility and I don’t want to tear down the Marine Corps, I don’t want to tear down this institution, so I’m imploring them: let’s settle this, let Stuart out. He should be out with his pension, his benefits, and in my opinion it should be an honorable discharge.”

He continued, “So for calling for the truth, they have put him in jail, given him a gag order, stripped him of his position, and applied pressure for 30 days. That is in my opinion the opposite of what leaders should be doing to try to settle this and preserve their reputation.”

After Scheller was relieved of his command, the products he created through his entrepreneurial business, The Perfect Ribbon, were pulled from the shelves of military stores, his parents said, adding that Scheller subsequently had to commit to performing a daily menial job and undergo a psychological evaluation.

“So they wanted to make him look unstable,” Cathy Scheller said.

“I have to tell you, I don’t have a lot of confidence because for the last 30 days, the Marines have done the opposite of everything a normal leadership team would do … but in my opinion they should try to settle this as quickly and as amicably as possible so they don’t lose more credibility than they already have,” Scheller Sr. said.

“We are asking Americans to find their voice and stand up. This isn’t about Republicans or Democrats, this is not about red state, blue state politics, this is not about white, black, brown, this is not about if you’re gay or straight, this is not about division, this is about Americans. We need to stand united no matter where we’re coming from. Whether you’ve been here for a month or for 10 generations, as Americans we know the difference between right and wrong, and what they’re doing to Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller is wrong and we need to find our voice and stand up and demand change. We need to demand accountability,” Scheller Sr. said.

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