The Marine who had spoken out in August against the Biden administration's senior military leadership over the unconditional Afghanistan withdrawal was jailed by the Marine Corps on Monday morning for violating a gag order with a social media post over the weekend.
"It is with a heavy heart that we, his parents, are informing you that our son, Lt. Col Stuart Scheller, has been incarcerated by the USMC this morning, Sept. 27, 2021," his family wrote in a statement. "He was issued a gag order which he broke this weekend by posting on social media."
The Marines acknowledged that Scheller has been detained before a trial.
"Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. is currently in pre-trial confinement in the Regional Brig for Marine Corps Installations East aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune pending an Article 32 preliminary hearing," Capt. Sam Stephenson, Training and Education Command spokesman, told Task & Purpose in a statement.
"The time, date, and location of the proceedings have not been determined. Lt. Col. Scheller will be afforded all due process," the statement continued.
After his Aug. 26 Facebook video — in which he called for senior military leaders to be held to account for their role in what he called the "messed-up" withdrawal — Scheller had his resignation rejected by the Marines, according to his family.
"Recently, Stu asked to resign; The USMC told us, his parents, that our son serves at the pleasure of the president," the family's statement continued. "They have not accepted his resignation.
"All our son did was ask the questions that everyone was asking themselves, but too scared to speak out loud. He doesn't deserve this treatment."
His father, Stu Scheller Sr., told Task & Purpose his son faces a hearing Thursday for his violating a gag order.
"Like us, he is a proud American that has honorably served his nation for 17 years and was simply asking the system that he dedicated his life to, the military, to also support him," the family's statement added.
"His command seems to be concerned but does not appear to have the tools to support him at this time. Incarceration appears to be their only solution. The lack of accountability for the botched Afghanistan withdrawal has caused many issues and stressors for thousands of our service members who have asked, 'was it all worth it?'
"In thirty days, our son Lt. Col Stuart Scheller went from being an exemplary Marine, handpicked by the [Corps] and placed in a highly prestigious position as the commander of the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion, to a Marine that is being incarcerated for demanding accountability and integrity from military leadership."
While Scheller has received both praise and scorn for his message and bold break from command — knowingly "risking his retirement, his medical benefits, and the stability of his family by speaking out," his family's statement acknowledged — other social media posts led to concern about his well-being.
One was an Aug. 29 YouTube video where he vowed, "Follow me and we will bring the whole f***ing system down."
The weekend post that violated the gag order, according to Task & Purpose, was one that talked about the gag order and openly defied it.
Also, to speak to those supporters of President Joe Biden who have suggested he was engaging in political attacks, Scheller criticized former President Donald Trump in a Facebook post Sunday.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and Central Command Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie are set to testify on Tuesday in the Senate and Wednesday in the House in public hearings.
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