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Marine commander who went viral with criticism of military leaders released from brig

Marine speaks about deadly Kabul attack
First eyewitness account from Marine wounded in Kabul airport attack that killed 13 U.S. troops 04:50

Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller, the Marine officer who went viral for criticizing leaders over the pullout from Afghanistan, was released from the brig Tuesday, according to his attorney and a Marine Corps spokesperson. 

"Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. is being released from confinement today, Oct. 5, 2021, as a result of a mutual agreement between Lt. Col. Scheller, his Defense counsel, and the Commanding General, Training Command," Captain Sam Stephenson, Training and Education Command, spokesperson said in a statement. 

No additional details about the agreement will be released at this time, according to Stephenson. 

Scheller was being held in pre-trial confinement at the brig at Camp Lejeune. 


He has submitted a letter to the Secretary of the Navy offering to resign his commission instead of facing a court martial. Scheller's attorney says "numerous members of Congress" have urged the secretary to approve the request.

Scheller posted a video in August following the suicide bomb attack in Kabul that killed 13 U.S. service members and over 100 Afghan civilians. In the video, Scheller said senior leaders should raise their hands and take ownership for the withdrawal that he said turned into a mess. 

"People are upset because their senior leaders let them down and none of them are raising their hands and accepting responsibility and saying we messed this up," Scheller said in the video. 

He criticized Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and  Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley for closing Bagram Air Base, the primary U.S. military base in the country, and for not anticipating the fall of the Afghan National Security Forces. 

According to legal documents, he is facing potential charges of conduct unbecoming of an officer, contempt toward officials, disobeying a senior officer and failure to obey an order or regulation. 

Following the video, Scheller was relieved of duty by the Marine Corps. Scheller was the battalion commander for the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion, based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. 

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