Marine pleads guilty after viral video criticized Afghanistan withdrawal

Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller pleaded guilty Thursday to all charges in a special court-martial. Scheller is the Marine officer who went viral for videos criticizing senior leadership during the Afghanistan withdrawal

Scheller pleaded guilty to six charges which include contempt toward officials, disrespect toward superior commissioned officers, failure to obey order or regulation and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. 

In a video posted August 26, Scheller criticized Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley for closing the Bagram Air Force Base outside of Kabul and for failing to anticipate the rapid fall of the Afghan National Security Forces. 

Following that video, Scheller was relieved of duty by the Marine Corps. 

Scheller had been the battalion commander for the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion, based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.


A few days later, Scheller addressed social media posts to General David Berger, the commandant of the United States Marine Corps, saying in part, “your problem right now… is that I am moving faster than you. I’m outmaneuvering you.”

An attorney for Scheller told CBS News ahead of the court martial that Scheller would plead guilty to some of the charges. 

“He would be an absolute hypocrite if he did not plead guilty because if you are going to demand accountability from others, you have to be willing to stand up and accept accountability for yourself,” Scheller’s lawyer, Timothy Parlatore, said in a phone interview with CBS News. 

Gillian Morley contributed to this report. 

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