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Sailor who criticized army for Afghan withdrawal, pleads guilty by court martial, lawyer says


The naval officer whose Online video criticizing senior military leaders over US withdrawal from Afghanistan has gone viral is expected to plead guilty at his court martial this week, his lawyer said.

Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller faces several charges ahead of a court martial scheduled for Thursday at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. They include disrespect for superior officers, willful disobedience to a superior officer, and conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman.

One of Scheller’s attorneys, Timothy Parlatore, confirmed to CBS News that his client would plead guilty, but did not specify which charges Scheller would plead guilty to, as details are still being finalized.

As part of the plea deal, Scheller is hoping for either an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable terms, as well as a letter of reprimand, Parlatore said.

Coffee or Die Magazine and the Washington Post were the first to report on a possible plea deal.

Sailor who criticized army for Afghan withdrawal, pleads guilty by court martial, lawyer says
Lieutenant Colonel of the Navy Stuart Scheller

Scheller posted a video on social media following the Bombing in August that killed 13 US servicemen and over 100 Afghans in Kabul. While speaking in uniform, he criticized the senior leadership’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“People are upset because their top leadership has let them down and none of them is raising their hands and accepting responsibility and saying ‘we messed it up’,” Scheller said in the video.

He criticized Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley for shutting down Bagram Air Base, the main US military base in Afghanistan, and for failing to anticipate the collapse of US forces. Afghan national security.

Scheller felt he had to speak out to hold him to account, according to Parlatore.

“He would be an absolute hypocrite if he didn’t plead guilty because if you want to hold others to account you have to be prepared to stand up and accept your responsibility,” Parlatore told CBS News.

As a result of the video, Scheller was relieved of his duties by the Marine Corps. He was the battalion commander of the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion, based at Camp Lejeune.

Scheller was held in remand at Camp Lejeune brig for about a week, but was released earlier this month.

CBS News contacted the Marines about the expected plea, but did not get an immediate response.

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