A U.S. Marine officer who was relieved of his command for breaking rank and calling out the brass over the chaotic and lethal evacuation of American troops from Afghanistan during which 13 service members have been killed said Monday that he was ordered to undergo a mental health screening.
Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller was fired after posting a video on social media the place he criticized military leaders over the botched exit. In the footage, the 17-year Marine, simply three years shy of a full pension, said took leaders to activity.
“I’m not saying we need to be in Afghanistan forever, but I am saying, did any of you throw your rank on the table and say, ‘Hey, it’s a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic airbase, before we evacuate everyone?'” Scheller said final Thursday. “Did anyone do that? And when you didn’t think to do that, did anyone raise their hand and say, ‘We completely messed this up?'”
AFGHANISTAN: NUMBER OF AMERICANS SEEKING EVACUATION BEFORE DEADLINE ‘BELOW 250,’ OFFICIAL SAYS
In an internet publish on Monday, Scheller said his commanding officer ordered him to go to a hospital for the mental health screening. He said he was evaluated by mental health specialists and “then sent on my way.”
Fox News has reached out to the Marine Corps.
Though he understood the order, Scheller questioned why some leaders excuse the actions of military members due to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), saying it does extra injury than any trauma in fight. He additionally famous that he has been in “very traumatic combat situations.”
“But because of that I am STRONGER,” he wrote. “Post traumatic growth. If you’re worried about someone… you should reach out and check on them. But never excuse a service member’s actions with a wave of the hand to PTSD. You are crippling them by failing to hold them accountable.”
He additionally said larger accountability from senior military leaders would go a great distance in assuaging disgrace or guilt in service members. He cited a May 6 assertion from protection Secretary Anthony Lloyd Austin during which he cited COVID-19 as essentially the most speedy menace to the Department of Defense.
Scheller cited the 2020 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report launched by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that exposed that greater than 6,000 veterans took their very own lives in 2018. The report said there was a mean of 17.6 veteran suicides per day that yr.
The numbers proceed to rise, Scheller said.
He additionally apologized if his preliminary video scared anybody. He famous that he wasn‘t going anyplace and is afraid of his upcoming retirement.
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“Everyone is scared that the weight of the system is crashing down on me. But I know something you don’t… it’s the system that’s going to break. Not me,” he said.
“I am moving forward with my resignation. I, like many of you, am very scared,” he added. “But courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s the ability to overcome it. At the end of the day, if I stand with accountability and integrity, the system can’t beat me.”
In a follow-up video posted on-line Sunday, Scheller said he thinks the plan was for the military to let him serve out his remaining three years earlier than he might retire.
“I’m resigning my commission as a United States Marine effective now,” Scheller said. “I’m sure there’s some [Marine Administrative Message] admin on how I’m supposed to do that and I’ll work through that. But I have forfeited my retirement, all entitlements. I don’t want a single dollar. I don’t want any money from the VA.”
“All I asked for was accountability of my senior leaders,” he added. “When there are clear, obvious mistakes that were made, I’m not saying we can take back what has been done.”
(THIS STORY HAS NOT BEEN EDITED BY INDIA07 TEAM AND IS AUTO-GENERATED FROM A SYNDICATED FEED.)