The Marine whose outspoken social media posts criticizing military leaders for the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan received a final judgement in his case Friday.
Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller was given a letter of reprimand and ordered to forfeit $5,000 of pay for one month, Fox News reported.
The judge said in court Friday that he would have given a two-month forfeiture of pay had Scheller not spent nine days in pre-trial confinement, according to Fox News. The judge also recognized Scheller’s 17-year career as a Marine, but did not excuse his offenses.
Scheller pled guilty to six charges Thursday in a court-martial hearing and was later found guilty of all charges, including showing contempt toward officials, disobeying an officer, disrespecting officers, failing to abide by regulation, abandoning his duties and displaying behavior unbecoming of an officer.
Scheller posted a video in August criticizing senior military officials over the Afghanistan exit. He said at the time that he was willing to “throw” away his years of military service over it.
Scheller later posted that he had been “relieved for the cause.” He subsequently said that he was “ordered to refrain from posting” and was later thrown in the brig. Scheller was released from the brig last week before his trial.
Jeffrey Addicott, who served as an active-duty Army officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps for twenty years, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the punishment was appropriate in this case.
“In my opinion, the Colonel did the right thing in the wrong way, and that’s his problem,” Addicott said. “The right thing is he’s demanding accountability. He did it in a wrong way, you know if you’re in uniform, that’s not the way to do it. So, I think the judge recognized that and gave an appropriate punishment.”
He added: “You see, as an officer you have a commission that you’re given, so they’re different than enlisted folks and if you want to, you have to get permission to basically resign your commission. In most cases, officers that have medical issues, they’ll allow you to retire early and receive a pension. It is possible for them to allow him to retire and get a pension, but they’ll probably just accept his resignation of his commission and they will not give him a pension, in my opinion.”
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