Lt. Col. Scheller, the United States Marine who was arrested for posting public criticism of the botched Afghanistan withdrawal, was issued a letter of reprimand and a forfeiture of $5,000 worth of pay for one month after pleading guilty to all charges.
The letter of reprimand was less than what was recommended. Prosecution recommended a forfeiture of $5,000 of pay for 6 months and a letter of reprimand. The maximum penalty, meanwhile, could have been forfeiture of ⅔ monthly pay for a year and a letter of reprimand.
Indeed, during a court-martial hearing at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune on Thursday, Scheller pled guilty to all six misdemeanor-level charges, including willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer, dereliction in the performance of duties and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, Fox News reports. His other charges include contempt toward officers, disrespect toward superior commissioned officers and failure to obey order or regulation.
As previously reported by Human Events News, Scheller was released from the brig last week after posting a video to Facebook following the suicide bombings that killed 11 Marines, one Army Green Beret and one Navy corpsman, along with several Afghani citizens. In the video, Scheller – who wore his service uniform – challenged his chain of command and demanded accountability from senior leaders on the situation in Afghanistan.
On Friday, the judge said he would have given a two-month forfeiture of pay had it not been for the nine days Scheller spent in pre-trial confinement, Fox News reports. The judge said he does not condone Scheller’s actions, but noted his 17 year USMC career, saying that prior to the incident, he boasted an outstanding record.