A Marine officer who came under fire for posting videos condemning top military leaders and the U.S. government over the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in August is expected to plead guilty during his court-martial Thursday at Camp Lejeune.
Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. was jailed and slapped with a gag order after sharing the videos. His parents said the military was trying to "bury him" and that their son was simply "speaking the truth." Scheller was released from the brig after several days of imprisonment.
One of Scheller's attorneys, Timothy Parlatore, told The Washington Post that his client would plead guilty to some charges but wouldn't specify which ones.
The Marine faces several charges including disrespect toward superior commissioned officers, willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer, and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.
Parlatore said Scheller is hoping to secure an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions.
"Our hope is for him to get a letter of reprimand, and no more," Parlatore added.
In a LinkedIn post, Scheller claimed that "the current military-industrial machine is broken," then asked, "does the current government still serve the interests of the people?"
In another post, he stated that there was a lack of accountability from political leaders during the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan which prompted him to speak out.
"Did anyone raise their hand and say, 'We completely messed this up?'" Scheller had asked. "I'm not saying we can take back what has been done. All I asked for was accountability, for people to comment on what I said and to say, 'yes, mistakes were made.' And had they done that I would've gone back into rank and file, submitted, and accomplished what I wanted."
Parlatore claimed that Scheller went through an "emotional roller coaster" after posting his first video, which other service members and veterans go through privately.
"There is no question that there is some severe emotional distress throughout, and he definitely went to some very dark places," Parlatore said. "This is unfortunately not uncommon for a lot of the veteran community."
The Pipe Hitter Foundation, an organization run by former Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher and his wife Andrea, has been following Scheller's case and shared a message from the Marine's family on their Instagram page.
"Stuart has been reunited with his family. We believe in the power of prayer. Thank you all who prayed. Thank you, Lord. We are so very grateful for the courage that millions of Americans displayed standing up. Your actions made a difference. God Bless America!"