Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller resigned on his position after he was fired as a battalion commander when he asked his superiors for accountability on the Afghanistan withdrawal.
According to a report by Breitbart News Scheller announced in a video that he would be resigning his commission due to a lack of answers on the botched troop removal.
The video was posted on Thursday afternoon following an explosion that ended in the deaths of 13 service members, including one who was known personally by the lieutenant colonel
“I want to say this very strongly. I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders I demand accountability,” Schiller said in the video when he announced his resignation.
The Marine’s video received massive support, but also sparked debate of his resignation happening short of the 20 years needed to be eligible for lifelong retirement and medical benefits.
“After 17 years, I currently not pending legal action and I can stay in the Marine Corps for another three years, but I don’t think that’s the path I’m on,” Schiller said. “I’m resigning my commission as a United States Marine effective now.
“I’m sure there’s some [Marine Administrative Message] on how I’m supposed to do that and I’ll work through that. But I have forfeiting my retirement all entitlements. I don’t want a single dollar. I don’t want any money from the VA.”
The 17 year veteran of the armed services went on to say that he didn’t want any VA benefits saying that “I, you know, breathe on the smell and smoke of burning shit for years. I don’t want any of it. All I asked for was accountability of my senior leaders.”
“When there are clear, obvious mistakes that were made, 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, some mistakes were made and had they done that. I wouldn’t have gone back into rank and file, submitted and accomplished what I wanted the morning after I posted my video and I came into work, my boss came in and he asked me, ‘What were you trying to accomplish?’”
The officer responded that all he hoped to accomplish was to get senior leaders to accept accountability for what was done in Afghanistan and the deaths of his brothers and sisters in arms:
I think them accepting accountability would do more for service members and PTSD and struggling with purpose than any other transparent piece of paper or message. And I haven’t received that,” Schiller said.
Schiller went on to say that he wanted to make it clear that he loves the Marine Corps and that he worked in Marine Special Operations Command and outlined some of the disturbing things he saw while in the line of duty, saying that every Marine in the service of this country has seen their share of terrible things and deserves to get credit and accountability.
“You have no idea what I’m capable of doing,” Schiller said. “To all the congressmen, senators, every media station, across the globe, to all the rich philanthropists, I appreciate the support and I’m going to need your support. … I don’t need a single dollar. I just need every single person that’s willing to go back outside the wire every single day to wear a blue collar and just go into work every single day and feed their families, those are the people that I need. Follow me and we will bring the whole fucking system down. I am honorable. You can ask any Marine who served with me for 17 years. I dare you to ask them all and find out what I’m made of. We’re just getting started.