Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller was born in Illinois and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Accounting, he also holds a Master's degree from the Marine Corps University.
He joined the Marines in January 2005 and became an infantry officer. He then completed five deployments – receiving a Bronze Star, Army Commendation with V for Valor, three Meritorious Service Medals, and three Navy Commendation Service Medals.
He has held numerous leadership positions, including Company Commander, Operations Officer, and Battalion Commander.
Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller resigned from the Marine Corps at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel after witnessing a poorly planned and executed Afghanistan withdrawal. While Scheller stated that the attack in Kabul, which claimed the lives of 13 service members, including 11 Marines, sparked him to speak out on Aug. 26, 2021, the rationale behind it was more complicated.
He was thrust into the media when he posted a video on social media from his office as a Battalion Commander. Wearing his uniform, he identified himself in the video with rank and title and then proceeded to criticize the decisions of his senior military and political leaders. The video, which took like wildfire and has garnered more than one million views on Facebook, was a clear violation of the military's Uniform Code of Military Conduct.
A series of escalating events occurred following the video's release between Scheller and the Marine Corps, resulting in his imprisonment, court-martial, and resignation. In his book, Crisis of Command: How We Lost Trust and Confidence in America's Generals and Politicians, Scheller writes:
As you may have heard in the media, the military depicted me as the bad guy.
Yes, I did break the rules.
Yes, I should have been held accountable.
And so should every senior leader for their violations. However, they only acknowledge the failures of those below them and lack the courage, fortitude, and wherewithal to acknowledge the failures of their counterparts at the top. My story is a microcosm of the hypocrisy of the system.
Americans need courage now more than ever. Americans need to find their voice now more than ever. Currently, Scheller is advocating for courage and leadership across all of America's key institutions.