The US Marine Corps officer, who was relieved of his battalion command for berating his bosses over the botched Afghan withdrawal, revealed he was ordered to undergo a mental health exam .
“When I got into work this morning, my CO ordered me to go to the hospital for a mental health exam,” Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller wrote on Facebook on Monday.
“I was assessed by mental health specialists and then sent on my way. My commander is a standing guy, and I understand why he did it,” he added.
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A day earlier, the officer said in a YouTube video he was sticking to his guns and resigning his commission – stepping away from a $ 2 million pension after 17 years of service.
Scheller explained that although he was relieved of his duties, he was still an active Marine – until he completed his resignation, which he said was triggered in part by a former commander who wrote on LinkedIn that he should resign “if he was honorable”.
“All I have asked for is the accountability of my senior leadership when there are clear and obvious mistakes that have been made,” he said. “I’m not saying we can take back what was done. All I asked was accountability, that people comment on what I said and say, ‘Yes, mistakes were made. . ‘”
Last week, Scheller posted a video that went viral on Facebook in which he became military leader following the devastating suicide bombing at Kabul airport, which killed 13 US servicemen and dozens of Afghans. .
In his Monday article, Scheller wrote that the order for a mental health exam “raises a few important issues:
“First of all, excusing the actions of the military because of ‘PTSD’ does more damage to the military than any combat trauma. I’ve been in very traumatic combat situations,” he said. writing.
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“But because of that I’m STRONGER. Post-traumatic growth. If you’re worried about someone… you should reach out and check on them. But never excuse a service member’s actions with it. waving to PTSD. You paralyze them by not holding them accountable, “Scheller continued.
“And for the people who checked me after my last video… I’m sorry if I scared you. But know that despite my emotions, my words are always carefully considered,” he added.
“Second, as noted in previous articles, senior leadership accountability would lessen feelings of guilt or shame in the military more than individual advice. It would save thousands of lives. On May 6, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said: “The most immediate threat [to the DoD] is COVID, ”he wrote.
According to the 2020 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, the number of documented veteran suicide deaths in 2018 was well over 6,000. And the numbers continue to rise. Statistically, it is easy enough to argue that COVID is not the biggest threat, ”Scheller continued.
“Third, for all of my followers… I’m not going anywhere. Everyone’s afraid the weight of the system will collapse on me. But I know something you don’t know… it’s the system that’s going to break. . Not me, “he said.
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“I am moving forward with my resignation. I, like many of you, very afraid. But courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to overcome it. account, if I am responsible and integrity, the system can not beat me, “he added.
The Post has contacted the US Marines for comment.
This story first appeared in the New York Post.