When it comes to Lt. Col. Scheller, our leadership class is going full Soviet

In the late 1960s, the Beatles spoofed the Beach Boys' music with their parody entitled "Back in the USSR."  Now that the USSR, which President Reagan accurately branded as the "Evil Empire," is rendered kaput, the song is an interesting historical musical artifact.  There's a distinctly Soviet feel in America today, though, because the Democrats' approach to Marine lieutenant colonel Stuart Scheller is reminiscent of the way the Soviet Union used mental health as a tool to suppress dissidents.

By now, many Americans — whether those in uniform, veterans, or non-military citizens — are all horrified at the colossal military blunder that the deeply flawed Biden administration committed as its endgame in Afghanistan.  And when it comes to calling for accountability for those responsible, perhaps no one has put more on the line than Lt. Col. Scheller:

Marine Corps Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, who was relieved of command after a video of him criticizing senior U.S. officials for "failures" in Afghanistan went viral, said Sunday that he will be leaving the Marine Corps after 17 years.

"All I asked for was accountability of my senior leaders when there are clear, obvious mistakes that were made," he said in a video posted on LinkedIn this weekend.

"I am not saying we can take back what has been done; all I asked for was accountability," he said, adding that he could have remained silent for three more years to reach the 20 years of service required for full pension, but that he opted to speak out instead.

Scheller said leaders accepting "accountability" for a harried U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan could have a more significant effect on service members "with post-traumatic stress or struggling with purpose" than any other "piece of paper or message."

In my Marine community, aviators wanted command of a squadron while our fellow grunts achieved their great career success and professional validation in becoming commanding officers of a battalion of Marine grunts.  As he worked his way up to his battalion command, Lt. Col. Scheller paid significant Afghan combat dues, in addition to also having served in Iraq.  This is taken from his Marine bio:

In 2010 LtCol Scheller sought out an Individual Augment deployment to Afghanistan.  He was the Counter-IED team leader for the organization JIEDDO. He spent a year in Paktika and Ghanzi provinces while supporting the Army's 101st Infantry Brigade.  He was the infantry subject matter expert for EOD and Route Clearance Platoon operations.   


In June 2021 LtCol Scheller checked into the School of Infantry East, Advanced Infantry Training Battalion, as the commanding officer.

The mission statement of Scheller's Battalion is unambiguous and direct, demanding dedication and focusing on combat and battlefield responsibilities: 


Scheller took seriously his responsibilities and went viral when he challenged those in command of the Afghanistan debacle to take seriously their responsibilities...and failures.  And that's where we find ourselves turning back in time to what the Soviet Union did when people dared dissent.  Wikipedia, although now notoriously inaccurate because of its leftism, is actually correct about what was going on in the Soviet Union:

There was systematic political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union, based on the interpretation of political opposition or dissent as a psychiatric problem. It was called "psychopathological mechanisms" of dissent.

During the leadership of General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, psychiatry was used to disable and remove from society political opponents[.]

Perhaps Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller heard a distant echo of the Beatles' "Back in the USSR" resonating in today's America when he learned how Democrats were approaching his righteous indignation at the massively bungled Afghanistan draw-down:

The U.S. Marine Corps officer who was relieved of his command over a battalion for chastising his bosses over the botched Afghan withdrawal has revealed that he was ordered to undergo a mental health screening.

"When I went into work this morning, I was ordered by my commanding officer to go to the Hospital for a mental health screening," Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller wrote on Facebook on Monday.

In other words, in one week, Scheller is the trusted commanding officer of a very, very prestigious command; the next week, after speaking out, demanding accountability, he is given a "Psych Eval."  Trust me when I say that a psych eval is not a friendly move. 

Essentially, the national command authority, from the president on down, when confronted by an honest Marine, decided that the best tactic would be to put a mental health cloud over him.  Who would have thought President Biden and his team would ever channel their inner Brezhnev?  But they did just that.

LtCol Ed Timperlake (ret.) was C.O. of VMFA-321, a reserve Marine fighter/attack squadron, The Hell's Angels.

Image: Stuart Scheller's official portrait.  Public domain.

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