The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Rube Render
Local columnist 

Opinion: Scheller an example of leadership


Last updated 9/4/2021 at 4:32pm

By now, most readers will have heard the name of Marine Lt Col. Stuart Scheller. He is the infantry battalion commander who went on Facebook to demand that senior military and political leaders take responsibility for the collapse in Afghanistan and the debacle at the Kabul airport.

Of particular note in his statement was the colossal blunder that resulted in the closing of the air field at Bagram. Scheller went on to say that he was well aware of the consequences he faced as a result of his post, but felt compelled to call out his leaders, and was prepared to put his 17-year career on the line to deliver his message.

Scheller was also urged by many of his friends to take down the post, because while they agreed with him, it would cost him more than any gain he could expect to achieve. Scheller’s post has gone viral, and if you haven’t seen it, it’s well worth your while.

Seventeen years of military service is a large stake to put on the table and it took a tremendous amount of moral courage to do it. What happened next was foreseeable to all experienced military personnel.

A recent post from Scheller reads, “I have been relieved for cause based on lack of trust and confidence as of 14:30 today.”

The next statement in his post shows the true measure of the man.

Rather than bemoan his course of action, and the unfairness of the slings and arrows of an outrageous fortune, Scheller posts, “My chain of command is doing exactly what I would do ... if I were in their shoes. I appreciate the opportunities AITB (Advanced Infantry Training Battalion) command provided.”

Scheller knew what would happen to him and faced the consequences straightforwardly. The mark of a true leader.

On a side note, Kurt Schlichter, who is a trial lawyer, novelist, and retired Army infantry colonel writes, “The only guy fired so far is the guy pointing out how incompetent the guys who haven’t resigned or been fired are.”

Would that the people addressed in Scheller’s post had even a small measure of the character and honesty this infantry commander displays in an otherwise unhappy story. All ranks in the Marine Corps, officer as well as enlisted, will lose as a result of his leaving.

Lt. Col. Scheller exhibits the kind of leadership inherent in the maxim, “Feed your horses. Feed your men. Feed you.”

Semper Fidelis.

Rube Render is a former Clovis city commissioner and former chair of the Curry County Republican Party. Contact him:

[email protected]


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