Dear Elected Officials:
I am a retired Army LTC with 22 years of service. I speak from experience.
During my entire career, I was held accountable for every penny’s worth of government property in my command or under my personal control. I am stunned we have left billions of dollars of equipment in Afghanistan to be used by our enemies. Why was I, and every other soldier, held accountable for every single piece of equipment for 22 years, but apparently those in the upper echelons of the Army or the Department of Defense are not held accountable for anything left in Afghanistan?
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff can speak with our enemy’s military as if our own President was a global threat, collaborate with the sitting President’s opposition party in their effort to undermine his authority, and can discretely disparage a sitting President to reporters, but he remains in his position with no charges while LTC Scheller (USMC) is under arrest and in jail.
Three parts of the Soldier’s Creed are as follows:
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
Our enlisted men and line officers are required to recite and live these values. Did our hasty retreat from Afghanistan reflect these values?
Why did our most senior Army officers and Department of Defense officials knowingly violate The Soldier’s Creed in order to appease the President so they could keep their jobs? They violated this Creed for selfish personal gain. Every military commander knows he or she will be relieved of command if they ever act selfishly at the expense of their own troops. Thirteen service members are dead. They paid a damned high price.
How can we now demand our nation’s soldiers recite this creed when the highest echelons of leadership are exempt from living this Soldier’s Creed?
LTC Scheller demonstrated more bravery and candor than his own senior leaders. He asked for senior military leaders to be held to the exact same standards as the troops they were supposed to lead to victory, but didn’t.
In the Army we say “The standard is what we allow to happen.”
Don’t let this happen.
Free LTC Scheller now. He was speaking for many. Err on the value of candor, not the fact he broke protocol by stating his opinion in public. Active duty officers are not supposed to do this. This punishment does not fit the crime.
Kenneth M. Robertson Jr.
LTC, EN, U.S. Army (Retired)
Soldier for Life