Well, I was wrong on Scheller

I won’t say catastrophically wrong, but wrong nonetheless. In case you forgot, I predicted Scheller’s court martial would get drawn into obscurity by his defense counsel, who would want some time to pass before anyone passed judgement on Scheller. Any good defense lawyer is going to want distance between alleged crimes and judgement so that emotions can die down and, hopefully, cooler heads prevail. I also figured after getting a light sentence of some kind, which would not include jail time, Scheller would be allowed to retire.

Besides the light sentence part, I was wrong. Lt. Col. Scheller plead guilty to all six charges against him. The judge punished him with a sentence of one month forfeiture of $5,000 and a reprimand. His next stop is a Board of Inquiry, which will likely recommend dismissal from service.

Now, this doesn’t mean he loses all benefits. The Veteran’s Affairs will still assess if he can get disability pay, which could be in the thousands per month depending on his level of disability. Given that he fought in Afghanistan, and the Marine Corps has pounded his body over the past 17 years, he’s almost assured to get some disability pay.

At first I was in disbelief that things went completely different from my prediction. I took some time to read his court martial statement, which made things much more clear. Lt. Col. Scheller couldn’t NOT plead guilty. If he had fought the charges, it would have made him look like a crazy person who suddenly realizes he made a mistake and is trying to quickly sweep it under the rug. Scheller isn’t crazy. He might be depressed, but its understandable, given that both his wife and the Marine Corps are abandoning him. But he’s not crazy. It becomes very apparent near the end of his statement:

…Going forward, I am still demanding accountability from my senior General officers.  Since this endeavor began, not a single General officer has accepted accountability.  Not a single General officer has contacted me directly in any forum to deescalate the situation.  Since this endeavor began, I have acknowledged that I should be held accountable for my actions.  I am standing here today pleading guilty.  This is me accepting accountability.  But it deeply pains me that my senior leaders are incapable of being as courageous.  

Without accountability from our senior leaders, the system cannot evolve, and the military will ultimately keep repeating the same mistakes in the future.  It doesn’t matter if a SSgt squad leader is highly efficient in distributed operations if the General officers have relegated themselves to ‘yes sir’ responses.  We need senior leaders who possess the morale courage to push back when something doesn’t make sense. 

– Lt. Col. Scheller

If Lt. Col. Scheller wanted to cast light on the problem, he certainly did so. But where does it go from here? Tackling the military industrial behemoth is a daunting task. Even Mad-dog Mattis, who finally won the war in Iraq, still struggled to make the Department of Defense refocus and change. The revolving door for senior officers still exists, not dissimilar from the revolving door for politicians and lobbyists. Also, given Lt. Col. Scheller’s negative response to help from Donald Trump, I’m not sure where he’s going to start to affect the change he wants to make.

I will say this: this episode is only going to make the 2024 personnel cliff even worse for the military. In less than a month the military threw everything at Scheller over social media posts. Every military member is taking notice. Any that agreed with him will be quietly quitting, and the slow drip of lost manpower is going to accumulate into a river.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. If you liked what you read, why not buy my book on Amazon and help me out!

1969 Draft League Players of the Week: AL Luis Tiant Twins, NL Jim Palmer Giants

Here are the winners of the player of the week award in the Dynasty 1969 Draft League as voted on by me.

American League Luis Tiant Twins

El Tiante did not get a win or a save but was key to the Twins 5-2 victory against division rival Seattle. In the Top of the 2nd Tiant came in to replace an injured Gary Peters who had come in to replace starter Gene Brabender who came out with a stiff shoulder in the 1st. In the 3rd inning walks leader Mike Fiore walked as did Dick McAuliffe. Hits leader Pete Rose singled and it looked like the Twins 2-1 lead would be short lived with RBI Leader Ed Kirpatrick, Tommy Harper and Tommie Agee due up. and but a ground ball needed to tie the game. It was not to be Tiant would strike out Kirpatrick looking and Harper and Agee swinging the highlight of 5 2/3 innings of 2 hit 9 K shutout ball

How Tiant doesn’t get the win is beyond me

National League Jim Palmer Giants

There is nothing more painful for a team than to start the season with a long losing streak and the San Francisco Giants had. Having lost their first eight and their previous game on a 2-1 heartbreaker 1st round Jim Palmer took is 0-1 record the mound for the 0-8 Giants vs the 5-3 Cardinals Jim Bunning who had won his 1st start.

With two outs in the top of the seventh Palmer had given up a solo shot to Clete Boyer tying the game. Now in the bottom of the inning he came to bat with one out and Jose Cardinial who had doubled on 2nd. Mgr Guy Desrosiers let Palmer bat and he drove a 2-2 fastball into the gap in left center giving the Giants the lead and after advancing to 3rd on a grounder scored on a single by Sandy Alomar Sr.

He would end the game retiring the next six Cardinals striking out 3 to complete the game and consign San Francisco’s losing streak to history.

Palmer hutting only .200 but he made that hit count!

Note that franchise owners have the right to change their teams names.