The Marine pictured helping hoist a baby over the walls of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul last month is under investigation by the U.S. Military after he appeared on stage with Donald Trump at a rally in Georgia on Saturday.
‘The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) has initiated a command investigation regarding LCpl Hunter Clark’s attendance at the event last weekend to determine if any DoD policies were violated,’ Captain Kelton Cochran, a spokesman for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said, according to Task & Purpose.
‘Any details pertaining to this incident are not releasable while the investigation is being conducted,’ Cochran said.
Lance Corporal Hunter Clark was helping guard the Kabul airport during the withdrawal from Afghanistan in August. A picture of him went viral as he helped save a baby being lifted up by an Afghan outside of the airport walls.
On Saturday, Clark appeared with former President Trump on stage at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agriculture Center in Perry, Georgia for a massive rally.
An emotional Clark introduced himself as the ‘guy that pulled the baby over the wall’ and choked up as the crowd chanted ‘USA’.
It is, however, against Defense Department rules for active-duty troops to ‘speak before a partisan political gathering, including any gathering that promotes a partisan political party, candidate, or cause.’
Clark did not wear his Marine uniform while on stage with Trump and he did not campaign for any political candidate – even though the former president was there to rally for three different Republican candidates in Georgia.
The appearance, however, comes as the military is increasingly cracking down on servicemembers’ behavior.
Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller was relieved of command after he posted a video to Facebook critical of higher up military leadership and demanding they take responsibility for Kabul falling to the Taliban in the withdrawal.
He is currently being held at the Brig on Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base in North Carolina.
Marine Lance Corporal Hunter Clark (right) is under investigation after he appeared on stage with former President Donald Trump (left) at a rally in Perry, Georgia on Saturday
Clark introduced himself as ‘the guy that pulled the baby over the wall’ in the images that went viral from the Kabul airport during the Afghanistan withdrawal last month. There were multiple Marines pictured helping desperate Afghans to safety during the airlift
It is against Defense Department rules for active duty troops to ‘speak before a partisan political gathering, including any gathering that promotes a partisan political party, candidate, or cause.’
At the event on Saturday, Trump kept 13 front row seats empty with flags on them in honor of the 13 U.S. service members who died in an ISIS-K suicide bombing near the airport last month – 11 Marines, a Navy corpsman, and an Army special operations soldier were among the casualties at the airport’s Abbey Gate.
Trump invited Clark, who is from Georgia, up on stage on September 25 to say a few words.
‘We’re also honored to be joined by one of the Marines who bravely served in Kabul during the withdrawal and helped evacuate children over the airport and over the airport wall,’ Trump told the crowd.
‘You saw him, he did a great job, Lance Corporal Hunter Ian Clark. Lance Corporal, get up here!’
Clark introduced himself as ‘the guy that pulled the baby over the wall,’ and said it was ‘definitely, probably one of the greatest things I’ve done in my entire life.’
The Marine choked up as he said: ‘I just want to thank all the support from y’all. It really means a lot and I’m glad to be home now.’
He then shook Trump’s hand as the crowd chanted: ‘USA!’
Cochran told Task & Purpose that Clark was not the Marine shown in the viral photo from August 19 of an infant being pulled over the wall.
Multiple Marines were seen helping desperate Afghans to safety during the airlift and Clark did not provide specific details of when he helped the child.
At the rally on September 25, Trump left 13 front-row seats empty with flags on them to honor the 13 U.S. service members who died in the ISIS-K suicide bombing near the Kabul airport in August
A Marine in the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit holds a baby during the evacuation of Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 20
36 members of Congress sign letter calling for Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller’s immediate release from grim military brig
Dozens of members of Congress have demanded the immediate release of Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller after he was jailed for defying orders to stop publicly criticizing the nation’s Afghanistan withdrawal.
Scheller, 40, was arrested and jailed at the Camp Lejeune brig Monday for allegedly breaking four military laws by refusing orders to stop posting critical videos on social media.
He’s scheduled to make his first court appearance in North Carolina today at 3.30pm, but the public – including elected officials and the media – are prohibited from attending.
The lack of transparency isn’t sitting well with the non-partisan Justice Warriors Caucus, an official congressional group that advocates for service members who’ve been unjustly incarcerated.
The military is increasingly cracking down on service members’ behavior. Marine Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller (pictured) was relieved after he posted a video to Facebook critical of higher up military leadership
‘We believe that the military is trying to do this behind closed doors without proper oversight,’ Derrick Miller, executive director of the caucus, told Dailymail.com. ‘There’s nothing that prohibits people from being admitted to this court procedure.
‘The fact that they’re trying to do this behind closed doors should be concerning to every American.’
A military spokesman told Dailymail.com that private proceedings are ‘standard for Initial Review Hearings.’
At least 36 congressmembers have signed a letter calling for Scheller’s release in an initiative led by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who said the Marine’s imprisonment ‘appears to be for messaging, retribution, and convenience.’
Among the signatories are Madison Cawthorn, Paul Gosar, Bill Posey, Buddy Carter, and Bob Good.
Scheller’s commander is obliged under law to reasonably justify his imprisonment within 72 hours, Gohmert said in his letter to Marine Corps. Commandant Gen. David H. Berger.
‘Given his excellent record and more than 15 years of dedicated service, we do not believe and have seen no evidence that LTC Sheller poses a grave risk of criminal misconduct,’ Gohmert wrote.
‘For the aforementioned reasons we request that LTC Scheller be released from pretrial confinement and be housed in the least restrictive form of housing.
Scheller, based in North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune, was three years from retirement when he posted a scathing video criticizing superiors on August 26, the same day that the 13 US troops were killed in Kabul.
After being ordered to stop posting on social media, he again tore into military and civilian leadership in a Facebook post on Saturday, inviting commanding officers to throw him in the brig.