Oct 12, 2017, 1:39 PM ET

Alleged US Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl to enter a plea Monday


Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier accused of deserting his unit in Afghanistan nearly a decade ago, is set to enter a plea at a court martial Monday.

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Bergdahl “has requested via defense counsel to enter a plea with the court on Monday,” U.S. Army Forces Command said in a scheduling statement today.

PHOTO: Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl arrives for a pretrial hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C., Jan. 12, 2016. Bergdahl, who was held by the Taliban for five years after he walked off a base in Afghanistan, faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.Ted Richardson/AP Photo
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl arrives for a pretrial hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C., Jan. 12, 2016. Bergdahl, who was held by the Taliban for five years after he walked off a base in Afghanistan, faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

The Associated Press reported last week that Bergdahl, 31, was expected to enter a guilty plea in his case but that was not confirmed by Bergdahl’s legal defense team.

His court martial will now be held a week ahead of the previously scheduled start date of Oct. 23, according to the statement.

Bergdahl faced charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy after his release in May 2014 from almost five years in captivity by the Taliban.

An Army investigation after his release found that in June 2009, Bergdahl had allegedly walked away from his unit's remote outpost in eastern Afghanistan. He was quickly captured by the Taliban, who held him captive for nearly five years.

PHOTO: In this undated image provided by the U.S. Army, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl poses in front of an American flag. U.S. Army/Getty Images
In this undated image provided by the U.S. Army, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl poses in front of an American flag.

He was freed May 31, 2014 in a controversial exchange for five Guantanamo detainees who had been Taliban leaders.

Almost a year after his release, the Army charged Bergdahl with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, which carried a potential life sentence.

Evidence presented at an investigatory hearing indicated Bergdahl had allegedly left his post in a bid to highlight problems in his unit to a general located 19 miles away.

A senior Army officer who had investigated the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl's disappearance recommended that if Bergdahl is convicted, he should not receive jail time for his actions.

In his report, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl described Bergdahl as "young, naive, and inexperienced" and that after five years of captivity, "I believe he is remorseful."

But in December 2015, Gen. Robert Abrams, the commander of U.S. Army Forces Command, referred Bergdahl's case to a general court martial.

Bergdahl deferred entering a plea in the case at his arraignment later that month.

News - Alleged US Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl to enter a plea Monday

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  • priesteres marietje

    Where does he get his money all this time?

  • David Cooper

    Even if he did walk away from his post he was captured by the Taliban and released after 5 years in captivity, he seemed to have returned in good health and was traded for 5 know Taliban leaders. My main concern would be what did he know in regards to military information and did he give an information to the enemy. The government has wasted how much time, money, manpower, and reserves on this man, and for what?

  • Sejal

    Bergdahl is being punished for being a whistle blower.

  • Rascal McDoogle

    The spoiled brat should be spanked daily for 20 years to life and be thankful each day he is still alive to feel the pain for his desertion and dereliction of duty.

  • Suspect Everything

    I know no matter how obvious, we're all innocent till proven guilty but honestly, "alleged"? I wonder how that word went over with his former Afghanistan team when they heard that?

  • RRbane

    Bergdahl is a coward & a traitor he should be executed years ago.

  • Crosscheck

    Headline says "Alleged". He left his post there is no alleged nothing. deserves no less than 15 -20

  • petermarks

    Bergdahal served his time in prison while he was held captive as a POW and his release was traded for the release of three prisoners the U.S. was holding with the approval of President Obama. This trade of prisoners gave Bergdahal freedom and this freedom can't be taken from him by either a military court martial or a civil hearing before a judge. The judge will have no choice but to free him for tine served as a POW as this freedom was granted by and approved by the President. The President was the Commander-in-Chief of all U.S. military forces and he brokered the release of Bergfdahl and by doing so, he completely overrode the Army High Command and made the responsibility for Bergdahl to be that of the President of the United States of America, not that of the Army High Command. Due to the fact President Obama is no longer President, President Trump cannot rule in this case, nor can he make the statement Bergdahl is a traitor because President Obama didn't consider Bergdahl to be a traitor, he considered him a Prisoner of War (POW). I think President Obama should attend the hearing before the judge and make a statement to the court.

  • Rubber Banned

    ...And why the hell was he promoted to Sgt anyway? I had to go to PLDC and go interview before the board before I got stripes. That’s not an automatic promotion with just time served. Was someone trying to make him more credible for political reasons?

  • Tony White

    Endangers his fellow troops, and gets a slap on the wrist. Proves the lower military standards doesn't mean better men are getting in.

  • Cultural Warrior

    WASHINGTON — Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held captive by the Taliban for half a decade after abandoning his Afghanistan post, is expected to plead guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, two individuals with knowledge of the case said.

    Bergdahl’s decision to plead guilty rather than face trial marks another twist in an eight-year drama that caused the nation to wrestle with difficult questions of loyalty, negotiating with hostage takers and America’s commitment not to leave its troops behind. President Donald Trump has called Bergdahl a “no-good traitor” who “should have been executed.”

  • Cultural Warrior

    Alleged, He packed all of his gear in his duffle bags, did not report for his guard mount and deserted. Desertion used to hold the penalty of a firing squad. He needs to be maxed in punishment.

  • Carlotta Monterey

    He went in search of his safe place and realized much too late he deserted it.

  • Focus

    His story doesn't make sense. First of all if he's in the Army, he knows there is no way on earth he's going to speak to a general just because he wants to vent. We're supposed to believe he's on foot in the dark in enemy territory and he's going to walk 19 miles to complain to some general? Don't know what he was up to but I don't think it was that.

  • Holmes

    I wonder how ISIS handles their deserters? Hint hint!

  • BigB

    Sure is a lot of use of the word "allegedly" in this article. When he pleads guilty next Monday how will the reporter writing this article explain that? Allegedly Beau Bergdahl pleaded guilty? You cannot hide the fact that he walked away from his post while in a combat zone. Needs to be executed for his crimes or he will have encouraged others to do the same.

  • Jackson Jenkins

    too bad for him Obama can't pardon him now.

  • righteousman

    He pleaded guilty so I guess it wasn't alleged!

  • disqus_QoLR45HiFB

    Five Taliban leaders for an AWOL who put his former comrades in great danger in a combat zone??

  • Prophet With Honor

    Not a developing story, I commented on it a week ago.

  • Walter Danger

    Bout time, the traitor Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is finally getting his due. He placed a lot of good soldiers in peril because of his actions. This shows the stupidity of Obama's deal to get him back. Five dangerous criminals for another criminal, he brought him home but at what cost?

  • zebedatious

    She's clearly telling her dad, "Dad, I'm no longer a doey eyed liberal".

    Now if these liberals over here could learn a thing or two while not having to be kidnapped and tortured we'll have real progress.