Bergdahl Is Dishonorably Discharged but Gets No Prison Time for Desertion

Bowe Bergdahl/ Getty Images

Bowe Bergdahl (C) / Getty Images


Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was dishonorably discharged from the Army on Friday but received no prison time after he pleaded guilty to deserting his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and misbehavior before the enemy.

Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, the military judge who presided over Bergdahl's trial, issued the ruling in a matter of minutes, according to the New York Times.

In 2009, Bergdahl walked off his military base in Afghanistan and was later captured by the Taliban. He was imprisoned for five years until the Obama administration arranged a deal that traded five Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl's release. Bergdahl was eventually charged with abandoning his post and misbehavior, in this case endangering the troops who went sent to search for him

At the sentencing hearing, Nance reduced Bergdahl's rank to private and required him to forfeit $1,000 a month of his pay for 10 months. Bergdahl was also dishonorably discharged from the military.

Gen. Robert B. Abrahms, who convened the court-martial, will review the sentence, according to the Times.

The sentence will be reviewed by Gen. Robert B. Abrams, who convened the court-martial, and has the power to lessen the punishment. If the final sentence still includes a punitive discharge, it will then automatically be reviewed by the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump accused Bergdahl of being a "dirty rotten traitor" and criticized the Obama administration for arranging the deal that secured his release.

Andrew Kugle   Email | Full Bio | RSS
Andrew Kugle is the assistant social media editor for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2013. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, he worked as a Staff/Press Assistant for South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem. Andrew is from De Pere, Wisconsin and lives in D.C. His Twitter handle is @AndrewJKugle. You can reach him at

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