Military and Police

Deserter Bowe Bergdahl Punished With a Pay Cut and Demotion

Soldiers who attempted his rescue paid the ultimate price.

Bowe Bergdahl’s active duty desertion during a 2009 deployment in Afghanistan not only resulted in his capture and five years as a Taliban hostage, but the lives of six soldiers sent to rescue him before his intentional desertion became clear. It also resulted in the Obama administration’s exchange of no less than five “high risk” Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo Bay for him despite the high recidivism rate of return to the battlefield.

Yet on Friday, a military judge in Fort Bragg ruled that Bergdahl would not receive the maximum life sentence he was facing. Instead, he was punished with a dishonorable discharge, a demotion from the rank of Sergeant to Private, and a $1,000 per month pay cut for the next 10 months, according to a Yahoo! News report.

President Trump deemed it a “complete and total disgrace.”

As the ruling was rolled out by the media, President Trump deemed it a “complete and total disgrace.”

The soldiers who died during the Bergdahl rescue attempt were: Private First Class Morris Walker, Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen, Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss, Second Lieutenant Darryn Andrews, Private First Class Matthew Martinek, and Staff Sergeant Michael Murphey.

Then there’s Master Sgt. Mark Allen. This husband and father cannot speak and needs constant care after being shot in the head and paralyzed by Bergdahl’s Taliban caretakers.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Sheena Hutchison

Sheena Hutchison is a political and media analyst with nearly a decade of experience specializing in providing media and policy articulation on domestic and national security issues.

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