Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s sentence has been endorsed and upheld by Gen. Robert B. “Abe” Abrams, the commanding general of the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). As sentenced last November, Sgt. Bergdahl will be demoted to the rank of Private (PV1), or an E-1. He will be required to forfeit $1,000 a month for 10 months, and he will be dishonorably discharged. The sentencing was initially handed down by Col. Jeffery R. Nance, the military court judge, and had to be reviewed by the Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA).
Sgt. Bergdahl had plead guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. The desertion charge is actually less severe than misbehavior before the enemy, which can carry a maximum penalty of death (though most would have realized that Sgt. Bergdahl realistically would not have met this fate). When it comes to desertion, it has only warranted the death penalty once in U.S. history — Pvt. Eddie Slovik in Jan. of 1945.
Sgt. Bergdahl’s entire case has been mired in controversy since the beginning:
He willfully walked off his base in Afghanistan, which triggered search and rescue parties in hostile areas that would have not otherwise occurred. Many were put in harm’s way in the search for Sgt. Bergdahl, and the price to attempt to find him was steep.