US Army To Charge Bowe Bergdahl With Desertion, News Outlets Claim

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Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

U.S. Army will charge Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl with desertion, according to NBC News.

"Senior defense officials" have told NBC News the charges could come down this week:

[T]he desertion charges would be based on allegations that Bergdahl abandoned his remote outpost in June 2009 to avoid hazardous duty or important service, which are grounds for charges of desertion under the Uniform Military Code of Justice, or UCMJ.

NBC isn't the only media outlet reporting that Bergdahl will be charged with desertion. Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer claimed first-hand knowledge of the Army's Bergdahl investigation on Fox News Monday night:

"The Army has come to its conclusion, and Bowe Bergdahl ... will be charged with desertion...

"As a corporate entity, the Army has decided that they want to pursue Bergdahl for this violation."

However the Army is denying these reports to be true, saying no decision on Bergdahl's fate has yet been made. Paul Boyce, a spokesman for Forces Command, told the Army Times that Gen. Mark Milley, commanding general of Forces Command...

"...is reviewing now the Army's facts and findings to determine, impartially, any appropriate next steps and possible actions.

"[He is} actively reviewing the case. No decision's been made."

As Home Post previously reported, Bergdahl was discovered missing from his duty station in eastern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009. He was declared missing/captured three days later.

According to Reuters:

[S]ome of Bergdahl's fellow soldiers have labeled him a deserter.

If officials conclude that Bergdahl broke the U.S. military's rules, they could force him to forfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay accumulated during his captivity and give up future benefits.

On May 31, 2014, the United States transferred five detainees from Guantánamo Bay to Qatar in exchange for Bergdahl's freedom.

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