Army to determine if Bergdahl is owed back pay for his time in captivity

Army Times

When Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl came home in 2014, he was potentially entitled to hundreds of thousands of dollars in pay that accumulated over five years while he was in Taliban captivity in Afghanistan.

Bergdahl was captured after walking off base on June 30, 2009, while deployed to Paktika province with 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. He pleaded guilty in October to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. On Nov. 3, a military judge ruled Bergdahl would not serve any jail time but be dishonorably discharged from the Army and reduced in rank to private.

Bergdahl pleads guilty to desertion, misbehavior

From the moment he was captured, Bergdahl became eligible for extra pays available to captive troops.

In total, along with his basic and deployment pay, he could be entitled to more than $300,000.

But the Army has not calculated that pay yet, a G-1 spokesman told Army Times, because the legal proceedings since his homecoming in 2014 have put that in limbo.

“Based upon the results of trial, the Army is reviewing Sgt. Bergdahl’s pay and allowances,” Lt. Col. Randy Taylor told Army Times. “His final pay and allowances will be determined in accordance with DoD policy and Army regulation.”

Those policies and regulations require the Army to wait for Gen. Robert Abrams, the commander of Army Forces Command and the convening authority in this case, to approve the sentence that was handed down to Bergdahl, an Army official, who was not authorized to speak on the record, told Army Times

Bergdahl sentence: Dishonorable discharge, no prison time

“My understanding is there has to be an administrative determination of his duty status at each point, from the time he was captured until now,” the official said.

The Defense Department marked Bergdahl as “Duty Status-Whereabouts Unknown” on June 30, 2009, Military.com reported in 2014. Three days later, he was switched to “Missing-Captured,” when a Taliban propaganda video showed him alive and detained.

The Army will use that timeline to determine his pay. Ordinarily, the official said, a soldier who has been marked missing or captured would be entitled to back pay upon return.

But Bergdahl, who has been assigned to a desk job since his return and drawing commensurate pay, may not be considered a prisoner of war after pleading guilty to desertion.

“In order to figure out what he’s owed, you’re basically going to have to start from that point of captivity,” the official said.

In the end, the official added, Bergdahl may be entitled to his accumulated basic pay while in captivity but not the Basic Allowance for Housing, Basic Allowance for Subsistence and per diem given to prisoners.

Or, he added, it may turn out that Bergdahl “owes us,” if it’s determined he should not be paid for his time in captivity, or that he has been overpaid since his return.

Reached for comment, Eugene Fidell, Bergdahl’s attorney, said the defense team’s focus has turned to preparing the case for an appeal. He declined to elaborate.

“We are currently identifying the issues we will be pursuing,” Fidell said.

An appeal would put off the Army’s pay and benefits determination, the official said.

Fidell declined to comment on the back pay situation, or on a report by USA Today that he believed Bergdahl should receive the Prisoner of War Medal.

6 comments on “Army to determine if Bergdahl is owed back pay for his time in captivity
  1. Sure he ought to paid 300,000. The judge could find nothing he did warranted any significant penalty for desertion and cooperation wuith the enemy during wartime, so how can they make him forfeit his pay if he is guiltless and unworthy of jail time?

    Even the military has been corrupted by Obama and his posse. Its just a collection of transfluids and perfumed princes.

  2. This is like reading a story from la-la land. A man guilty of desertion should face harsh punishment. Bergdahl’s unit suffered physical and operational harm searching for him. How much did that cost? The enemy didn’t capture Bergdahl, he went looking for them.

    For the sake of the Army, General Robert Abrams must reject the sentence handed down. Desertion deserves harsh punishment, Berghdal is lucky to be alive.

  3. I’m going to repeat my self here. We were at war and he should have been before a firing squad. And no he should not get any of that money ——but have it given to the families that lost t;heir love one looking for the deserter.!!!

  4. Do not dishonor true POWs by giving this traitor a POW medal and back pay. He is a lowlife worm and I wish there was some place outside the USA where he could be banished for life. He does not deserve to walk among honorable men and women.

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