Bowe Bergdahl To Return To Active Duty

Bowe Bergdahl

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has completely his treatment and is ready to return to active duty:

WASHINGTON — Six weeks after being released from five years in Taliban captivity, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is expected to return to life as a regular Army soldier as early as Monday, Defense Department officials said late Sunday.

Sergeant Bergdahl has finished undergoing therapy and counseling at an Army hospital in San Antonio, and will assume a job at the Army North headquarters at the same base, Fort Sam Houston, the officials said.

He is also expected to meet with Maj. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl, the officer who is investigating the circumstances of Sergeant Bergdahl’s disappearance from his outpost in Afghanistan in 2009.

Sergeant Bergdahl’s transfer from the therapy phase to a regular soldier’s job is part of his reintegration into Army life, officials said. He will live in barracks and have two other soldiers help him readjust.

The sergeant has been an outpatient at the hospital for about three weeks, during which time he continued to participate in debriefings about his time as a Taliban prisoner. He was released six weeks ago in exchange for five senior Taliban detainees.

It’s unclear what duties Bergdahl will be returning to, although doctors will no doubt be keeping a close eye on his return to something approaching regular life. Meanwhile, the investigation into the circumstances regarding in 2009 disappearance continues.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Todd says:

    It’s hard to predict how Bergdahl will readjust to normal Army life. Sadly, knowing soldiers as I do, I predict that there will be incidents of unprofessional conduct (by others towards him) as he gets further away from controlled environments.

  2. humanoid.panda says:

    I wonder if he and his family will ever receive a shred of apology from the people who tried to destroy them 2 months ago. Of all the disgraceful things the Fox/Twitchy/talk radio culture did in the last 5 years, this affair might be the worst.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Good. The sooner he reaches mental competency the sooner we can hang him and drum his traitor family out of this great country.***

    *** Channeling my inner Ann Coulter.

  4. James Pearce says:

    “part of his reintegration into Army life,”

    There’s that phrase again. It’s almost as if the army is trying to tell us something about those deserter charges. It’s indirect, yes, but it is very clear.

  5. C. Clavin says:

    But, but, but…he’s a traitor and has aided and abetted the enemy.

  6. SKI says:

    I wouldn’t read too much into this. My understanding is that this is a required step regardless of whether or not they want to bring formal charges.

  7. Franklin says:

    I hope nobody minds, but I’m reserving judgment until I know more facts.

  8. It is worth noting, as I do above, that Bergdahl has not been cleared of anything.

    Indeed, he presently isn’t charged with anything.

    The investigation into the circumstances of his 2009 disappearance from his post is still ongoing.

  9. Chish says:

    “Captivity” does NOT look like this:

  10. James Pearce says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Indeed, he presently isn’t charged with anything.

    That’s right. But he has been returned to duty.

    No charges + returned to duty = not cleared?

    What else must occur before he’s “cleared?”

  11. @James Pearce:

    He’s been returned to duty because his medical treatment has come to an end. There’s really no other option for him. Additionally, as I understand it, if he is going to be charged at some point it would be difficult to do so while he is still under medical care. Additionally, ‘returned to duty’ doesn’t mean he’s back in a combat unit or anything like that. Most likely, he’ll be assigned to desk duty at Fort Sam Houston for the time being.

    Based on what I’ve heard from people who have actually been in the military, this is nothing unusual and not necessarily indicative of what would happen in any forthcoming investigation.

  12. anjin-san says:

    My thought is that Bergdahl should enjoy the presumption of innocence unless he is found by proper authorities to have actually done something wrong.

    Of course his father has a beard, so that may not be possible.

  13. James Pearce says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Based on what I’ve heard from people who have actually been in the military, this is nothing unusual and not necessarily indicative of what would happen in any forthcoming investigation.

    I’ve heard that too from “people who have actually been in the military.” Both my uncle, a Marine sniper, and my brother, a truck driver, seem to have an extensive knowledge of the UCMJ and the various legal procedures.

    Me….a civilian, I’m wondering how they can move along the Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun desertion case, but not the Bergdahl one. Maybe it’s due to the difference in service, Marine versus Army, or maybe it’s because the case against Bergdahl is of questionable merit.

  14. walt moffett says:

    IIRC, when Jenkins returned from North Korea (wiki link for those who want to know) and surrendered, he was assigned duties in the medical records unit until his court martial was convened about two months later. So, would not assume anything yet about what the Army will or won’t do other than due diligence.

  15. James Pearce says:

    @walt moffett: From the wikipedia article you cited:

    In 2004, when Jenkins surrendered himself as a deserter, the U.S. Army placed him back on the active duty rolls as a “deserter returned to military control”.

  16. Jack says:

    He’s had his clearance pulled, access to military firearms terminated and he has been assigned to the “Protocol” office where he will sit around all day and surf the internet.

    He must be on active duty to be charged with anything. He has lawyered up but the investigation is ongoing.

  17. wr says:

    @Jack: “He has lawyered up but the investigation is ongoing.”

    Lawyered up, eh? Obviously he’s guilty then. Unless you mean that he has accepted the legal counsel guaranteed him by the Constitution.

    “Lawyered up.” Geeze.

  18. Jack says:

    @wr: Did I imply guilt, cupcake? Crawl back inside your hole, libturd.

  19. James Pearce says:


    “Crawl back inside your hole, libturd.”

    No, no, no. That’s not how we do it here.

  20. President Camacho says:

    Return to duty, pretrial confinement (not warranted under the ucmj standards here) or RTD w restrictions. This means nothing w respect to whether he is charged down the road. If they try to question him they have to read him his art 31 rights which inform him of his right to counsel

  21. anjin-san says:

    @ Jack

    For someone who claims to be an educated man, you certainly don’t seem to be able to argue like one.

  22. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    There is nothing in this development that indicates anything, one way or another, about Bergdahl’s future legal status.

    My current read on the situation is that he was guilty of desertion, but his mental state is a mitigating factor. He should never have been accepted into the military. This is bolstered by Susan Rice’s declaration that he served “with honor and distinction.” When the Obama administration’s designated spokesliar declares something that assertively, the odds are pretty good that the exact opposite is true.

  23. Mikey says:

    For reasons not public at this point, Bergdahl has not spoken to his parents since his release:

    Bowe Bergdahl Has Refused to Speak to Parents

  24. Eric Florack says:

    Bradley Manning, call your office.