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Bergdahl could still collect $300,000 from the Army despite dishonorable discharge

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl leaves the Fort Bragg courtroom facility after the defense and prosecution rested in a sentencing hearing on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, on Fort Bragg, N.C.

ANDREW CRAFT/THE FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER

By NICOLE BLANCHARD | The Idaho Statesman (Tribune News Service) | Published: November 9, 2017

As part of his sentencing last week, former Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl must forfeit pay equal to $1,000 per month for 10 months. But he could still be entitled to more than $300,000 from the Army, reports Army Times.

Army officials haven’t yet calculated the exact figure, but the sum would include bonus pay given to captured troops, along with his basic pay and benefits from the five years Bergdahl spent in captivity after walking away from his post in Afghanistan in 2009, the Army publication reported.

“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 [Department of Defense] policy and Army regulation.”

However, officials said there’s a chance Bergdahl will no longer be considered a captured troop after pleading guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Bergdahl's sentence, issued Nov. 3, included a dishonorable discharge and reduction in rank from sergeant to private; he avoided prison time.

An unnamed official told Army Times that even if Bergdahl is found ineligible for captivity pay, he could still be entitled to accumulated basic pay and deployment pay.

The dishonorable discharge ruling triggered an automatic appeal, and Bergdahl’s attorneys plan to continue to argue that statements by President Donald Trump constitute unlawful influence on the military court. It’s unclear what role that appeal could play in determine what backpay and benefits Bergdahl is due.

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©2017 The Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho)
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