I wasn’t kidding with the title. Now that Bowe Bergdahl has been busted to private and dishonorably discharged, we, the taxpayer, may owe the man who pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior in front of the enemy in October hundreds of thousands of dollars.
According to the Army Times, due to Bergdahl’s capture, he was automatically eligible for “captive pay.” Doing some calculations the Army Times came up with a number that Bergdahl might be eligible for if he gets his money at all.
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.
The Army Times says that the calculations will have to begin once Gen. Robert Abrams, the convening authority on Bergdahl’s case, approves the sentence. The calculations for back pay will begin from the moment Bergdahl was thought to be captured, however his pleading guilty to desertion may make his back pay null and void.
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.
It would be a slap in the face for taxpayers to watch the man who deserted his squad, and caused the deaths of more men that went to find him, walk away with a fat wallet on top of serving zero jail time.
This man should not get a dime of our money.