Bergdahl Retains Lawyer For Army Investigation Into His Disappearance

Jul 15, 2014

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has retained a lawyer to counsel him during the Army's investigation into the circumstances of his capture.

In the meantime, the former prisoner of war who spent nearly five years as a Taliban captive in Afghanistan, has returned to regular duty at an Army base in Texas. 

The Army says Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, has completed the final phase of his medical recovery, and has been assigned to U.S. Army North at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston for what is expected to be largely administrative work.

Legal expert Geoffrey Corn, a retired Army officer who teaches at South Texas College of Law, says Bergdahl is now in a holding pattern; Bergdahl can't be discharged as long as he's the subject of an investigation into misconduct.

“Once he is discharged from the military, they can't bring him back involuntarily — to, for example, if they wanted to court martial him. They would lose jurisdiction over him. So, they've got to keep him retained in the military until they make that decision,” Corn said.

The Army investigation into how Bergdahl fell into Taliban hands in 2009 is being led by Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl of Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma.

Corn says Bergdahl will likely be assigned to a unit of other service members who are doing what's known as “marking time.” Many injured soldiers who are discharged from the hospital return to duty at Fort Sam Houston while they go through physical evaluation.