Captain America Is Basically The Bowe Bergdahl Of The Marvel Universe

Mandatory Fun
Photo illustration by Task & Purpose

Let me know if this sounds familiar: An Army soldier deployed overseas as part of the United States' global fight against terrorism up and decides to abandon his post. Attempts to recover him result in the permanent injury of at least one other U.S. service member. Back home, the circumstances surrounding his decision to go AWOL become highly-publicized and controversial, and some even see him as a traitor.

This description encapsulates the saga of Army Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl — but it could easily describe Capt. Steve Rogers, the former Army O-3 who broke from the U.S. government before assembling an elite squad of international fugitives to wage an insurgency against a batshit crazy purple tyrant.

Yes, I know what you're thinking, but just hear me out.


On its face, this argument seems patently absurd. Even before he joined the U.S. military at the height of World War II, Steve Rogers was the noblest motherfucker to ever be issued a Social Security card. In fact, that's why the super-soldier serum developed by Dr. Abraham Erskine launched Rogers on such a dramatic arc: not just by enhancing his body, but enhancing his mind and spirit.

"The serum amplifies everything inside," Erskine tells Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger. "Good becomes great; bad becomes worse."

Despite the potential for Red Skull-style 'roid rage, Rogers' moral compass remains strong while he's Captain America and after — even when that puts him at odds with the U.S. government. In Captain America: Winter Soldier, we see Rogers become increasingly skeptical of the U.S. military-industrial complex, a transformation that mirrors that of many active-duty service members and veterans of the post-9/11 era.

Ending Scene | Captain America The Winter Soldier (2014) Movie Clip youtu.be

That skepticism only grows during the events of Winter Soldier and fully blooms when Rogers drops his shield at the end of Captain America: Civil War, no longer an agent of the governmental organizations he distrusts and the leaders he sees as out to manipulate him. How does that not sound like Bergdahl's stated reasoning for abandoning his post in Afghanistan's Paktika Province in June 2009?

"What I was seeing from my first unit, all the way up into Afghanistan… was basically leadership failure to the point that the lives of the guys standing next to me were literally — from what I could see — in danger of something seriously going wrong and somebody being killed," Bergdahl says in one of the taped interviews with Boal.

"As a private first class, nobody is going to listen to me," Bergdahl says ... "The idea was I'd rather be sitting in Leavenworth [prison] than standing over the body of [a fellow soldier]," he said, later saying the move was "gutsy but still stupid."

Given that Bergdahl ended up getting captured by the Taliban and recovered only through a prisoner exchange, while Rogers spends two years beating the living shit out of arms dealers and terrorists while growing a sweet, sweet operator beard, the comparison isn't perfect. But the two even share responsibility for injuries inflicted upon fellow U.S. service members during attempts to bring them home, even if the case involving Cap was paralysis-by-synthezoid:

War Machine Falls (Scene) | Marvel's Captain America: Civil War (2016) [IMAX] youtu.be

Obviously, the two tales don't turn out the same: Steve Rogers goes on to play a modern-day Cincinnatus and leads his own rag-tag insurgency to fight Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War; Bowe Bergdahl got off relatively scot-free. But to be honest, it doesn't really matter if Captain America ends up succeeding against the Mad Titan in the upcoming Avengers: Endgame — chances are, he'll end up doing time in the brig and get busted down to Pvt. America.

Frankly, only Col. James Rhodes likely knows how Cap's character arc is probably going to end: With a court-martial.

SEE ALSO: Captain America Basically Leads An Insurgency In The First Trailer For 'Avengers: Endgame'

WATCH NEXT: Deadpool Is The Worst Special Forces Soldier Ever

The Pentagon has identified the two soldiers were killed in combat in Afghanistan on Wednesday as members of U.S. Army Special Forces.

Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, both died in Faryab Province from wounds sustained from small arms fire, the Pentagon said in a press release. The incident is under investigation.

Read More Show Less

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday of possible Israeli involvement in attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Iraq.

A series of blasts in the past few weeks have hit weapon depots and bases belonging to paramilitary groups in Iraq, many of them backed by Israel's regional foe Iran. The groups blamed the United States and Israel for the blasts on Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
White House/Shealah Craighead

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will make it easier for permanently disabled veterans to have their student loan debt forgiven.

Read More Show Less
Capt. Tranay Lashawn Tanner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Physical fitness tests were briefly suspended earlier this week and outdoor cardio testing will be curtailed for the remainder of the summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, after an airman died Saturday. She had completed her PT test on Friday.

Read More Show Less
(DoD photo)

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has expanded a review of the Judge Advocate General Corps to include the Marine Corps, a Navy spokesman said on Thursday.

"There is value in applying this review and its subsequent recommendations across the Department of the Navy," Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey told Task & Purpose. "The review's purpose is to confirm the uniformed legal community is structurally and organizationally sound and best supporting the good order and discipline our integrated naval force."

Read More Show Less