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A military judge on Nov. 3 ruled that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will receive a dishonorable discharge and a reduction in rank to private but will not face prison time for deserting his post in Afghanistan in June 2009, the Associated Press reports.
Bergdahl, who was held captive for five years by the Taliban — during which time he says he was tortured and beaten — after abandoning his unit’s outpost near the town of Yahya Kheyl in Afghanistan’s Paktika province, plead guilty on Oct. 17 to the charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
Bergdahl was released from Taliban captivity in May 2014 after a controversial prisoner exchange involving five Guantanamo Bay detainees. Bergdahl opted to be tried by a military judge instead of a jury, CNN reports.
Initially faced with the possibility of life in prison, the prosecution asked the presiding judge, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, for a 14-year sentence and a dishonorable discharge, CNN reports.
Bergdahl will lose all veterans benefits and will be required to pay a fine of $1,000 a month for 10 months, according to The Washington Post.
Bergdahl’s defense attested that the soldier “probably should not have been in the Army," Capt. Nina Banks, a military attorney for Bergdahl said in her closing argument.
The prosecution argued that Bergdahl was aware of the risks when he deserted and that his decision to walk off post placed Army personnel sent to search for him in danger.
Soldiers tasked with searching for Bergdahl were called upon to testify during the proceedings, and one of the witnesses, retired Navy SEAL James Hatch testified that he and his military working dog came under fire while searching for Bergdahl, CNN reports. Hatch was shot in the leg, and his working dog was shot and killed.
"I thought I was dead," he said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Known for acting on impulse, President Donald Trump has adopted an uncharacteristically go-slow approach to whether to hold Iran responsible for attacks on Saudi oil facilities, showing little enthusiasm for confrontation as he seeks re-election next year.
After state-owned Saudi Aramco's plants were struck on Saturday, Trump didn't wait long to fire off a tweet that the United States was "locked and loaded" to respond, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran.
But four days later, Trump has no timetable for action. Instead, he wants to wait and see the results of investigations into what happened and is sending Pompeo to consult counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week.
That sound you're hearing is Army senior leaders exhaling a sigh of relief, because the Army has surpassed its recruiting goal for the year.
After failing to meet recruiting goals in 2018, the Army put the pedal to the metal and "did some soul searching," said Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, to ensure that they'd meet their 2019 goal. It must have paid off — the service announced on Tuesday that more than 68,000 recruits have signed on as active-duty soldiers, and more soldiers have stuck around than they expected.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein transformed into the Cigarette Smoking Man from "The X-Files" on Tuesday when explaining why UFO enthusiasts should avoid storming the mythical Area 51 installation in Nevada.
"All joking aside, we're taking it very seriously," Goldfein told reporters during the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. "Our nation has secrets, and those secrets deserve to be protected. The people deserve to have our nation's secrets protected."
SAN DIEGO — A San Diego-based Navy SEAL acquitted of murder in a closely watched war crimes trial this summer has filed a lawsuit against two of his former attorneys and a military legal defense nonprofit, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Texas on Friday.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — The Air Force is reviewing whether some airmen's valor awards deserve to be upgraded to the Medal of Honor, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said on Tuesday.
Goldfein revealed that several airmen are being considered for the nation's highest military award during a press conference at the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. He declined to say exactly who could receive the Medal of Honor, pending the outcome of the review process.