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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.
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.