Army Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl may be entitled to as much as $300,000 in back pay and other benefits amassed during his captivity by the Taliban.
“Based upon the results of trial, the Army is reviewing Sgt. Bergdahl’s pay and allowances,” Lt. Col. Randy Taylor told the Army Times. “His final pay and allowances will be determined in accordance with DOD policy and Army regulation.”
Bergdahl, 31, was captured by the Taliban in 2009 after he walked off base while in Afghanistan. After pleading guilty to desertion, he was given a dishonorable discharge and demoted from sergeant to private in a court decision earlier this month, but he won’t have to go to prison. President Trump called the ruling a “complete and total disgrace.”
Captive soldiers normally receive special compensation worth around $150,000 in addition to hostile-fire pay and their basic pay accumulated during the captivity. But determining whether Bergdahl should receive the back pay is not as clear-cut because he was a deserter.
“My understanding is there has to be an administrative determination of his duty status at each point, from the time he was captured until now,” an army official told the Times. “In order to figure out what he’s owed, you’re basically going to have to start from that point of captivity.”
The State Department marked Bergdahl as “Missing-Captured” several days after he was captured by the enemy and the terror group released a video featuring him alive, Military.com reported in 2014.
The official told the Times that it is possible Bergdahl will be given only his accumulated basic pay during his five-year captivity.
However, Bergdahl might not be eligible for the basic back pay and could even owe money to the military covering the time since his return to the United States, according to the official who spoke with the Times.