Bowe Bergdahl received a dishonorable discharge from the US Army but will avoid prison time for desertion and misbehavior before the enemy after abandoning his outpost in Afghanistan in 2009, a military judge ruled Friday.
The judge also ruled that Bergdahl’s rank be reduced from sergeant to private. Additionally, he will be required to pay a $1,000 fine from his salary for the next 10 months.
“Sgt. Bergdahl has looked forward to today for a long time,” Eugene Fidell, Bergdahl’s civilian attorney, said at a news conference after the sentence was announced.
“As everyone knows he was a captive of the Taliban for nearly five years, and three more years have elapsed while the legal process unfolded. He has lost nearly a decade of his life.”
The sentence is effective immediately, except for the dishonorable discharge, which Bergdahl is appealing, according to Fidell.