Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl could be entitled to more than $300,000 in back pay from the five-plus years he spent in Taliban captivity in Afghanistan.
From the moment Bergdahl was captured in 2009, he became eligible for extra compensation available to captured troops.
Last month, Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. The military judge ruled on Nov. 3 that the Army sergeant would not serve any jail time, but would be dishonorably discharged from the Army, be required to forfeit pay, and have his rank reduced to private.
“Based upon the results of trial, the Army is reviewing Sgt. Bergdahl’s pay and allowances,” Lt. Col. Randy Taylor said. “His final pay and allowances will be determined in accordance with DoD policy and Army regulation.”
The Army must wait for the commander of the Army Forces Command, Gen. Robert Abrams, to approve the judge’s sentence before determining how much Bergdahl is entitled to.
Usually a soldier who had been marked missing or captured would be entitled to back pay immediately upon their return. In Bergdahl’s care, however, he may not be considered a prisoner of war after pleading guilty to desertion.
An Army official, who was not authorized to speak on the record, said Bergdahl may be entitled to his accumulated basic pay while in captivity, but not the Basic Allowance for Housing, Basic Allowance for Subsistence, and per diem given to prisoners.
The official also noted Bergdahl may “owe us,” and not receive any financial compensation for his time in captivity.