UPDATE, 27JAN15 6:02p.m.: Army Times is reporting that rumors that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be charged with desertion are untrue that a decision has not yet been made.
The Army says there is no truth to media reports claiming a decision has been made to charge Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl with desertion.
The Army continues to review the case against Bergdahl, said Paul Boyce, a spokesman for Forces Command, on Tuesday morning.
“Sgt. Bergdahl has not been charged with any crime,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby during a press briefing Tuesday afternoon.
“No decision has been made with respect to the case of Sgt. Bergdahl,” Kirby said. “None. There is no timeline to make that decision, and Gen. [Mark] Milley is being put under no pressure to make a decision.”
Below is our earlier report based on an article published early Tuesday by NBC News.
A senior defense official has told NBC News that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be charged with desertion.
Bergdahl, who was held captive by enemy forces in Afghanistan for five years, will likely be given consideration for the time he served as a prisoner of the Haqqani terrorist network in Pakistan and be permitted to leave the Army with a “less than honorable discharge.”
NBC adds that “if accepted, Bergdahl would be denied as much as $300 thousand in back pay and bonuses, and reduced in rank to at least Private First Class, the rank he held when he disappeared from his outpost in Afghanistan.”
According to NBC,
[T]he desertion charges would be based on allegations that Bergdahl abandoned his remote outpost in June 2009 to avoid hazardous duty or important service, which are grounds for charges of desertion under the Uniform Military Code of Justice, or UCMJ. According to one senior official, Bergdahl’s actions in Afghanistan go well beyond the lesser offense of AWOL, absent without leave, because he allegedly abandoned his post “in the middle of a combat zone, potentially putting the lives of his fellows soldiers at risk.”