Washington – Earlier today, Representative Rick Crawford (AR-1), along with 99 fellow Representatives, wrote a letter to Ryan D. McCarthy, the Acting Secretary of the United States Army, urging the United States Army not to award Private Bowe Bergdahl any back pay prior to or subsequent to separation from the United States Army. A copy of that letter may be found here.
“As an Army veteran myself, I’m very concerned that Private Bergdahl may receive more money in back pay than the families of the fallen soldiers who lost their lives searching for him,” Crawford said. “That sends the wrong message to our servicemen and women, and I don’t believe the pay is deserved. While we should always do everything in our power to bring home prisoners of war, given the circumstances of Bergdahl’s capture and his admission of desertion, I don’t think it is appropriate to award that pay.”
According to Army Times: “Bergdahl was captured after walking off base on June 30, 2009, while deployed to Paktika province with 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. He pleaded guilty in October to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. On Nov. 3, a military judge ruled Bergdahl would not serve any jail time but be dishonorably discharged from the Army and reduced in rank to private.”
Despite his dishonorable discharge and demotion, Bergdahl remains eligible for significant back pay. Captive soldiers normally receive special compensation worth around $150,000 in addition to hostile-fire pay and their basic pay they accumulated during the captivity.
According to Army Times: “’Based upon the results of trial, the Army is reviewing Sgt. Bergdahl’s pay and allowances,’ Lt. Col. Randy Taylor told Army Times. ‘His final pay and allowances will be determined in accordance with DoD policy and Army regulation.’”