theSkimm's Guide to

BOWE BERGDAHL

THE STORY

Sgt Bowe Bergdahl. He's baaaack.

WHO’S BOWE BERGDAHL AGAIN?

You know him from Serial. The soldier who walked away from his base in Afghanistan in 2009. He was captured and held by the Taliban for five years. After he was reported missing, thousands of soldiers searched for him. He was released back in 2014, when the US swapped him for five big-deal Taliban prisoners.

SO HE GOT A HOMECOMING PARADE?

Not exactly. President Obama announced his return home with lots of champagne and high-fives. But not everyone was celebrating. Bergdahl said he was unhappy with leadership at his base, and left to walk to another base to draw attention to those issues. But some fellow soldiers said ‘ummm, you don’t just leave your post.’ They’ve accused him of putting their lives in danger when they went to look for him. Then in 2015, the Army charged Bergdahl with desertion and endangering troops.

WHAT’S THE LATEST?

A top Army commander looked at Bergdahl’s case and ordered him to face a general court-martial. Read: the highest level of military trial. Meaning Bergdahl could be looking at life in prison. Big deal, especially since an earlier recommendation from an Army officer said Bergdahl shouldn’t face jail time at all. Some people agree, and think five years with the Taliban is enough punishment. Others think he should be brought to justice for deserting his post and putting US troops in danger.

theSKIMM

When the US first heard about Bowe Bergdahl, everyone said ‘sounds a lot like Homeland.’ Now, everyone’s saying ‘sounds a lot like Serial.’ Actually though. While the military’s been looking over the fine print of Bergdahl’s case for months, now the rest of the world’s asking ‘hero or deserter?’ too.

Sign up for the Daily Skimm
and join the millions who already wake up with us.