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Noteworthy case highlights possible court-martial outcomes

The long and winding saga in the strange case of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl continues to unfold more than a handful-plus of years after his disappearance from a duty station in Afghanistan and subsequent capture by members of the Taliban insurgent group.

The Bowe story has been splashy, indeed, being prominently featured in national media outlets from its inception. Indeed, it was announced just last month that the investigation surrounding Bowe’s disappearance will continue following earlier efforts, with a four-star general being appointed to oversee the matter.

Given the central relevance of the Bowe case on many levels to readers of this blog, we have duly joined other media contributors in presenting material information on the matter as it has unfolded. We last touched upon key developments in a post dated August 5, 2014.

We pick up with the case once again in today’s post, noting both the above-cited news regarding the general’s involvement (he will determine whether the Army will commence court martial proceedings against Bowe or simply forgo any punishment) and the universe of possibilities that exist in the case.

As noted in a recent article on the Bowe case and court-martial proceedings, the possible outcomes in a formal military trial encompass a wide universe. It is pointed out, for example, that a finding of desertion in a court martial can bring the death penalty to a military servicemember. Lengthy prison terms are also imposed in such cases.

Short of such outcomes, many possibilities emerge, with Bowe’s case underscoring several of them. He could be dishonorably discharged or demoted to a lower rank. Alternatively, or in conjunction with such outcomes, the Army could demand that Bowe return all the pay that he received while being held in captivity by the Taliban for approximately five years.

Disciplinary action in the military is a singular and complex process, with Bowe’s case certainly denoting that fact. Court martial-related questions and concerns can be responded to by a proven military defense attorney with experience representing servicemembers facing criminal charges.

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