UPDATE: US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty to the charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, according to his attorney Monday.
During questioning in a Fort Bragg, N.C. courthouse Monday, Bergdahl said “I left my observation post on my own.”
“I understand leaving was against the law.”
Bergdahl, who admitted guilt without striking a deal with prosecutors, leaves his punishment up to a military judge.
“At the time, I had no intention of causing search and recovery operations,” said Bergdahl. “I believed they would notice me missing, but I didn’t believe they would have reason to search for one private.”
Bergdahl, who was a private first-class when he vanished, received the promotions that all soldiers missing in action are entitled to while he was in captivity by the Taliban.
He told the judge that he tried to escape between 12 and 15 times. Once, he was on his own for a week with the hope a US drone would spot him, before he was recaptured. He also said he tries to escape on his first day in captivity, but was tackled soon after he made a run for it.
As I started running there came shouts, and I was tackled by people. That didn’t go so well,” he said.
Hailing from Hailey, Idaho, Berghdahl has been assigned to desk duty at a Texas Army base while his case unfolds.
As previously reported:
The soldier accused of deserting his unit in Afghanistan almost a decade ago, US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, is expected to enter a plea at a court martial Monday.
According to US Army Forces Command, Bergdahl “has requested via defense counsel to enter a plea with the court on Monday.”
The 31-year old faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, and is expected to plea guilty in his case, according to the Associated Press.
In May 2014, Bergdahl was released from the Taliban after nearly five years in captivity. The Army found that he had alledegly walked away from a remote outpost in eastern Afghanistan, and was quickly taken by the Taliban.
He was exchanged in 2014 for five Guantanamo detainees who had been captured Taliban leaders, a controversial move for many veterans and service members.
The desertion and misbehavior before the enemy charges can carry a potential life sentence.
Additional reporting from the Associated Press