Army holds back decision on Bergdahl awards

| January 16, 2016 | 46 Comments

Bergdahl and pal

According to Stars & Stripes, Bowe Bergdahl intends to apply for some awards that he thinks he earned during his adventures in Afghanistan, including the Purple Heart and the POW Medal. The Army has decided that they’ll hold off on their decision until after his court martial. Of course, Bergdahl’s lawyer immediately began to whine;

The lack of the awards was raised by another attorney for Bergdahl, Army Lt. Col. Franklin Rosenblatt, during a pretrial hearing on Tuesday, but it was not clear when the issue would be resolved.

“Sgt. Bergdahl was advised just the other day to initiate the paperwork for the four additional decorations to which he is entitled,” Fidell said in a statement. “If higher-ups in the Army have indeed decided to withhold them without even waiting for his submission, we are both surprised and disappointed. Preventing the accused from wearing his or her decorations is a major issue in a court-martial. A soldier has a right to appear in court wearing all military decorations to which he or she is entitled. Why can’t Sgt. Bergdahl be treated like any other soldier — and afforded the presumption of innocence?”

Our buddy Doug Sterner, weighed in on the issue;

Doug Sterner, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam and is well-known for his research of military awards, said that he doesn’t think that Bergdahl should get either award because he walked away from his unit. It’s difficult to picture him getting the POW Medal in particular, Sterner said, citing the legislation that created the medal, which said that it should “recognize that character of military service which arises under the most hostile and difficult of circumstances — that of being held prisoner by the enemy.”

But Sterner said a case can be made that he should at least get the Purple Heart because he was in fact wounded while in captivity.

I’m sure that any wounds he sustained while in captivity were John Kerry-esque and it could arguably be proven to be self-inflicted because he knowingly walked away from his unit and his duties. Besides, I’m pretty sure that he won’t be able to produce medical records to substantiate the injuries from the Haqqani Network, his hosts. It would probably violate their HIPPA laws.

Category: Politics

Comments (46)

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  1. Toasty Coastie says:

    He can have an award of Dave Hardin’s Bag O’Dicks.

  2. Peter the Bubblehead says:

    It’s the right choice. No awarding of medals until it is determined he actually earned and deserves them. Personally, I don’t think he should even be called Sergeant.

  3. NR Pax says:

    Damage to your ass from being a Taliban wife isn’t Purple Heat material.

  4. IDC SARC says:

    There are conditions which have to be met for those awards to be properly issued to an individual, it’s more than just a number of days in the AO.

    I know there’s a certain amount of mental illness involved with this guy, but damn, I just wanna put my thumb in his eye for even remotely playing the victim here.

    The only reason he’s wearing his current rank is that he was promoted in absentia and that should also be remedied as well as any and all back pay he received for it.

    DD, RIR to E-1 and no PH, POW Medal, Campaign awards etc. is the minimum I’d like to see.

  5. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Like the Facebook post above says, when someone is flagged, NO promotions or awards. *gloating and grinning*

    • Kirov Royer says:

      The defense team likely knows all this. Rosenblatt surely advised the civilian counsel on the inability to receive favorable action of any kind while pending adverse action (“flagged”). This was done so the defense will be able to bring it up in the case. Duty performance and the “good soldier defense” would allow testimony like this. Initiating it now gives it arguably more traction than if just mentioned at trial for the first time.

    • Guard Bum says:

      Actually, the PH is still awarded even if flagged so I suspect they are withholding it because as someone else said being anally penetrated as a willing participant doesnt cut it. He deserves nothing except a firing squad IMO.

  6. K5919 says:

    He should get the 7.62 metal which he can wear in his heart . I would be more than willing to award it to him.

  7. Luddite4change says:

    No POW or PH consideration until the end of the courts martial process, as the proceedings are central to determining line of duty and character of service.

    I think, however, that he likely is due the afghan campaign and NATO medals, if he had sufficient time in country prior to leaving US control. I’ll note that the Army is authorizing him to wear the combat service ID badge, overseas service bars, and CIB.

  8. The Other Whitey says:

    Does a stretched sphincter rate a Purple Heart?

  9. Jarhead says:

    The man DOES deserve medals, just not both his attorney is crying for. First, he absolutely deserves the infamous P B F award (Prisoner of A Bearded Fag), and should wear it proudly. The Purple Heart, I’m not so sure. Stretch marks remaining on his overstretched mouth indicate he had some type of injury. But that award is earned only if the individual had his tonsils shoved down his throat by an organ which had previously violated a goat’s ass.

    • Hondo says:

      Jarhead, if proven guilty of wartime desertion and/or collaboration with his captors, IMO Bergdahl deserves precisely one “metal”. This one – which he will not receive.

      I suspect there would be no shortage of volunteers to do the “pinning”, either.

  10. Hack Stone says:

    Do you know what else he missed out on? Five years of no PFT’s, no SHARP classes, no police call of brass and trash, and dodging all the CFC pledge drives and Army Relief solicitations. Time to pay the piper.

  11. Mike says:

    Stupid question, but if you were pending court martial wouldn’t applying for and wearing medals be the least of your concerns at that point?

    • Just An Old Dog says:

      Its a ploy of his attornies, all about appearances. Just like in the civilian court they will have the meth-head trailor trash throw on a good will suit n tie.

      • Alberich says:

        I will say it is standard in a court-martial to have the accused in class A’s with all the medals on…normally it serves the purpose of reminding the panel of what the Soldier did besides the thing he’s on trial for…might even lend him a measure of credibility if he’s going to testify.

        (I once had to deal with a unit of fools who tried to keep my client’s medals off his chest at trial because, even though he’d earned them, they weren’t in his ERB.)

        I am 100% sure that Bergdahl will go with a judge alone trial instead of a panel, and I do not encourage much optimism about what this judge will do.

        • IDC SARC says:

          yes, credibility…well, I would say the trappings of being an NCO and professional soldier would also stand testament to the fact that as such, he willfully and with premeditation abandoned what everything he is wearing stands for.

  12. B Woodman says:

    Bergdahl, and all “his” lawers. . . a throat punch to each and all of them.

  13. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    That picture of him on this thread suits him PERFECTLY! His “MOOOMY! They say I’m their ‘goat boy’ now!” along with Achmed Oobla-boobla’s facial expression of “Look at my new field bitch!”.

  14. Jarhead says:

    All this time and it just now occurred to me what that bearded retard was saying in the picture when he had his arm around his “sweet thang”.
    He was saying, “This is MY Burg Doll”.

  15. TxRadioguy says:

    His lawyer is going for a cheap sympathy play. Put those medals on the traitors chest and have the jury look at them to try and influence their verdict.


    • Martinjmpr says:

      Which might be plausible if this was a civilian jury drawn from the community.

      But in a CM, the “jury” (actually called a panel, I believe) is made up of military officers.

      As an enlisted man, Bergdahl would have the option of having up to half (I think) of the panel made up of enlisted personnel. But don’t think that Bergdahl’s buddy SPC Snuffy from the motor pool is going to sit on that panel. If there are any enlisted members they’re going to be E-7 and up, probably 1SG, SGM or CSM.

      And if you were accused of what Berghahl is, would YOU want a 1SG or CSM on your panel? I think I’d take my chances with the officers.

  16. Sapper3307 says:

    If I might remind everybody he is currently wearing a good conduct medal or two. I want to know who signed off on it.

  17. John S. says:

    Seeing a photo of Bergdhal in his ASU’s made me wonder how he rates a CIB, given the whole desertion thing.

  18. Patrica says:

    This is really offensive to real Purple Heart and POW medal holders. For those of you holding such awards, I’m truly sorry that there are ass hats out there that would try to include Bergdahl in your honored circle. He is not worthy.

  19. mike says:

    I think it’s normal for awards to be held when records are flagged. So he can wait. A couple of the campaign awards requirements were satisfied in the month before he pulled his stunt so if they’re going to give him awards “earned” then I suppose those can be handed over, but a POW medal and Purple Heart, those require standards be met and so far those are up in the air. So NO he doesn’t get them.

    • RGR 4-78 says:

      I know there is a lot of speculation about Bergdhals, forced, coerced or willing participation in “the goat boy gymnastics”, but has anyone seen what the citation reads for his being awarded the Purple Heart?

  20. jonp says:

    If this is all about appearances and looking good to try and sway a judgement I think Dipshit is barking up the wrong tree. A civilian judge and jury who don’t know a set of Jump Wings from Captain Of Space Rangers Battle Wings might be impressed but a military Judge and Jury not so much. In fact, since they already know most of what happened I think his wearing stuff he does not deserve will have the opposite effect. I know it would on me.

  21. Skippy says:

    ahhh Bowe the hero that Jane dildos to every day….

  22. nbcguy54ACTUAL says:

    Just some things to chew on. More than likely, Boy Blunder is currently flagged with an “M” code (“Law enforcement investigation”) or an “L” code (“Commander’s investigation”) as described in AR 600-8-2 (Suspension of Favorable Personnel Actions).
    AR 600-8-2 also tells us:
    3–1. Actions prohibited by a Flag.
    A properly imposed Flag prohibits the following personnel actions unless otherwise specified in this regulation:…….
    e. Recommendation for, and receipt of, individual awards and decorations. Exceptions to this policy are outlined in AR 600–8–22.

    And here is what AR 600-8-22 (Military Awards) tells us:
    1–17. Character of service
    a. Personal decorations. A medal will not be awarded or presented to any individual whose entire service subsequent to the time of the distinguished act, achievement, or service has not been honorable. The determination of “honorable” will be based on such honest and faithful service according to the standards of conduct, courage, and duty required by law and customs of the service of a Servicemember of the grade to whom the standard is applied.
    d. Purple Hearts. The PH is an entitlement and differs from all other awards and does not require an exception or waiver for presentation.

    So, what I’m reading is that he is probably flagged pending the outcome of the CM. Additionally, for individual awards (except Purple Hearts) his ENTIRE service prior to the “act” that would qualify him for an award must have been honorable. Desertion probably hurts the honorable part.

    The regs do talk a little bit about his promotions as well, but being they were “automatic” and he wasn’t under charges at the time, the promotions appear to be within reason.

    Awards – nope.

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