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Bergdahl Gets Army Desk Job

Bowe Bergdahl rubs his head in a still taken from the handover video released by the Taliban.

Army Sgt. Bergdahl has been given a desk job at a Texas military base while he awaits the outcome of an investigation that could lead to disciplinary charges, Pentagon officials said Monday.

Six weeks after his release from Taliban captivity, Bergdahl, 28, was back on active duty and was being given "administrative type duties."

"Essentially, he'll be doing a desk job," said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.

Bergdahl nominally has been on active duty since his release on June 2, and "he remains on active duty" in his new job at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in Texas, Warren said.

He is living at the non-commissioned officers' barracks and "is not restricted in any way" in his movements on the base, Warren said.

"He will now return to regular duty within the command where he can contribute to the mission," Tatjana Christian, a spokeswoman for the `Army, said in an e-mail. "The Army investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the disappearance and capture of Bergdahl is still ongoing."

Throughout his captivity, Bergdahl was on the rolls of the 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska but he is now assigned to U.S. Army North, Warren said.

Former members of Bergdahl's unit in Afghanistan have come forward since his release to charge that he voluntarily left his post.

The Army has named Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl to conduct an Article 15-6 investigation into the circumstances of Bergdahl leaving his post in Afghanistan's southeastern Paktika province on June 30, 2009.

Dahl, deputy commanding general of the Army's I Corps, was expected to complete his investigation in mid-August and make recommendations that could include disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The matter of Bergdahl's back pay, which could amount to more than $300,000, and other issues surrounding his five years as a captive will not be resolved at least until Dahl's investigation is complete, Warren said.

Much of the criticism of Bergdahl's release has centered on the prisoner exchange for five high-value Taliban detainees at the Guantanamo Naval Base.

Last week, letters from the five service chiefs were released showing that they backed the prisoner exchange while noting that they were not involved in the high-level negotiations that resulted in the release of the five Taliban prisoners to the Gulf state of Qatar.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at richard.sisk@monster.com

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