The Army named a two-star general who held commands in Afghanistan to investigate whether Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl deserted his unit.
Three days after Bergdahl returned to the U.S., the Army said in a statement Monday that the investigation had begun and was being led by Maj. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl, a 1982 West Point graduate and now deputy commanding general of the Army's I Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Dahl's task was to determine "the facts and circumstances surrounding the disappearance and capture of Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl from Combat Outpost Mest-Lalak in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, on or about June 30, 2009," according to an Army official.
From 2010-2012, Dahl served as Deputy Commanding General (Support) for the Mountain Division and also held several other posts in Afgahnistan.
The Army statement said that the type of investigation undertaken in Bergdahl's case was not unusual and was routinely carried out "to establish the facts on the ground following an incident" that could be subject to court-martial proceedings.
The investigating officer in Bergdahl's case "will have access to previously gathered documentary evidence, including the 2009 investigation," according to an Army statement.
The reference was to the Army's classified Article 15-6 investigation that was conducted shortly after Bergdahl allegedly walked away from his post and later was captured by the Taliban.
The Article 15-6 investigation concluded that Bergdahl voluntarily stacked his body armor and weapon, and walked away from his unit, according to the Associated Press.
Bergdahl arrived at Fort Sam Houston in Texas on Friday and was quickly transferred to the Brooke Army Medical Center to continue medical and psychological evaluations.
-- Richard Sisk can be reached at email@example.com