Bergdahl does not enter plea in hearing with military judge

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, shown in this undated file image, is the subject of a military investigation after he was labeled a deserter and a traitor by fellow soldiers in his unit. Bergdahl was a Taliban prisoner for more than four years before being released in exchange for the release of five Taliban detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay. Bergdahl’s story will be featured in the second season of “Serial.” (AP file)

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN) – U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl did not enter a plea on Tuesday when appearing before a military judge.

He appeared Tuesday at an arraignment hearing on charges of desertion and endangering troops.

Bergdahl did not say  much but spoke confidently when he responded to the judge’s questions with answers of, “Yes, sir,” and “No, sir.”

Bergdahl, dressed in his military uniform, sat straight up and looked forward for most of the hearing. He did appear anxious and fidgety at times.

The Taliban held him captive for five years after he left his post in Afghanistan. He was returned to the U.S. in 2014 in exchange for five Taliban prisoners.

Bergdahl’s story is the focus of this season of the popular podcast, “Serial.”

He revealed he left his outpost in Afghanistan because he was unhappy with the leadership where he was and wanted to report the situation to another general.

“I was fully confident that … people would understand that I was right,” Bergdahl said.

Now, he faces a court-martial.

The charges include desertion and “misbehavior before the enemy” for endangering the lives of the troops sent to look for him.

“We’ve heard wildly different results and comments from people as high up as the national security adviser to President Obama, who said that Bowe Bergdahl had served with honor and distinction,” said Mark Sullivan, an attorney in Raleigh who is also a retired colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.

He said trying the case will “determine once and for all if Bowe Bergdahl is a hero or a deserter.”

Tuesday’s hearing was Bergdahl’s first chance to hear the charges against him.

WNCN reporters David Hurst and Michael Hyland contributed to this report. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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