U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has returned to regular army duty, with a desk job that makes him available to Army investigators for questioning about his disappearance in 2009.
In a brief statement, the Army said Bergdahl is now assigned to U.S. Army North at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in Texas. This is the same base where he has been decompressing and recuperating from the effects of his lengthy captivity. His exact administrative duties were not immediately disclosed, but a Pentagon spokesman, Army Col. Steve Warren, said Bergdahl is not restricted in any way.
“He is a normal soldier now,” Warren said.
The Army said that in his assignment to U.S. Army North he “can contribute to the mission,” which is focused on homeland defense. It said the Army investigation into the circumstances of his disappearance and capture by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan in June 2009 will continue.
Bergdahl has completed therapy and counseling following his return from captivity in Afghanistan, the New York Times and CNN reported. He was released in May after five years as a Taliban prisoner of war in Afghanistan, and will work at the Army North headquarters at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. Officials characterized the move as “part of his reintegration into Army life.” Two soldiers will be assigned to assist him, and he will live in barracks.
Sergeant Bergdahl will meet with investigators probing his disappearance from his Afghanistan outpost in 2009. He has been permitted to venture off base during several weeks of treatment at an Army hospital in Texas. Bergdahl was captured in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009, in unclear circumstances.
He was released on May 31 in a prisoner swap for five Taliban leaders held at the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba. The release initially sparked a wave of euphoria in the U.S. that quickly turned into a political debate over whether he had abandoned his post and whether the prisoner swap should have gone ahead.
This report was compiled with information from Reuters and The Associated Press.