The original investigating officer for Bergdahl’s Article 32 hearing, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Visger, reportedly recommended that Bergdahl receive no jail time and be spared a dishonorable discharge. Instead of the general court martial most veterans expected, Visger instead recommended the Bergdahl case be handled by a Special Court Martial.
If this recommendation is accepted, in practical terms this means that a dishonorable discharge is completely off the table, and the maximum jail time Bergdahl can receive is one year. Given the recommendations by both Lieutenant Colonel Visger and Major General Kenneth Dahl that Bergdahl receive no jail time, and given the political capital already invested in Bergdahl by the Obama administration, it appears the writing is on the wall: Bergdahl is going to walk on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. At this point, even if Bergdahl is convicted of anything at all, it seems highly likely that he will never see the inside of a US jail cell.
And that’s bound to leave many veterans seeing red.