Beaudry Robert “Bowe” Bergdahl (born March 28, 1986) is a United States Army soldier who was held captive from 2009 to 2014 by the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network in Afghanistan and Pakistan after he deserted.
Bergdahl was captured after deserting his post on June 30, 2009. The circumstances under which Bergdahl went missing and how he was captured by the Taliban have since become subjects of intense media scrutiny. He was released on May 31, 2014, as part of a prisoner exchange for five high ranking Taliban members who were being held at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.
Bergdahl was tried by general court-martial on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, and on October 16, 2017, he entered a guilty plea before a military judge at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. On November 3, 2017, he was sentenced to be dishonorably discharged, reduced in rank to private and fined $1,000 per month from his pay for ten months, with no prison time. The fine and reduction in rank took effect immediately, while the discharge was stayed pending automatic appeal.
Bergdahl was born in 1986 in Sun Valley, Idaho to Robert Bergdahl, a commercial truck driver, and his wife, Jani Larson Bergdahl. He is of Norwegian and Swedish ancestry. He has an older sister, Sky Albrecht. Both Bergdahl and his sister were home schooled by their mother in Hailey, Idaho. The family attended Sovereign Redeemer Presbyterian Church, an Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
Bergdahl received a GED certificate through the College of Southern Idaho. As an adult, Bergdahl studied and practiced fencing and martial arts before changing to ballet classes at the Sun Valley Ballet School in Ketchum, Idaho. He spent time in a Buddhist monastery between 2007 and 2008.