(March 28, 1986- )
Born in Sun Valley, Idaho
United States Army Sergeant
Birth name is Robert Bowdrie Bergdahl
The only American prisoner of war from Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan
Served with the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division based at Fort Richardson, Alaska
Deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom (May 2009)
Went missing from his unit base and was subsequently held captive by the Taliban in the Ghanzi Province for five years (June 2009)
Released as part of a prisoner exchange for five Taliban members interred at Guantanamo Bay (May 31, 2014)
Charged with one count of desertion and one count of misbehavior before the enemy by the United States Army (March 25, 2015)
Why he might be annoying
He took classes in fencing and ballet classes in high school.
He received an 'uncharacterized discharge' from the Coast Guard only 26 days into basic training for psychological reasons, but inexplicably was able to get into the Army two years later.
When he joined the Army, he was known to isolate himself during his deployment, choosing to study maps of Afghanistan in his spare time, rather than socialize with other soldiers.
He allegedly told at least one other soldier that 'if this deployment is lame, I'm just going to walk off into the mountains of Pakistan.'
His fellow soldiers also claimed that he spent more time with the Afghani citizens than he did with members of his own platoon.
Members of his battalion found it particularly strange that, during the time of his disappearance, while his equipment was found neatly stacked, his compass was missing.
Although he claimed to have 'fell behind on patrol,' a 2010 Pentagon investigation concluded that Bergdahl had willfully walked away from his unit of his own free will.
The revelations about his potential desertion to the enemy were particularly infuriating to many given the fact that 6 U.S. servicemen died during the hunt for him which ensued after his disappearance.
His release, as part of an exchange for 'the Taliban Five,' was marred in controversy, with some US lawmakers calling the trade illegal because the President bypassed Congress during negotiations.
His e-mails to family and friends were harshly critical of the US troops and of his own battalion, with one email reading that he was 'ashamed to be an American' and saying 'the horror that is America is disgusting.'
It remains unclear as to whether the Taliban were telling the truth in videos claiming that Bergdahl was helping to train members in bomb making and strategy, or if it was just terrorist propaganda.
He became the Obama Administration's counterpart to Oliver North.
An NCIS investigation yielded evidence of his 'going over to the other side with a deliberate plan to offer himself up with the Taliban.' (April 7, 2015)
Why he might not be annoying
He spent a year in a Buddhist monastery.
He appeared downcast, sickly, and frightened in the hostage videos released by the Taliban.
He is a gifted writer who probably would have been better suited pursuing a career in the humanities.
It is widely believed that he became particularly unstable and withdrew into himself after his best friend in the battalion was killed in a roadside bombing.
He allegedly tried to escape from captivity at least 3 times and failed.
He told military officials that he had been tortured, beaten, and held in a cage in total darkness by the Taliban after failing to escape his captivity.
He allegedly took issue with the soldiers' treatment of the Afghanis; his battalion specifically recalled his being deeply troubled over an Afghani child running into the path of an army tank and dying from the injuries.
Right wing skeptics reflexively moved to 'swift-boat' him before it became entirely clear that he may have deserted to the enemy, likely as a means of attacking and smearing President Obama.
Many on the Right attacked his father during his appearance in the Rose Garden for speaking in Pashta and reciting an Islamic prayer.
Bill O'Reilly specifically, and repeatedly, attacked his father by claiming that he 'looked like a Muslim.'
The traffic on his Facebook page spiked considerably, as the controversy over the exchange grew, with many arguing that he should not have been rescued at all, and with one commenter even suggesting welcoming him home 'with a firing squad.'
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, addressed the controversy in a Facebook post, writing 'the questions about this particular soldier's conduct are separate from our effort to recover ANY U.S. service member in enemy captivity... Like any American, he is innocent until proven guilty.' (June 3, 2014)
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Year In Review:
For 2017, as of last week, Out of 2 Votes: 100% Annoying
In 2016, Out of 143 Votes: 83.22% Annoying
In 2015, Out of 508 Votes: 61.42% Annoying
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