The Article 32 hearing for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is scheduled for July 8 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Army announced Thursday.
Bergdahl, who spent five years as a captive under the Taliban, was charged March 25 with one count of desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty, and one count of misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place.
The decision to charge Bergdahl was made by Gen. Mark Milley, commanding general of Army Forces Command. It comes after a review of the facts and findings from an extensive Army investigation to determine what, if any, actions should be taken against Bergdahl.
Bergdahl, 28, disappeared from Combat Outpost Mest-Lalak in Paktika province, Afghanistan, on June 30, 2009. He has been accused of leaving his patrol base alone and intentionally before he was captured by Taliban insurgents.
He spent five years as a captive under the Taliban before he was freed in a May 31 prisoner swap that also freed five Taliban leaders from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Bergdahl is now assigned to a desk job at U.S. Army North at Fort Sam Houston.
The Article 32 will determine if there is enough evidence to merit a court-martial and is often compared to a civilian grand jury inquiry.
Once the Article 32 is completed, the report will be forwarded to Milley, who is the general court-martial convening authority. In that role, Milley has several courses of action, from no further action against Bergdahl to a special or general court-martial.
The desertion charge, which falls under Article 85 of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, carries a maximum punishment of five years confinement, a dishonorable discharge, reduction to the rank of E-1, forfeiture of all pay and allowances.
The misbehavior before the enemy charge, which falls under Article 99 of the UCMJ, carries a maximum punishment of confinement for life as well as a dishonorable discharge, reduction in rank to E-1, and forfeiture of pay and allowances.
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.