Concerning Bowe Bergdahl’s absence, as discussed in the Sunday, Jan. 31, edition: the reference from the Uniform Code of Military Justice as AWOL being “absent from your assigned post without authorization” is explicit; logical at least at a reading safe on a Sunday morning in Boise.
But Bergdahl’s “assigned post” was not in Boise. The night before Bergdahl’s departure, another of his platoon mates had stood that assigned post, his role to provide warning and initial defense so that his comrades, to include Bergdahl, might safely sleep through the night in a venue otherwise heavily populated with those who did not wish them welcome. Their entire unit, again to include Bergdahl, placed their individual faith and trust, indeed, their lives, in that sentry’s presence. The following night, when his turn came for the sentry’s role, instead of providing his fellow soldiers with the security he had enjoyed on previous nights, he cut and ran.
In the face of war, the term “Band of Brothers” is not trite. He betrayed his brothers — his teammates — and the confidence and security earlier bestowed on him. The moral question goes far beyond absence from any physical assigned post.
S. Kent Carnie, LTC (Ret.), U.S. Army, Boise