WASHINGTON (AP) — Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been recovering in Germany after five years as a Taliban captive, is returning to the United States today, but he will not receive the promotion that would have been automatic had he still been held prisoner.
Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said yesterday that Bergdahl had left Germany on board a U.S. military aircraft and was expected to arrive at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, early Friday morning.
A U.S. official, meanwhile, said the promotion list, which would have boosted Bergdahl to staff sergeant, was expected to be released this week and he would not be on it.
Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told The Associated Press last week that the promotion would no longer be automatic because Bergdahl is now free and any promotion would be based on routine duty requirements, such as proper levels of training and education as well as job performance.
The U.S. official said medical personnel had determined that Bergdahl was ready to move on to the third phase of his reintegration process, which would happen at Brooke. The official was not authorized to provide details about Bergdahl’s promotion and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Ukraine says tanks cross from Russia
KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s president rallied support yesterday for his plan to end fighting in the country’s east in phone calls with the Russian and German leaders, even as he condemned what Ukrainian officials called an incursion of armored vehicles from Russia.
The Ukrainian interior minister said three tanks crossed into Ukraine along with other armored vehicles from Russia and were attacked by military forces fighting pro-Moscow separatists. He did not directly accuse Moscow of sending the tanks, but said it showed Russia had failed to fulfill promises to tighten border controls.