Sgt Bowe Bergdahl 'looked good' and saluted a commanding officer after arriving back in US

US officials said he was in uniform and spoke English upon his return

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl “looked good” and saluted a commanding officer when he arrived back in the United States after being held captive by the Taliban for five years, military officials said.

The US soldier arrived at Brooke Army Medical Centre in San Antonio, Texas, on Friday morning, after recuperating at a German military hospital since 1 June.

Major General Joseph DiSalvo was present with a small contingent of officers to greet him as he arrived. He said Sgt Bergdahl was in uniform and spoke English, adding that he was in stable condition.

He told a news conference on Friday: "He appeared just like any sergeant would when they see a two-star general, a little bit nervous. But he looked good and saluted and had good deportment."

The American hostage was freed in exchange for five Taliban detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He reportedly told officials at the hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, that he has been locked in a cage, beaten and tortured during his captivity.

His family has not joined him since he arrived at Brooke Army Medical Centre at Fort Sam Houston in Texas early Friday, and Army officials did not comment on when they would visit.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan. Earlier, they issued a statement saying they were “overjoyed” that their son has returned to the United States, but did not intend to make any travel plans public.

Army psychologist Col. Bradley Poppen told the conference there was no timeline for the reintegration process, saying only that "we will proceed at his pace".

Officials also indicated Sgt. Bergdahl's speech had been impacted from being in captivity for so long. "Overall our assessment is that he did not have the opportunity the past five years to practice and speak his English," Col. Ronald Wool, who is in charge of his medical care, said.

In the short time he has been back on US soil, he has been on a bland diet and has shown a fondness for peanut butter, officials said.

Critics have publicly attacked Robert Bergdahl over what they say is his suspicious beard and his ‘attempt to claim the White House for Islam’.  

He will have a "standard patient room" while at the Brooke Army Medical Centre but will not have access to a television.

"We will bring him up slowly to what has been transpiring over the last five years," Col. Wool added.

The Army has not formally begun a new review into the circumstances of Sgt Bergdahl's capture and whether he walked away without leave from his post or was deserting the Army when he was found and taken by insurgents in Afghanistan.

The answers to those questions will be key to whether Sgt Bergdahl will receive more than $300,000 (£177,000) in back pay owed to him since he disappeared. If he was determined to have been a prisoner of war, he also could receive roughly another $300,000 or more.

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