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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Buddy DeFranco
people
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month