Was Bowe Bergdahl Promoted by President Obama?

A report that President Obama had promoted former Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl to staff sergeant was fake news.

  • Published 24 January 2017

Claim

President Obama promoted former Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl to staff sergeant.

Rating

Origin

On 8 January 2017, the entertainment web site Article 107 News published an article reported that President Obama had promoted controversial former Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl of the U.S. Army to the rank of staff sergeant:

Article 107 News has learned that in a quiet Rose Garden ceremony held in the waning days of his presidency, President Barack Obama officially recognized US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl as America’s “Most Deployed Soldier.” He also presented Bergdahl with long-overdue Purple Heart and Prisoner of War medals, and promoted the young noncommissioned officer to the rank of staff sergeant.

“These awards are a long time in coming,” said the President, who seemed much happier to talk about Bergdahl than the dozen or so US sailors who are currently being held by Iran. “As we all know, it has long been the position of my administration that Bergdahl served with honor and distinction while deployed, and it is only right that he receives both the Purple Heart and the Prisoner of War medal.”

There was no truth to this story, which originated with Article 107 News, a “satire” publication that uses the tagline “the facts before they happen” and notes in their disclaimer that:

Article 107 News is a satire site, and you should not think anything we publish is real.  You should, however, mercilessly mock everyone who does.  If you want real news (and you should), check out our sister site, The Havok Journal.

Obviously, this event never happened.  And while SGT Bergdahl’s defense team has asked for a Presidential pardon, the President is unlikely to grant him one.

Although Article 107 News is a satirical web site, they were correct in their speculation that President Obama would not grant Bergdahl a pardon. On 20 January 2017, Bergdahl’s lawyer confirmed that the outgoing president had not issued such a pardon.

Snopes.com
Since 1994
A Word to Our Loyal Readers

Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.

Editorial
  • David Mikkelson
  • Doreen Marchionni
  • David Emery
  • Bond Huberman
  • Jordan Liles
  • Alex Kasprak
  • Dan Evon
  • Dan MacGuill
  • Bethania Palma
  • Liz Donaldson
Operations
  • Vinny Green
  • Ryan Miller
  • Chris Reilly
  • Chad Ort
  • Elyssa Young

Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.

We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.

Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.

Team Snopes