By Kristina Wong - 06/12/14 03:05 PM EDT
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is scheduled to set foot in the United States for the first time Friday after five years in the captivity of the Taliban.
Bergdahl will arrive in San Antonio, Texas, where he will continue to recover from his years as a prisoner. A defense official confirmed the plans on background.
"As Secretary [Chuck] Hagel has made clear, our first priority is making sure that Sgt. Bergdahl continues to get the care and support he needs," he said in a statement.
The Obama administration has come under fire from members of both parties for not consulting with Congress over the trade that brought Bergdahl home. The White House released five senior Taliban officials from Guantánamo Bay to secure Bergdahl’s release.
The trade has also been controversial because of reports that Bergdahl left his post before his capture. The Army is investigating whether he is a deserter.
He faces possible prosecution if investigators found he deserted, which is a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Since being taken from the Taliban, Bergdahl has been under the care of military doctors in Landstuhl, Germany. Defense officials had said that Bergdahl would return home when health professionals determine he was ready.
Recent polls have shown that most Americans disapprove of the administration's decision to exchange him for five Taliban prisoners.