Spc. Merlyn Seeley was found guilty on two specifications of desertion by a court-martial Tuesday, according to Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson.
Announced around noon Tuesday, the sentence was 1,202 days (a little over three years) in a military jail, reduction in rank to E1, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and an dishonorable discharge, Larson said.
A panel of four enlisted men and three officers announced their verdict and sentence after hearing about seven hours of testimony Monday and closing arguments Tuesday morning.
Seeley, 32, left the Army in 1999. He contended he thought he had been legally discharged, but had lost paperwork that showed it. The prosecution contended he was simply absent without leave and that he had been hiding from authorities.
He was arrested in Arizona in December and returned to Fort Stewart.