posted on Jul, 18 2009 @ 10:21 PM
Code of Conduct III
a. If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept
neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
b. The duty of a member of the armed forces to use all means available to resist the enemy is not lessened by the misfortune of captivity. A POW is
still legally bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and ethically guided by the Code of Conduct. Under provisions of the Geneva Convention, a
prisoner of war is also subject to certain rules imposed by the captor nation. When repatriated, a prisoner of war will not be condemned for having
obeyed reasonable captor rules, such as sanitation regulations. The duty of a member of the armed forces to continue to resist does not mean a
prisoner should engage in unreasonable harassment as a form of resistance, retaliation by captors to the detriment of that prisoner and other
prisoners is frequently the primary result of such harassment.
c. The Geneva Convention recognizes that a POW may have the duty to attempt escape. In fact, the Geneva Convention prohibits a captor nation from
executing a POW simply for attempting escape. Under the authority of the senior official (often called the senior ranking officer, or SRO), a POW must
be prepared to escape whenever the opportunity presents itself. In a POW compound, the senior POW must consider the welfare of those remaining behind
after an escape. However, as a matter of conscious determination, a POW must plan to escape, try to escape and assist others to escape.
d. Contrary to the spirit of the Geneva Convention, many enemies who have captured American POW's since 1950, have regarded the POW compound as an
extension of the battlefield. In doing so, they have used a variety of tactics and pressures, including physical and mental mistreatment, torture and
medical neglect, to exploit POWs for propaganda purposes, to obtain military information or to undermine POW organization, communication and
e. Such enemies have attempted to lure American POWs into accepting special favors or privileges in exchange for statements, acts or information.
Unless it is essential to the life or welfare of that person or another prisoner of war or to the success of efforts to resist or escape, a POW must
neither seek nor accept special favors or privileges.
f. One such privilege is called parole. Parole is a promise by a prisoner of war to a captor to fulfill certain conditions such as agreeing not to
escape nor to fight again once released—in return for such favors as relief from physical bondage, improved food and living conditions or
repatriation ahead of the sick, injured or longer–held prisoners. An American POW will never sign nor otherwise accept parole.
5. Code of Conduct IV.
a. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be
harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in
b. Informing or any other action to the detriment of a fellow prisoner is despicable and is expressly forbidden. Prisoners of war must avoid helping
the enemy identify fellow prisoners who may have knowledge of particular value to the enemy and who may, therefore, be made to suffer coercive
c. Strong leadership and communication are essential to discipline. Discipline is the key to camp organization, resistance and even survival. Personal
hygiene, camp sanitation and care of sick and wounded are imperative. Officers and non-commissioned officers of the United States must continue to
carry out their responsibilities and exercise their authority in captivity. The senior, regardless of service, must accept command. This
responsibility and accountability may not be evaded.
d. If the senior is incapacitated or is otherwise unable to act, the next senior person will assume command. Camp leaders should make every effort to
inform all POWs of the chain of command and try to represent them in dealing with enemy authorities. The responsibility of subordinates to obey the
lawful orders of ranking American military personnel remains unchanged in captivity.
e. The Geneva Convention Relative to Treatment of Prisoners of War provides for election of a "prisoners' representative" in POW camps containing
enlisted personnel but no commissioned officers. American POWs should understand that such a representative is only a spokesman for the actual senior
ranking person. Should the enemy appoint a POW chain of command for its own purposes, American POWs should make all efforts to adhere to the
principles of Article IV.
f. As with other provisions of this code, common sense and the conditions of captivity will affect the way in which the senior person and the other
POWs organize to carry out their responsibilities. What is important is that everyone support and work within the POW organization.
6. Code of Conduct V.
a. When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering
further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their
b. When questioned, a prisoner of war is required by the Geneva Convention and this code to give name, rank, service number (Social Security number)
and date of birth. The prisoner should make every effort to avoid giving the captor any additional information. The prisoner may communicate with
captors on matters of health and welfare and additionally may write letters home and fill out a Geneva Convention "capture card."
c. It is a violation of the Geneva Convention to place a prisoner under physical or mental duress, torture or any other form of coercion in an effort
to secure information. If under such intense coercion, a POW discloses unauthorized information, makes an unauthorized statement or performs an
unauthorized act, that prisoner's peace of mind and survival require a quick recovery of courage, dedication and motivation to resist anew each
d. Actions every POW should resist include making oral or written confessions and apologies, answering questionnaires, providing personal histories,
creating propaganda recordings, broadcasting appeals to other prisoners of war, providing any other material readily usable for propaganda purposes,
appealing for surrender or parole, furnishing self-criticisms and communicating on behalf of the enemy to the detriment of the United States, its
allies, its armed forces or other POWs.
e. Every POW should also recognize that any confession signed or any statement made may be used by the enemy as a false evidence that the person is a
"war criminal" rather than a POW. Several countries have made reservations to the Geneva Convention in which they assert that a "war criminal"
conviction deprives the convicted individual of prisoner-of-war status, removes that person from protection under the Geneva Convention and revokes
all rights to repatriation until a prison sentence is served.
f. Recent experiences of American prisoners of war have proved that, although enemy interrogation sessions may be harsh and cruel, one can resist
brutal mistreatment when the will to resist remains intact.
g. The best way for a prisoner to keep faith with country, fellow prisoners and self is to provide the enemy with as little information as possible.
7. Code of Conduct VI
a. I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country
free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.
b. A member of the armed forces remains responsible for personal actions at all times.
c. A member of the armed forces who is captured has a continuing obligation to resist and to remain loyal to country, service, unit and fellow
d. Upon repatriation, POWs can expect their actions to be reviewed, both as to circumstances of capture and conduct during detention. The purpose of
such review is to recognize meritorious performance as well as to investigate possible misconduct. Each review will be conducted with due regard for
the rights of the individual and consideration for the conditions of captivity; captivity of itself is not a condition of culpability.
e. Members of the armed forces should remember that they and their dependents will be taken care of by the appropriate service and that pay and
allowances, eligibility and procedures for promotion and benefits for dependents continue while the service member is detained. Service members should
assure that their personal affairs and family matters (such as pay, powers of attorney, current will and provisions for family maintenance and
education) are properly and currently arranged. Failure to so arrange matters can create a serious sense of guilt for a POW and place unnecessary
hardship on family members.
f. The life of a prisoner of war is hard. Each person in this stressful situation must always sustain hope and resist enemy indoctrination. Prisoners
of war standing firm and united against the enemy will support and inspire one another in surviving their ordeal and in prevailing over misfortune