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TitleThe U.S. Fighting Man's Code
LanguageEnglish
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Total Pages103
Table of Contents
                            COVER PAGE
TITLE PAGE
EXECUTIVE ORDER 10631 - CODE OF CONDUCT
CONTENTS
THE DEFENSE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON PRISONERS OF WAR
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
I - BACKGROUND
	The Fortunes of War
	Public Interests and Misconceptions
	Appointment of the Defense Advisory Committee
II - A BRIEF LOOK AT HISTORY
	From the Beginning of Time
	Medieval Concepts
	The American Revolution
	The American Civil War
	World Wars I and II
	A Code of Conduct
III - THE AMERICAN FIGHTING MAN AND KOREA, THE KOREAN BATTLE
	Imprisonment, North Korea
	"Death Marches"
	Facilities, Food, and Care Were Poor
	Camps Varied from Bad to Worse
	"Pak's" Was No Palace
	Progressives and Reactionaries
	Ordeal by Indoctrination
	Brainwashing and Indoctrination
	Behind the Barbed-Wire Curtain
	What Can Be Done?
IV - A CODE OF CONDUCT FOR THE FUTURE
	The Services Voice Their Opinions
	Prominent Civilians Stated Their Views
	The Recommended Code of Conduct (See Addenda 2)
V - KOREAN SUMMARY
	Misconduct by a Minority
	None Were Tried Unjustly
	The Turncoats
	Promises Were Not Broken
	Service Action Not Divergent
	Prisoners Unrecovered
	Concern of Ex-Prisoners
VI - THE ROAD AHEAD FOR AMERICA AND THE ARMED FORCES
	Total War for the Minds of Men
	Code of American Conduct
ADDENDA
	1 - Terms of Reference
	2 - Code of Conduct
	3 - Citizens, Former Prisoners of War, and Government Representatives Who Consulted with the Defense Advisory Committee on Prisoners of War
	4 - The Mind and the Spirit in National Security
	5 - Prisoners of War in History
	6 - Bibliography
		Prisoner of War Documents from Official Sources
	7 - Charts
		No.1 - POW Breakdown
		No. 2 - Breakdown by Service
		No. 3 - How POW's Were Processed
		No. 4 - How Suspects Were Investigated
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

THE U. S.�
FIGHTING MAN'S�

CODE

Published by the�

OFFICE OF ARMED FORCES�

INFORMATION and EDUCATION�
Department of Defense�

November 1955

This publication includes the report of the
Secretary of Defense's Advisory Committee

on Prisoners of War

PROPERTY OF u.s. ARMY
THE JUDGE,ADVOCATE GENERAL'S SCHOOl
LIBRARY

Page 51

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IV
(continued)

When questioned,should I be-
come a prisoner of war, I am
bound to give only· 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 statementsdis-
loyal to my country and its allies
or har'inful to their cause.

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I am an American fighting man.
I serve in the forces which guard
my country and our way of life.
I am prepared to give my life in
their defense.

II
I will never surrender of my own
free will. If in command, I will
never surrender my men while
they still have the means to resist.

III
If I am captured I will .continue
to r.esist 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.

IV
If I become a prisoner of war, I
will keep faith with my fellow
prisoners. I will give no informa-
tion nor take part in a'ny 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 every way.

42

INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIAL

A member of the Armed Forces is
always a fighting man. As such, it is his
duty to oppose the enemies of the United
States regardless of the circumstances in
which he may find himself, whether in
active participation in combat, or as a
prisoner of war.

As an individual, a member of the
Armed Forces may never voluntarilv
surrender himself. When isolated and
he can no longer inflict casualties on the
enemy, it is his duty to evade capture
and rejoin the nearest friendly. forces.

The responsibility and authority of a
commander never extends to the sur-
render of his command to the enemv
while it has power to resist or evade.
When isolated, cut off or surrounded, a
unit must continue to fight until relieved,
or able to rejoin friendly forces, by break-
ing out or by evading the enemy. .

The duty of a member of the Armed
Forces to continue resistance bv all means
at his disposal is not lessened by the mis-
fortune of capture. Article 82 of the
Geneva Convention pertains and must be
explained. He will escape if able to do
so, and will .assist others to escape.
Parole agreement,s are promises given the
captor by a prisoner of war upon his faith
and honor, to fulfill stated conditions,
such as not to bear arms or not to escape,
in consideration of special privileges,
usually release from captivity or lessened·
restraint. He will never sign or enter into
a parole agreement.

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 may therefore be made to
suffer coercive interrogation.

Strong leadership is essential to disci-
pline. Without discipline, camp organiza-
tion, resistance and even survival may be
impossible. .Personal hygiene, cafnp sani-
tation, and care of sick and wounded are
imperative. Officers and noncommis-
sioned officers of the United States will
continue to carry out their responsibjlities
and exercise their authority subsequent
to capture. The senior line officer or non-

Page 52

INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIAL

A member of the Armed Forces is
always a fighting man. As such, it is his
duty to oppose the enemies of the United
States regardless of the circumstances in
which he may find himself, whether ill
active participation in combat, or as a
prisoner of war.

As an individual, a member of the
Armed Forces may never vohintarilv
surrender himself. When isolated and
he can no longer inflict casualties on the
enemy, it is his duty to evade capture
and rejoin the nearest friendlv,forces.

The responsibility and authority of a
commander never extends to the sur­
render of his command to the enemv
while it has power to resist or evade.
When isolated, cut off or surrounded, a
unit must continue to fight until relieved,
or able to rejoin friendly forces, by break-
ing out or by evading the enemy. '

The duty of a member of the Armed
Forces to continue resistance bv all means
at his disposal is not lessened by the mis­
'ortuneof capture. Article 82 of the
3eneva Convention pertains and must be
lxplained. He will escape if able to do
;0, and will assist others to escape.
Parole agreements are promises given the
:aptor by a prisoner of war upon his faith
md honor, to fulfill stated conditions,
mch,as not to bear arms or not to escape,
n consideration of special pri.vileges,
Isually release from captivity or lessened·
'estraint. He will never sign or enter into
~ parole agreement.

Informing or any other action to the
letriment of a fellow prisoner is despicable
,nd is expressly forbiddell. Prisoners of
var must avoid helping the enemy
dentify fellow prisoners who may have
:nowledge of particular. value to the
nemy, and may therefore be made to
uffer coercive interrogation.

Strong leadership is essential to disci­
,line. Without discipline, camp organiza­
ion, resistance and even survival may be
npossible. .Personal hygiene, camp sani­
ation, and care of sick and wounded are
nperative.' Officers and noncommis­
ioned officers of the United States will
ontinue to carry out their responsibjlities
nd exercise their authority subsequent
) capture. The senior line officer or non-

IV
(continued)

When questioned, shoulO: I be.
come a prisoner of war, I am
bound to give only 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 dis­
loyal to my country and its allies
or hal'inful to their cause.

INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIAL

commissioned officer within the prisoner"
of war camp or group of prisoners will
assume command according to rank (or
precedence) without regard to Service.
This responsibility and accountability
mav not be evaded. If the senior officer
or -nonco'mmissioned officer is incapaci­
tated or unable to act for any reason, com­
mand will be assumed by the next senior.
If the foregoing organization cannot be
effected, an organization of elected repre­
sentatives, as provided for in Articles
79-81 Geneva Convention Relative to
Treatment of Prisoners of War, or a
covert organization, or both, will be
formed.

When questioned, a prisoner of war is
required by the Geneva Convention and
permitted by this Code to disclose his
name, rank, service number and date of
birth. A prisoner 'of war may also com­
municate with the enemy regarding his
individual health or welfare as a prisoner
of war and, when appropriate, on rontine
matters of camp administration. Oral
or written confessions true or false, ques­
tionnaires, personal history statements,
propaganda recordings and broadcasts,
appeals to other prisoners of war, signa­
tures to peace or surrender appeals,. self
criticisms or any other oral or written
communication on behalf of the enemy
or critical or harmful to the United
States, its allies, the Armed Forces or
other prisoners are forbidden.

It is a violation of the Geneva Conven­
tion to place a. prisoner of war under
physical or mental torture or any other
form of coercion to secure from him infor­
mation of any kind. If, however, a
prisoner is subjected to such treatment,
he will endeavor to avoid by every means
the disclosure of any information, or the
making of any statement or the perform­
ance of any action harm~ul to ~he intere;ots
of the United States or Its allles or WhICh

. will provide aid or comfort to the enemy.
Under Communist Bloc reservations to

the Geneva Convention, the signing of a
confession or the making of a statement
by a prisoner is likely to be used to convict
him as a war criminal under the laws of
his captors. This conviction ha~ the
effect of removing him from the prisoner
of war status and according to this
Communist Bloc device denying him any
protection under terms .of. the Ge~eva
Convention and repatriatIOn untIl a
prison sentence is served.

43

Page 102

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THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

November 1955 •

This official Department of Defense publication is for the use of

personnel in the Military Services.

Charles E. Wilson

93

Page 103

By ORDER OF THE SECRETARIES OF THE ARMY AND THE
AIR FORCE:

MAXWELL D. TAYLOR,
General, ["nite.d States Army,

OFFICIAL: Ohief of Staff·
JOHN A. KLEIN,

Major General, United States A7'1n,ll,
The Adjutant General.

N. F. TWINING,
OFFICIAL: Chief of Staff, United States Air Force.

E. E. TORO,
Colonel, United States Air Force,

Air Adjutant General.

DISTRIBUTION:

Active Army: Three copies per 100 Officers and Enlisted Men PLUS:

Gen Staff, DA (2)

SS, DA (2) .

Tee Svc, DA (2)

Hq CONARC (15)

Army AA Comd (15)

OS Maj Comd (15)

MDW (15)

Armies (15)

Corps (5)

Div (.5)

Tng Div t5)


Brig (5)

Regt (5)

Bn (5)

Instl (5)

USMA (75)
PMST (2)

CrtIit Dist (2)

Cruit Main Sta (2)

MAAG (2)

Mil Msn (2)

ARMA (2)


NG and USAR: Div (3); Brig (3); Regt (3); Bn (3); Co (1).

For explanation of abbreviations used, see SR 320-50-1.

U. 5. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1955 94

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