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Code Of Conduct Information

 

The Code of Conduct applies to all members of the US Armed Forces. It is the duty of individual soldiers who become isolated from their unit in the course of combat operations to continue to fight, evade capture, and regain contact with friendly forces. But if captured, individual soldiers must live, act and speak in a manner that leaves no doubt that they adhere to the traditions of the US Army and resist enemy attempts of interrogation, indoctrination and other exploitation. Individual soldiers are accountable for their actions even while isolated from friendly forces or held by the enemy.

Soldiers must take every reasonable step to prevent enemy exploitation of themselves and the US Government. If unable to completely prevent such exploitation, soldiers must limit exploitation as much as possible. In a sense, detained soldiers often are catalysts for their own release, based upon their ability to become unattractive sources of exploitation. That is, one who resists successfully may expect captors to lose interest in further exploitation attempts. Detainees or captives very often must use their judgment as to which actions will increase their chances of returning home with honor and dignity. Without exception, the soldier who can say honestly that he has done his utmost to resist exploitation upholds national policy, the founding principles of the United States, and the highest traditions of military service.

Regardless of the type of detention or captivity or harshness of treatment, soldiers will maintain their military bearing. They should make every effort to remain calm and courteous and project personal dignity. This is particularly important during the process of capture and the early stages of internment when the captor may be uncertain of his control over the captives. Rude behavior seldom serves the long-term interest of a detainee, captive or hostage. Additionally, it often results in unnecessary punishment, which in some situations can jeopardize survival and severely complicate efforts to gain release of the detained or captured soldiers.

There are no circumstances in which a detainee or captive should voluntarily give classified information or materials to unauthorized persons. To the utmost of their ability, soldiers held as detainees, captives, or hostages will protect all classified information. An unauthorized disclosure of classified information, for whatever reason, does not justify further disclosures. Detainees, captives, and hostages must resist, to the utmost of their ability, each and every attempt by their captor to obtain such information.

In situations where detained or captured soldiers are held in a group, soldiers will organize, to the fullest extent possible, in a military manner under the senior military member present (regardless of service). Historically, establishment of a military chain of command has been a tremendous source of strength for all captives. In such circumstances, make every effort to establish and sustain communications with other detainees, captives, or hostages. Military detainees, captives, or hostages will encourage civilians being held with them to participate in the military organization and accept the authority of the senior military member. The senior military member is obligated to establish a military organization and to ensure that the guidelines in support of the Department of Defense (DOD) policy to survive with honor are not compromised. Army Regulation 350-30, Code of Conduct, Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Training covers the Code of Conduct.