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“Department of Defense. Department of the Army… SETS FORTH THE PRINCIPLE THAT THEAMERICAN SOLDIER SHOULD ‘NEVER SURRENDER’ TO THE ENEMY EVEN IN THE FACE OF IMMINENT DEATH OR CAPTURE”
NEW VERSION with improved video & sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rq5eZgKDchU
US Army film AIF-6
Public domain film from the National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and equalization.
Wikipedia license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
The Code of the U.S. Fighting Force is a code of conduct that is an “ethical guide” and a United States Department of Defense directive consisting of six articles to members of the U.S. armed forces addressing how U.S. personnel in combat should act when they must “evade capture, resist while a prisoner or escape from the enemy.” It is considered an important part of U.S. military doctrine but is not formal military law in the manner of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and public international law (such as the Geneva Conventions).
Colonel Franklin Brooke Nihart, USMC, worked at Marine Corps headquarters throughout the summer of 1955, outlined his ideas in longhand and the Code of Conduct was established with the issuance of Executive Order 10631 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on 17 August 1955, after the Korean War. It has been modified twice—once in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter in Executive Order 12017, and most recently in President Ronald Reagan’s Executive Order 12633 of March 1988, which amended the code to make it gender-neutral.
Notably, the code prohibits surrender except when “all reasonable means of resistance [are] exhausted and…certain death the only alternative,” enjoins captured Americans to “resist by all means available” and “make every effort to escape and aid others,” and bars the acceptance of parole or special favors from enemies. The code also outlines proper conduct for American prisoners of war, reaffirms that under the Geneva Conventions prisoners of war should give “name, rank, service number, and date of birth” and requires that under interrogation captured military personnel should “evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability.”
Text of the code…
– …3. Code of Conduct II
– a. I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.
– b. As an individual, a member of the armed forces may never voluntarily surrender. When isolated and no longer able to inflict casualties on the enemy, the American soldier has an obligation to evade capture and rejoin friendly forces.
– c. Only when evasion by an individual is impossible and further fighting would lead only to death with no significant loss to the enemy should one consider surrender. With all reasonable means of resistance exhausted and with certain death the only alternative, capture does not imply dishonor.
– d. The responsibility and authority of a commander never extends to the surrender of a command to the enemy while the command has the power to fight and evade. When isolated, cut off or surrounded, a unit must continue to fight until relieved or able to rejoin friendly forces through continued efforts to break out or evade the enemy…
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