Friday, September 17, 2010

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct was brought into military doctrine in the 1950’s.  It is a reminder of what is expected of American servicemembers if they are captured.  I’ve used it as a reminder of how to conduct myself in the bad times.

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

This is what I am, not what I do, and the lengths to which I am willing to go to fulfill my mission.  In the worst of times, this may be the only thing you’ve got to keep yourself going.

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.

I will never give up so long as I have the ability to continue to strive towards my goal.  If I am a leader, I will never give up on my people so long as they are still able to continue their missions.  Knowing that your leader believes in you and will stay by your side means more than just about anything else in tough times.

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.

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, the worst happens.  Even then, never give up.  Work with your people to either make the situation better or get out of the situation altogether.  I will not make my life better at the expense of the lives of my people.  Neither will I take comforts that are not available to them.  Everyone benefits or no one benefits.

If I become 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 every way.

I will stand by my people, no matter what.  I will do nothing that will hurt my organization, no matter what personal benefit I may gain.  I will not be afraid to take charge in a difficult situation, even if that exposes me to ridicule, deprivation, or worse.  If someone else takes charge, I will follow their leadership wholly.

Should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth.  I will evade answering questions to the utmost of my ability.  I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies.

There are some things you have to do when you’re in a bad situation.  Other than that, don’t do anything to make it worse.  Don’t trade the lives of your comrades for your own personal gain.  Remember that there are some things more important than your own personal comfort or survival.

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.

Again, this is who I am, not what I do.  I will take responsibility for what I say and do, and will remember why I should do the right thing in a bad situation.  I will remember that even though I may be isolated, I am never alone.

1 comment:

Amusing Bunni said...

The code of conduct is great. Why obummer isn't impeached yet for violating everything.

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