The US Code of Conduct

One of the things one learns as a recruit is the Code of Conduct for American Soldiers (etc). The Code was introduced after the Korean War and has an interesting history. Here, Jack Webb introduces it, then called the Code of Conduct of the American Fighting Man, in a 1959 training film. Webb is best known today for his deadpan detective on the long-running police procedural Dragnet, but his best movie role as The D.I. may have got him this gig.

The US did not have such a code prior to the Korean War. Given the extreme resistance displayed, sometimes to the point of death, by US Prisoners of War in Japanese and German camps, none was thought to be needed. The behavior of some prisoners held by the North Koreans and Chinese during the 1950-53 Korean War came as a shock.

Some prisoners captured in this conflict went far beyond the name, rank and serial number that POWs are compelled to provide to their captors, and provided not only information, but also propaganda statements and other active collaboration. While many of these men were conscripts and short-service officers poorly acculturated to the military, this behavior was so contrary to both past experience and leaders’ expectations of the conduct of American fighting men as to alarm the military and drive the creation of a military code or creed.

The Norks and Chinese did not seek tactical or technical information, in their interrogations. They sought to break men just for the sake of breaking them, and they also sought converts to their Marxist faith.

Accordingly, the Eisenhower Administration proposed and promulgated a Code of Conduct. Marion F. Sturkey wrote, in The Warrior Culture of the US Marines, that:

After the war the American armed forces jointly developed a Code of Conduct.  The President of the United States approved this written code in 1955.  The six articles of the code create a comprehensive guide for all American military forces in time of war, and in time of peace.  The articles of the code embrace (1) general statements of dedication to the United States and to the cause of freedom, (2) conduct on the battlefield, and (3) conduct as a prisoner of war.

The Code was established by Executive Order 10631 of Aug. 17, 1955; since then it has been modified by XOs 11382 of Nov. 28, 1967, 12017 of Nov. 3, 1977, and 12633 of Mar. 28, 1988.

Some of the changes have been minute or driven by desire to update to the latest politically correct terminology. Others have been more substantive.

The biggest change came after the Vietnam War. At the time, the Code came in for criticism due to its inflexibility. A number of stubborn captives (Rocky Versace springs immediately to mind) resisted to death. This led to a code with a little more “give” in it than the original, solid version Webb uses here.

Frankly, we prefer the Webb version. In captivity, the war is not over, it continues.

38 thoughts on “The US Code of Conduct

  1. Kirk

    This is an area I feel we have done a really poor job at. The current Code of Conduct is good for what it is, in that it provides a moral code and guide for the captured, but… That is a (hopefully) small fraction of the force. Where is the guidance for everyone else?

    You look at the various cases where our men (mostly male, because the girls have yet to really have a chance to get their atrocity on…) have gone over the edge, like My Lai or the assholes in Afghanistan, and what you are going to find are failures of leadership and training that should have been backstopped by some form of moral code and clear guidance as to the whole question of when and whether it is moral to kill. This kind of thing is even more important in counterinsurgencies than conventional war. And, signally, we don’t talk about it. Hell, even bringing the subject up in training is enough to get you labeled some kind of dangerous nutter.

    The Israelis do a better, more comprehensive job with their version. And, they integrate it into all aspects of their training, plus they visibly enforce it. There are Israeli officers in military prison right now who are there for violating it, and who did things that we would shrug our shoulders at and say “Oh, well… Shit happens in war…”.

    In plain words, we could do a better and more comprehensive job of things in this regard, and should. I think it would greatly reduce some forms of combat stress and ameliorate a lot of PTSD.

    1. Bill Robbins

      Hi, Kirk:

      It’s the 10 Commandments versus Moral Relativism. The 10 Commandments are an enduring and effective code of conduct. Moral Relativism is a code of misconduct, enshrined at the alter of Diversity, Tolerance, and Inclusion. Guess which code is taught in American schools, promoted by American government, and worshiped among the Enlightened?

      1. Kirk

        I believe you are correct, in the fundamentals.

        I’m not a particularly religious person; while I believe in God, I’ve little use for the parasites who have sprung up to take over the various religions, and who try to take over the job of interpreting for those He has sent amongst us over the centuries. Given what I’ve learned in my readings, over the years, I’m fairly sure He has been tempted to throw up his figurative hands, say “Screw this…”, and go on to more productive pursuits than trying to enlighten a bunch of sadly backwards plains apes, and bring them to the light.

        That said… We live in a cultural matrix, a commons of the mind, if you will, which is largely informed by the Judeo-Christian ethos. The fact that the various wreckers of civilization have sought to downplay and supplant that mental/cultural rootstock is something which should not be lost on any of us, nor should we be surprised at things like what happened with regards to My Lai, the rape/killings in Iraq, or the so-called “Kill Team” in Afghanistan. All of those cases feature a common thing, that the individual soldiers involved did not have moral compasses to consult, to answer the question “Is what we are doing right…?”. In a lot of cases, I’m reluctantly forced to conclude that many of these kids (and, that’s what they are, despite the training, the uniforms, and the way they’re treated by the military legal system when they go wrong) simply do not have the tools or the background to be able to deal with these things. Nobody has ever talked to them about war, killing, or anything else they’re supposed to be engaged in. And, when the moment comes, they have no idea that they should even be asking themselves that question, the one of “Should I be doing this…? Should I take part in this…?”.

        I hate to say it, but I really don’t think that the average American kid, these days, would have that much trouble fitting into Germany of the 1930s. Change the names, change the causes, and they’d be equally happy to be put on an Einsatzgruppe as the most vociferous Hitler Youth. They’re that vacant of morality, and while we can argue the causes, the fact is we need to deal with that fact, and do so from a direction they’re not going to automatically reject due to its source. Base your morality in Scripture, when dealing with the great unwashed heathen population we’ve created all unknowingly, and they’re going to reject and ignore it.

        This being the case, I would advocate for an approach based on pure pragmatism–“We don’t do this because the Bible tells us not to; we do this because this methodology reduces combat stress.” You explain things with that kind of framing, and you disable the whole cutout that modern society has put into most non-devout people’s minds, the one where they automatically question and reject something that purportedly came from the Bible. Case in point–During training about POW handling and treatment, I found that an approach where I laid out purely pragmatic reasons for giving the POW decent treatment worked a hell of a lot better than saying “Because that’s the right thing to do…”.

        Most of our population is living in a state of moral vacuum. They’ve never talked, or thought about these issues, and since it isn’t discussed in the schools or in public very much, the average person goes through life without ever pausing to think about when it is right to take another life, and when it isn’t. You can see that fact in the behavior of so many people, when a loved one of theirs commits a crime and dies at the hands of the police or another armed citizen. Their reactions make it clear that they’ve got no real moral code, nor have they ever had to think about these things in a rational, cold-blooded way. “If I point a gun at someone, and put them in fear of their life, they have the right to shoot me… And, just might…”.

        We need a means of substituting something purely pragmatic that can be easily derived from basic, root principles, something that can serve these morally ambiguous types in the place of Scriptural guidance. The whole “Let’s remove religion from public life…” thing has gone too far, in my opinion. The assholes behind it know full well what they are doing, and don’t give a damn about the effects down below the elites. In order to deal with these issues, we need something to substitute for those years of going to church and so forth that kids aren’t getting these days.

        Doesn’t help that the churches, in general, don’t address these things very much, either. Killing other human beings is an unpleasant subject, and the vast majority of the public would rather ignore it than discuss the finer points of when and where it is permissible and necessary–Which leaves the practitioner who is forced to do it in a rather ugly place. If you kill a man with justification, and are not prosecuted…? Yeah. That tends to leave a mark on you, in public life. People will always be pointing at you and muttering, for at least a few years. It’s not a huge surprise that Zimmerman is going a bit nuts–Without the support of the community, that’s what happens to the survivor.

        1. Bill Robbins

          In a word, Amen. Certain fundamental precepts of human behavior remain with us for millennia for a basic reason: they work. Interpret why this truism however you like (religious belief, scientific evidence, human nature, or just “because.”). The idea is to teach and use certain fundamental precepts as a workable way to get through life (including military service, I suppose, although I claim no direct experience in that particular area).

          1. Kirk

            If I had to name the school of thought I’ve arrived at, over the years, I’d call it “Utilitarian Pragmatism”. Most of what we carelessly ascribe to “Judeo-Christian morals and ethics” can be derived from base principles, once you sit down and think about things a bit. The problem is, we don’t encourage or mandate these things being thought about, and the careless rejection of religion and religiousity in general daily life leaves most of our people with no way to work things out for themselves, when the time comes.

            The one really major thing I wish people would look at with Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers isn’t the whole “voting rights for state service” thing, but the idea of actually teaching a practical morality disconnected from religion in the schools, as a part of civics and history. The schools of today ignore this crucial aspect of socialization, and it shows with their products. Most “ethics” instruction today is insipid instruction on how to pat blue mud into one’s navel at the politically correct moment with the other primates in the social justice chorus, and we need to do a much better job than we are with this–Or, our civilization is inevitably going to teeter-totter off the edge of the cliff.

  2. Gray

    A code is simply a quantified and enumerated distillation of foundational premises that are both comprehended and embraced by the extant culture that produces the individuals thereof.

    Since we now (and have for some time) live in a culture that embraces pragmatic nihilism: “Только как же, спрашиваю, после того человек-то? Без бога-то и без будущей жизни? Ведь это, стало быть, теперь всё позволено, всё можно делать?”

    Something is wrong, bad, evil? According to who? Why, just because you say so?

    Teach an entire generation that they exist due to random meaningless, and then, with audacious hypocrisy tell them they should not do X, Y, etc.

    Shall we then expect them to never discover the reductio that says, well then, to hell with you, I will decide if your rules are right for me, since there is no right or wrong, just consensus.

    The bumper crop of whirlwind is just starting to come in.

  3. Swamp Fox

    As a former SERE instructor the current Code is the better one. CSM Dan Pitzer was still there teaching and had great counsel to us instructors.

    Col. Rowe’s interview taps he did for the school house where also a wealth of information.

    Now for a great read Five Years To Freedom, thats how you survive in captivity.

  4. Gray

    And HN, bravo to you for the reference to ‘The D.I.”

    Who are you, Little Orphan Annie?

    My middle-aged adult saw that as toddlers, and now my grandsons…etc

    Great movie.

  5. Gray

    Swamp Fox,

    Excellent reference to Col Rowe.

    And his prologue in the PI proves the maxim that the communists never give up.

  6. whomever

    “Frankly, we prefer the Webb version. In captivity, the war is not over, it continues.”

    FWIW, I’ve read a couple of VN POW bios that said an advantage of the newer one is that it gave you something to do after you broke. Their opinion was that most people can be broken[1], and the more flexible code encouraged people who had broken once to get themselves back together and resume resisting. They felt the older code caused an attitude of ‘Well, I broke, so I’m completely dishonored, so there is no point in further resistance’.

    [1]Whether, say, the Lance Sijans of the world simply can’t be broken, or their captors just went too far too fast and killed them is an interesting question. It’s not like you can do statistically valid trials. Long term malnutrition and illness can do a lot to weaken someone’s psyche.

    ps. +1 on Rowe’s book. I recall a passage where his per rat had gone missing fro a few days, and how happy he was when the rat returned. When I’m feeling down over one of life’s minor travails, I frequently remember that and figure if he can find joy in the return of his pet rat under those conditions, by gum I can stop feeling sorry for myself over whatever minor trouble I’m going through.

  7. John M.

    It’s curious that American POWs started collaborating with the enemy the first time we fought an enemy that was unquestionably more left-wing than USG.

    -John M.

    1. Kirk

      Hmmm… I would submit that the Nazis and Imperial Japanese were not quite as right-wing as popular perception has it, these days. Both philosophies had more to do with the statist and collectivist ideals of the left than they did of the right.

      So… I don’t think the “wingedness”, to coin a term, had much to do with the changes. What I do think had an awful lot to do with it was the halfass way we went about conducting training and acculturation for the troops. A far better “breaking point” would be the Doolittle “Reforms” that came in after WWII; prior to those, we didn’t have the issues we had with the POW conduct. That’s not entirely accidental, and the left-wing do-gooders of both the Democrat and Republican parties just didn’t want to talk about that aspect of it all.

      The Army changed a great deal between the 1930s and the 1950s. A large part of what changed was the way we went about training and acculturating soldiers; that had more to do with the failures of the Korean prison camps than anything else. You’ll note the Marines did better, and that’s partially due to them having done a better job of resisting the “reformers”.

      I will contend to my dying days that the people we have running our military know little of what goes into making a soldier, a sailor, or a Marine; they don’t want to know, and they keep making these brilliant “minor little” changes like the Doolittle Board did in a state of woeful and deliberate ignorance. And, it’s the little crap that makes a difference, and adds up over time. Just minor shit like what they do to “reduce stress” in the training base makes a difference–I would bet money that most of today’s kids that went through what I did back in the 1980s would wilt in the face of the kind of crap that was routine in those days–And, I freely acknowledge that what I went through in training during that period was a mere semblance of what went on in the training base during Vietnam. The general culture is far more effete and corrupt than it was, and the difference shows in the results.

      We somehow have to get back to the old standards of soldier resiliency and strength, but how we get there is going to have to be different than the old ways. A great deal of the problem is that we’re simply not being honest with the trainees and junior soldiers, these days–We don’t tell them that life is going to suck ass, or that they’re going to have to kill people. It’s all about the money for college, or the training, or whatever other “incentive” we think we have to provide like candy. And, like a purely treat-driven training program for dogs, we get what we put into it–A product that doesn’t do what we need it to, when the chips are down.

    2. Nynemillameetuh

      There’s a tendency for gun blogs to attract people that think all morality is judeo-christian and/or that all non-classically liberal politics are left wing. These people also believe in horshoe theory, go figure. They will miss your very important comment.

      There is quite a bit of egalitarian language in our founding documents and as a result the egalitarian position is privileged in the US. Our only “aristocratic” experiment was found intolerable and razed to the ground by General Sherman. Our “right” and “left” fundamentally disagree about how to best actualize equality.

      But, our egalitarianism is of the unhurried stripe unlike the French kind that savored beheading nobles. I’d argue that the difference came down to the Anglo disposition versus the French one more than any ideological difference. French Revolutionary style leftism along with Jewish thought created what we now know as Communism.

      So fast forward to the Cold War. You’ve been taught that all men are created equal. Saint Jefferson or Saint King told you so, after all. Now your country’s greatest enemy says that they’re better egalitarians than you. They fought those rightist regimes like the Third Reich harder than you. They make a good case (on paper, pre-internet, “what’s a gulag?”).

      So yes, we Americans are receptive to leftism. It’s in our blood unfortunately.

      1. Kirk

        “So yes, we Americans are receptive to leftism. It’s in our blood unfortunately.”

        I’d go a little further, and say that it’s baked in to Western Civ as a whole, starting back with the earliest days of Christianity. The number of times we’ve recapitulated the folly of collectivization is astronomical, when you look at it. Masada, for example? A commune of zealots who occupied a semi-vacant palace for use as a base of operations. Where have we seen that, in the recent past? Read up on the Sicarii, sometime, and feel a twinge of sympathy for the Romans, something I generally didn’t think possible, given my other readings about Rome.

        In Palestine, dealing with the Jews of that era? Gentlemen, I completely understand. There’s something in the water in that part of the world; the Jews of today are merely the latest set of outsiders to fall victim to the madness, and I have sometimes wondered if the whole thing might not be due to the heat.

        In any event, the ideals of collectivism are something we are all prone to. Witness the Jamestown debacle, with the early colonists. See the Paris Commune, and varied other utopian schemes, all of which date back to well before Marx. It is an intoxicating madness, and one we’re all horribly prone to, here in the West. It’s not just America, much as we pessimistically might think.

      2. Hognose Post author


        on paper, pre-internet, “what’s a gulag?”.

        Forget the date, but ISTR that Archipelag Gulag was published in English in three volumes, soon after the initial Russian-language publication (outside the USSR). I read it as a high school student in 1974 and 75. Unfortunately it seems to be out of print now.

        Likewise, Robert Conquest and John Barron were writing scalding truth about the USSR before 1980. Conquest had to make very few revisions to his books after the opening of the Soviet archives in 1992 — mostly, they confirmed his careful scholarship.

        1. Nynemillameetuh


          My understanding about Alexander Solzhenitsyn is that upon condemning the materialism/leftism of America, his work greatly fell out of favor. Nobody will translate his more controversial writings on Russian Jewry, either. He was some sort of Orthodox Traditionalist that found capitalism and communism anathema to the soul. Might explain why his works are harder to find in print (and unabridged) now.

          1. Hognose Post author

            Quite possible. He definitely was orthodox, religious, and as repelled by American capitalism as by Communist totalitarianism. His outrage at Communism came from a religious place.

            I wonder if the 1970s publications were, shall we say, sponsored. Not many Russian émigrés had his commercial success.

            For the average reader, A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is much less wordy and more accessible than anything else of his that I have read, but I also enjoyed August 1914 and Cancer Ward.

    3. RostislavDDD

      >>>It’s curious that American POWs started collaborating with the enemy the first time we fought an enemy that was unquestionably more left-wing than USG.

      As it is not sad, dear John, qualification man breaks a victim very quickly. In this case, maybe even a finger did not touch. “Physical pressing” – with beatings and rape it’s scary, “psychological pressing”, many find it more frightening.
      See breaking captain Yerofeyev and sergeant Alexandrov. Wounded Alexandrov swam immediately. He just threatened to cut off his leg and “accidentally” catch AIDS.

  8. Trone Abeetin

    wonder how many packs of Camels Jack hadda smoke to get that voice?
    No thanks, I’ll do without the butts and continue to sound like Ratso Rizzo, thank you. BTW my friends call me Enrico.

  9. raven

    Restrictions on actions as an aggressor is one thing. Codes of conduct as a prisoner of the barbarians is something else. Anyone can be broken with torture. The original reason for any “rules” had nothing to do with morality, and everything to do with the concept of “if you don’t torture our guys, we won’t torture your guys.”. Simple , really. but it only works with Civilized Western Nations. Now we have our guys subject to horrific torture on the one hand, and subject to court martial for pissing on the enemy dead on the other. Win win for the enemy. This is such an abnormal state we have constructed as to be almost unrecognizable to any combatants in history.

    1. Kirk

      “Now we have our guys subject to horrific torture on the one hand, and subject to court martial for pissing on the enemy dead on the other. Win win for the enemy. This is such an abnormal state we have constructed as to be almost unrecognizable to any combatants in history.”

      See, here’s the thing about that whole “Pissing on the enemy dead…” thing: That was something I think they actually got right, but by accident and for the entirely wrong reasons.

      I’ve got no problems killing. Fact is, I’m probably what a shrink would call a “high-functioning sociopath”, because, frankly, stranger’s lives really don’t mean squat to me. Convince me it’s necessary, and I’ll happily be slitting throats and shooting as many people as it takes to accomplish the mission. With the caveat that the killing is within the moral framework I’ve managed to construct in the absence of any real inhibitions on the general issue of killing, that is…

      So, the raw fact that the guys on that Marine sniper team killed those creatures didn’t bother me a bit. Or, really, what they did afterwards. Hell, if they’d have pissed on them before killing them, and managed not to take pictures of doing it, I’d have probably thought “Well, not my thing, but understandable…”.

      What did bother me was this: The indiscipline of it all. The idiots had to know that the odds were that they would be seen by the locals, or that the images of what they were doing would stand a chance of getting out, and then that the fact they were seen or that the images got out would provide the enemy with propaganda material, and probably do as much damage to the war effort as the original shooting did good. Probably more, in the long-run, big-picture sense.

      That factor alone means that the idiots deserved strong disciplinary action, and the sheer immaturity and disrespect they showed towards those concerns speaks volumes as to their lack of true professionalism. God alone knows how many semi-literate savages were shown those images in Pakistan, and who then decided they absolutely had to go north and fight the infidels.

      So, on that level, the Marine Corps reaction makes sense. Unfortunately, I suspect they were more worried about the bad publicity than anything else. And, with that for a rationale, I’m sorta ambivalent about the whole “discipline issue”. I really don’t give two f**ks and a damn for the reputation of the services; what I care is whether or not what they are doing is working, and is reducing the costs of the conflict to the barest minimum possible. If that means paying lip service to the sanctity of the dead, once we’ve killed them, so be it. That’s a small price to pay, for a reduction in the number of half-literate goat herders entering the pipelines to go north.

      On the other hand, if you could show that burying those semi-literate goat herders alive and wrapped in pigskin would serve as an actual working deterrent? I’d have to say that what works, works, but… I’m not sure I want to be setting up a situation where casual atrocity is a means to victory. Some attention must be paid to maintaining one’s own humanity in the face of war, and burying the rat bastards alive might just be a teensy-tiny step over the line, ya know?

      Well, at least in a deliberate, hands-on kind of situation. I’m still perfectly OK with a tank doing pivot-steers on top of their bunkers and dug-outs, until they collapse. Assuming we asked them nicely to come out and surrender, that is… Maybe in a whisper, back at the start lines for the attack?

      1. bloke_from_ohio

        That is the best take down of that fiasco I have seen. Bravo! Boil it down and it all comes back to they were either helping defeat the enemy or not. Shooting the guys helps us win. Peeing on bodies on camera, is not helping. Simple!

      2. Simon

        Thanks for that, Kirk. I guess I have similar thought processes, just keep it well hidden mostly. Tell you what I worry about – what will happen if I am told I have something incurable and relatively quick so that I have nothing more ti lose.

        1. Kirk

          Yeah, I’ve got that worry, too. One of my worst fears in life is that I wake up one morning with a selective stroke that takes out whatever internal monitor circuitry I have going that says “That miiiiiiight be a bad idea…”, and then run amok when some fool triggers the aspect of my personality that just doesn’t give a damn.

          I really hope that when I go, it’s all at once, instead of a partial thing where I lose only those aspects of myself that allow me to pass for a civilized creature. That might create a bit of drama, for some unfortunates–And, I really don’t want my kinfolk to have to worry about having CNN camped out on the front lawn, while the neighbors are going “He seemed like such a normal man, really… We never would have expected this…”.

          1. Kirk


            Sorry, my friend. I’ve always had a knack for being able to work through to a foreseeable consequence of things that most other people have been able to go through life without needing to visualize, and then voicing my concerns.

            Which has led to some unfortunate after-effects, for friends of mine. We were once working on an ROTC training site, where we were running the “Slide-for-life” and rappelling towers, and my immediate boss was the NCOIC. While we were setting things up, I noticed that there were some things with the existing facilities that could, under exactly the right circumstances, lead to some rather unfortunate consequences for those undergoing the training. I pointed this out to my boss, and got that look I’m so used to getting when I do these things. Couple days later, I note he looks like ass, and ask why: His response was that he’d been having nightmares where my “worst-case scenario” played out, and he wasn’t able to get any sleep, worrying about the cadets actually doing what was probably a really low-probability action, and resulting in either drowning or a really messy death. And, since the committee running the site wasn’t entirely interested in fixing the issue, well… Nightmares.

            Some things are really best not thought about, I’ve found. Being able to visualize the likely consequences of things like having the low-bidder made D-ring fail on a STABO operation…? Not a really comforting skill to have, although it works wonders for instilling caution in the young soldier.

          2. Hognose Post author

            Well, that’s why you have two snap links on a STABO rig, one on each shoulder. At least, that’s the way mine’s set up.

          3. Kirk


            LTC Kratman is someone whose non-fiction I’ve read avidly, and with great interest. Sadly, his fiction doesn’t do it for me, and I don’t know why. The genre is one I enjoy, but somehow I’ve never engaged with his stuff very well. Purely based on what else I’ve read for recreation, I ought to be able to get into it, but for some reason… It just doesn’t do “it” for me. And, that’s not a comment on his writing, either–It’s me.

            I kinda wish he’d do up a book like “Common Sense Training”, or the old standard “Small Unit Leadership”. I’d be interested, very interested, in his non-fiction insights.

          4. Kirk


            See, you guys got the Cadillac rigs; we lowly legs got the improvised crap. And, the student pilots who didn’t do much STABO training, but who the guys over at First SF wanted to get some stick time before they trusted them… Which is how we got the flight hours, in the first place.

            I’m here to tell you that there is very little quite as awakening as flying some 120′ below a Huey with one’s boots grazing the tops of Douglas Firs around South Rainier Training Area on Fort Lewis, at whatever speed we were at. Especially when the pilot loses situational awareness, and you’re suddenly looking up at those tree tops twenty-thirty feet above your head, going “This is bad…”.

            Had a moment there, to consider that there were reasons I wasn’t a logger, and that view was one of them. Did I mention I struggle with a fear of heights?

            Well, not so much the heights, really, but the included and probable impacts associated with them.

  10. Swamp Fox

    Junior 18B time to stir the pot,

    The old right and left thing

    How about using fact and math again to explain the problem


    No Government…………………………………to……………………………………………………………Total Government

    Anarchy……………………………………………………………………………………….Socialism, Fascism, Communism, etc

  11. James F.

    In 1955 the Defense Department issued a report called “POW: The Fight Continues After The Battle.” (Link in nick, as usual.)

    It no only has details of the Korean War POWs, but some historical background. Korea was NOT the first instance of collaboration by American POWs–George Washington had to deal with it in the Revolutionary War.

    In the pre-modern era, it wasn’t just informing on fellow prisoners and making propaganda statements, you actually had soldiers deserting to the other side and enlisting in the enemy army.

    George Washington threatened to hang anyone who did that.

    It’s almost unknown in the modern era–but Bowe Bergdahl seems to have revived it.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Hitler had a small “Lincoln Brigade” that was mostly a holding pool of guys being weighed for clandestine operations. There were POWs who went over to the enemy in Vietnam — one of them was an SF guy, ISTR his name was John Young. There were at least six more in the Hanoi Hilton, including two officers, and the seven were recommended for trial by Ted Guy and Bud Day amongst others, but one young Marine killed himself, and the Nixon Administration had no stomach for punishing traitors, even traitors like those who worked actively to get other Americans killed.

      The ex-SF weasel, who seems to have initially flipped for more food (unlike his peers he was never tortured) is still a commie, if he’s still alive. Day, who has passed on, did not have anywhere near as much contempt for his captors as he did for that guy. Probably the worst human being to ever cycle through the regiment.

  12. Simon

    Kirk, don’t worry about it and it will not give me nightmares. I just treat these things as facts. And if everything goes wrong, then I can’t change it and probably would not want to.

  13. Pingback: The POW Experience as Seen in the 1950s | WeaponsMan

Comments are closed.