"We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." James Madison

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Unsatisfactory Behavior of captured Royal Sailors, Marines

I have recently made some comments on other blogs about the behavior of the Royal Navy and Marines during their two week captivity that has raised the hair of some folks. I have been criticized for being ‘too hard on them’, and that ‘I don't know what they went through’. Though I'm sure we'll all know what they went through when the 'Made for TV mini series' airs later next year, my comments are based solely on the Code of Conduct expected from US Military personnel. One caveat, I do make the assumption that the British Code of Conduct is similar, but I believe that to be a safe assumption knowing that their militaries are run in the same manner as ours.
So then the question becomes "from where did I get my information?" Below is the Official Code of Conduct that is expected- nay required of every Soldier, Sailor, Airman and Marine in the United States Armed Forces. You will see it very clearly outlines expected behavior of our professional military when or if captured by an enemy combatant. It is clear that the Royal Navy and Marines did not follow this code by evidence of public comments and apologies made on IRIB (Iranian TV). That should be in all circumstances considered shameful. These men and women are professional Sailors and Marines, fully trained with expectation of capture.

Code of Conduct

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


2. 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.


3. 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.


4. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor 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.


5. When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give 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 disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.


6. 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.

Below, Brig. GEN James Marks (Retired) explains the conduct codes and describes the American soldier as one who would not confess, apologize or otherwise undermine the mission as the British soldiers did. CNN video