Military Code of Conduct & the Geneva Conventions

by Dell Markey Google

The Geneva Conventions are a series of conventions governing the conduct of member nations' militaries. The conventions, which were drawn up after World War II, deal with the protection of civilians in war, humane treatment of prisoners of war and the care of the sick and wounded during war, both on land and at sea. The Geneva Convention grants POWs the right to appoint a representative to communicate with their captors and forbids captors from using coercion, duress or violence to obtain information from POWs. It also recognizes a POW's duty to attempt to escape and prohibits captors from executing POWs for attempting escape.

Military Code of Conduct

The U.S. Military Code of Conduct was enacted in 1955 by President Dwight Eisenhower to give military members protocols in keeping with the Geneva Conventions for dealing with surrender and capture. The code consists of six articles. These articles require that military members refrain from surrendering while they still have the ability to resist or evade and that they maintain their command structure by rank and continue to resist by all reasonable means if captured. The code further stipulates that U.S. military personnel are not to give any information to their captors other than that required by the Geneva Convention: name, rank, serial number and date of birth.

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