Accession Number : ADA140719

Title :   The Armed Forces Code of Conduct: An Examination of Its Suitability and Application in the Vietnam War and in Future Armed Conflicts.

Descriptive Note : Research rept.,


Personal Author(s) : Lamar,J L ; Merritt,R J ; Sawhill,R R , Jr

PDF Url : ADA140719

Report Date : Jan 1974

Pagination or Media Count : 182

Abstract : The return from captivity of all prisoners of war known to have been held by the Vietnamese Communists brought a renewal of the oft-revived outcry against the Armed Forces Code of Conduct. Every brutal act, every instance of suffering and deprivation by Americans in the cells and cages of Hanoi and the Vietcong, was attributed to the Code by its detractors. Yet, the very men who had to exist under the Code spoke out strongly, even passionately, in favor of retention of this military standard of conduct in time of combat or captivity. Why? This paper answers that question, through a thorough examination of the Code-related experiences of these men. Research into these experiences reveals two facts about which there hitherto was only conjecture. First, the basic intention of the most controversial clause of the Code--Article V--was misinterpreted and misapplied by two of the three Services. Second, the Code proved to be of outstanding value to captured Americans in Vietnam, in spite of the systematic efforts of their captors to force these men to violate each of its provisions. Yet, there are deficiencies in the Code. Specific recommendations are made in the final chapter concerning changes in the Code to correct these deficiencies. (Author)

Descriptors :   *Military law, *Prisoners of war, *Standards, Performance(Human), Military requirements, Warfare, Vietnam, Military training, Military forces(United States), International law

Subject Categories : Sociology and Law

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE