Code of Conduct

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Were their actions correct?

Should they have surrendered, and what would you have done?

  • No. Their actions were incorrect. I would have given my life for my country.
  • Yes. It was a tough situation. They did what they thought they had to do.
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Code of Conduct Poll

This is just a basic question about the US military Code of Conduct.

In short, in 1999 while I was on active duty, three soldiers were captured during the NATO Bombing Campaign in Kosovo.

As noted in the article to the right, "The three Army soldiers released from Serbian captivity on Sunday had been beaten with rifle butts, kicked and punched by the men who captured their vehicle near the Macedonian border, a Pentagon official said today ... They were taken by a substantially larger force of armed personnel in Yugoslav Army uniforms ... They felt that they didn't have any alternative but to stop. And in fact, as they tried to get out, they ran into an obstacle which I believe was a ditch, which also made it difficult for them to get away."

To be blunt, the only way the soldiers could have adhered to Article II of the US Military Code of Conduct was to fight their way out of the situation. Realistically, they all would have died had they done so.

Before you vote in the poll, note that being captured as an enemy prisoner of war can be a lot worse than the actions described above. There are things worse than torture. Thus, the creation of the U.S. military Code of Conduct way back when - to provide rules and a legal basis to allow service members to avoid such things.

Said avoidance is also a function of leadership - because someone usually must direct subordinates to follow her or his actions in situations such as these.

So. The poll question is essentially: Did the soldiers act in accordance with the Code of Conduct - and how would you have dealt with the situation? I am particularly interested in the opinions of pure civilians (people who have never served in uniform). It is extremely important, and in accordance with our Constitution, to ensure that civilians remain in charge of US military forces at all times - for reasons that may not be apparent to civilians - but are blatantly obvious once you have served in an armed service.

Note: I'll probably change the poll a bit later, based on initial responses - so please come back and visit.

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Were their actions correct?

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