This morning when I woke up, I started reciting a code that I learned over 40 years ago while at basic training. I was pretty much spot on for the whole thing even though I had not thought about it in probably eight to ten years.
Those who have never served in the American military may not know that it even exists, but those of us who served will probably always have it hanging around in the back of our minds.
Code of Conduct
Article 1: I am an American fighting man. I serve in the forces that defend my nation and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
Every American service member vows to give their life to defend our nation and our way of life if necessary. The seriousness of this vow can be seen at Arlington National Cemetery and many others, not only across America, but overseas too.
Article II: I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command I will never surrender my men while they still have the means to resist.
Article III: If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
Article IV: If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with all my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any actions 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.
Article V: 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.
Article VI: I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, 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.
To all my fellow veterans, I wish you a happy Veterans’ Day.