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THE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES. Presented by: Ninth District Legal Office. Executive Order 10631.

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the code of conduct for members of the armed forces of the united states

THE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES

Presented by:Ninth District Legal Office

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Executive Order 10631

  • “…as President of the United States, and as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, I hereby prescribe the Code of Conduct for members of the Armed Forces of the United States…”
  • “The Secretary of Defense (and the Secretary of Transportation with respect to the Coast Guard except when serving as part of the Navy) shall take such actions as is deemed necessary to implement this order…”

The White House

Dwight D. Eisenhower

August 17, 1955

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Purpose of the Code of Conduct

  • To ensure members of the Armed Forces are provided specific guidance “as to the behavior and obligations expected of them during combat or captivity.”
slide4

Executive Order 11382

  • Amended Executive Order 10631 in 1967 substituting Department of Transportation for Department of the Treasury.
  • Additional amendment likely in the future to reflect Department of Homeland Security.
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Executive Order 12633

  • Amended Executive Order 1063l in 1988 to make the Code of Conduct Gender neutral for members of the Armed Forces.
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6 Articles of the Code of Conduct

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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6 Articles of the Code of Conduct (continued)

  • 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.
  • 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.
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6 Articles of the Code of Conduct (continued)

  • I will never forget that I am and 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.
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Relationship of the Code of Conduct to the UCMJ

  • The Code and the UCMJ support one another.
  • The Code is a positive mission statement regarding expected behavior in combat or captivity.
  • The UCMJ is a system of punitive laws, a part of which can be used to address serious violations of the Code.
  • Nothing in the Code conflicts with the UCMJ.
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Relationship of the Code of Conduct to the UCMJ

  • Prisoners accused of misconduct, aiding, or misbehavior will be judged in light of all surrounding circumstances, the Code, and the customs of the service.
  • Examples of Misconduct under the UCMJ that also violate the Code:

- Misbehavior before enemy (Art. 99)

- Aiding the enemy (Art. 104)

- Misconduct as a prisoner (Art, 105)

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Review questions

  • To whom does the Code of Conduct apply?
  • How many articles are there under the Code of Conduct?
  • When was the Code of Conduct established?
  • What were the two major amendments to the Code?
  • What is the legal authority supporting the Code of Conduct?