Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York


If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

The duty of a member of the Armed Forces to use all means available to resist the enemy is not lessened by the misfortune of captivity. A POW is still legally bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and ethically guided by the Code of Conduct. Under provisions of the Geneva convention, a prisoner of war is also subject to certain rules, such as sanitation regulations. The duty of a member of the Armed Forces to continue to resist does not mean a prisoner should engage in unreasonable harassment as a form of resistance. Retaliation by captors to the detriment of that prisoner and other prisoners is frequently the primary result of such harassment.

The Geneva Convention recognized that a POW may have the duty to attempt escape. In fact, the Geneva Convention prohibits a captor nation from executing a POW simply for attempt escape. Under the authority of the senior official (often called the senior ranking officer, or "SRO") a POW must be prepared to escape whenever the opportunity presents itself. In a POW compound, the senior POW must consider the welfare of those remaining behind after an escape. However, as a matter of conscious determination, a POW must plan to escape, try to escape, and assist others to escape.

Contrary to the spirit of the Geneva Convention, enemies engaged by US forces since 1950 have regarded the POW compound an extension of the battlefield. In doing so, they have used a variety of tactics and pressures, including physical and mental mistreatment, torture and medical neglect to exploit POWs for propaganda purposes, to obtain military information, or to undermine POW organization, communication and resistance.

Such enemies have attempted to lure American POWs into accepting special favors or privileges in exchange for statement, acts, or information. Unless it is essential to the life or welfare of the person or another prisoner of war or to the success of efforts to resist or escape, a POW must neither seek nor accept special favors or privileges.

One such privilege is called parole. Parole is apromise by a prisoner of war to a captor to fulfill certain conditions—such as agreeing not to escape nor to fight again once released—in return for such favors as relief from physical bondage, improved food and living condition, or repatriation ahead of the sick, injured, or longer-held prisoners. Unless specifically directed by the senior American prisoner of war at the same place of captivity, an American POW will never sign nor otherwise accept parole.

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