The Enemy In Your Hands

69th Armor Page Ray's Home Page E-Mail Me

The following was taken from USARV GTA 21-1 (September 1967). Each soldier arriving in the Republic of Vietnam was issued this GTA (General Training Aid), which measured 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches, and required to keep it on his person at all times.

The Enemy In Your Hands

As a member of the U.S. Military Forces, you will comply with the Geneva Prisoner of War Conventions of 1949 to which your country adheres. Under these conventions:

You Can And You Will

Disarm your prisoner
Immediately search him thoroughly
Require him to be silent
Segregate him from other prisoners
Guard him carefully
Take him to the place designated by your commander

You Cannot And Must Not

Mistreat your prisoner
Humiliate or degrade him
Take any of his personal effects which do not have significant military value
Refuse him medical treatment if required and available

1. Handle Him Firmly, Promptly, but Humanely

The captive in your hands must be disarmed, searched, secured, and watched. But he must also be treated at all times as a human being. He must not be tortured, killed, mutilated, or degraded, even if he refuses to talk. If the captive is a woman, treat her with all respect due her sex.

2. Take The Captive Quickly To Security

As soon as possible evacuate the captive to a place of safety and interrogation designated by your commander. Military documents taken from the captive are also sent to the interrogators, but the captive will keep his personal equipment except weapons.

3. Mistreatment Of Any Captive Is A Criminal Offense. Every Soldier Is Personally Responsible For The Enemy In His Hands

It is both dishonorable and foolish to mistreat a captive. It is also a punishable offense. Not even a beaten enemy will surrender if he knows his captors will torture or kill him. He will resist and make his capture more costly. Fair treatment of captives encourages the enemy to surrender.

4. Treat The Sick And Wounded Captive As Best You Can

The captive saved may be an intelligence source. In any case he is a human being and must be treated like one. The soldier who ignores the sick and wounded degrades his uniform.

5. All Persons In Your Hands, Whether Suspects, Civilians, Or Combat Captives, Must Be Protected Against Violence, Insults, Curiousity, and Reprisals Of Any Kind

Leave punishment to the courts and judges. The soldier shows his strength by his fairness, firmness, and humanity to the persons in his hands.

Key Phrases

English Vietnamese

Halt Dung Lai Lay Down Your Gun Buong Sung Xuong Put Up Your Hands Dura tay len Keep Your Hands On Your Head Dura tay len dau I Will Search You Toi kham ong Do Not Talk Dung Noi Chuyen Walk There Lai Dang Kia Turn Right Xay Ben Phai Turn Left Xay Ben Trai Have A Nice Day Chou Ang

T O P 69th Armor Page Ray's Home Page E-Mail Me

Creation Date: Thursday, June 6, 1996
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 21, 1996
Copyright © Ray Smith, 1996