You must prevent violations of the laws of armed
civilians humanely and private property as though it
were your own.
conflict by others because they are criminal acts. When
you see a criminal act about to happen, you should try
Do not violate the rights of civilians in war zones.
to prevent it by
When you know something about the culture and
practices of the people, you should have little trouble
arguing against it.
recognizing the rights of civilians. Make sure civilians
threatening to report the criminal act.
are protected from acts of violence, threats, and insults
both from the enemy and from your fellow Seabees.
repeating the orders of your superiors.
On occasion, it may be necessary to move or resettle
stating your personal disagreement, or
civilians because such action is urgently required for
military activities. Under no circumstance should you
asking a senior individual present to intervene.
burn civilian property without approval of higher
You should be able to do this when you are totally
authority. Similarly, you should never steal from
familiar with the country in which you are operating and
civilians. Failure to obey these rules is a violation of the
are knowledgeable about the rules of war. In the event
laws of anneal conflict and punishable by court-martial.
the criminal act immediately endangers your life or the
Under no circumstances should you fire upon
lives of others, you may use the exact amount of force
medical personnel or equipment used for the welfare of
needed to prevent the crime, but do this only as a last
the people or the enemy. Most medical personnel and
resort. You should immediate y report the criminal act
facilities are marked with a red cross on a white
through your chain of command. When the criminal act
background. However, a few countries use a different
is committed or about to be committed by your
symbol. This is one of the reasons you should be familiar
immediate superior, report the act to his immediate
with the customs of the country in which you are
superior. You are required to do this by the laws of armed
operating. Similarly, never pose as a Red Cross
conflict. Conversely, you are not required to commit a
representative when you are not. Your life may depend
crime under the laws of conflict. If you are ordered to
on proper use of the Red Cross symbol.
commit a crime under the rules of war, you must refuse
Parachutists are considered helpless until they reach
to follow the order and report your refusal to the next
the ground. Under the rules of war, you may not fire at
higher authority. You can be prosecuted for carrying out
parachutists while they are in the air. If they resist with
an unlawful act under the laws of war, so you must know
weapons upon landing or do not surrender, you may fire
what is legal and act by following the rules of armed
at them. Paratroopers, on the other hand, are always
considered combatants and may be fired on while they
are still in the air.
CODE OF THE U.S. FIGHTING FORCE
Under the laws of armed conflict, you may not use
poison or poisoned weapons. However, you may use
The Code was prescribed by the President of the
nonpoisoning weapons to destroy the food and water of
United States in 1955 as a simple, written creed applying
to all members of the armed forces of the United States.
The words of the Code, presented in six articles, state
You may not alter weapons to cause unnecessary
suffering by the enemy. You cannot use altered rounds
the principles that Americans have honored in all the
to inflict greater destruction on the enemy. These
wars this country has fought since 1776.
alterations are forbidden under the laws of armed
The Code is not intended to provide guidance on
every aspect of military life. For that purpose there are
military regulations, rules of military courtesy, and
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
established customs and traditions. The Code is in no
RULES ARE VIOLATED
way connected with the Uniform Code of Military
Justice (UCMJ). The UCMJ has punitive powers; the
You have been provided some basic rules to show
Code does not.
what you can and cannot do in a wartime situation, as
The six articles of the Code can be divided into three
they relate to the laws of armed conflict. This section
provides instructions on what action to take if the rules
categories. Articles I and VI are general statements of
are violated by other personnel.
dedication to country and freedom. Conduct on the