The Enemy In Your Hands
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.
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
Creation Date: Thursday, June 6, 1996
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 21, 1996
Copyright © Ray Smith, 1996