Pocket Card, "Nine Rules"
Rules: The Vietnamese have paid a heavy price in suffering for their long fight against the communists. We military men are in Vietnam now because their government has asked us to help its soldiers and people in winning their struggle. The Viet Cong will attempt to turn the Vietnamese people against you. You can defeat them at every turn by the strength, understanding, and generosity you display with the people. Here are nine simple rules:
- Remember we are guests here: We make no demands and seek no special treatment.
- Join with the people! Understand their life, use phrases from their language and honor their customs and laws.
- Treat women with politeness and respect.
- Make personal friends among the soldiers and common people.
- Always give the Vietnamese the right of way.
- Be alert to security and ready to react with your military skill.
- Don’t attract attention by loud, rude or unusual behavior.
- Avoid separating yourself from the people by a display of wealth or privilege.
- Above all else you are members of the U.S. Military Forces on a difficult mission, responsible for all your official and personal actions. Reflect honor upon yourself and the United States of America.
DISTRIBUTION -- one to each member of the United States Armed Forces in Vietnam (September 1967).
MACV Pocket Card, "The Enemy In Your Hands"
As a member of the U.S. Military Forces, you will comply with the Geneva Prisoner of War Convention of 1949 to which your country adheres. Under these Conventions:
You can and 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 that do not have significant military value.
- Refuse him medical treatment if required and available.
ALWAYS TREAT YOUR PRISONER HUMANELY
Lay down your gun
Put up your hands
Keep your hands on your head
I will search you
Do not talk
Buong sung xuong
Dua tay len
Dau tay len dau
Toi Kham ong
Lai dang kia
Xay ben phai
Xay ben trai
THE ENEMY IN YOUR HANDS
1) Handle him firmly, promptly, but humanely.
The captive 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, curiosity, and reprisals of any kind.
Leave punishment to the courts and judges. The soldier shows his strength by his fairness and humanity to the persons in his hands.
MACV Pocket Card,
"Guidance for Commanders in Vietnam"
- Make the welfare of your men your primary concern with special attention to mess, mail, and medical care.
- Give priority emphasis to matters of intelligence, counter-intelligence, and timely and accurate reporting.
- Gear your command for sustained operations: keep constant pressure on the enemy.
- React rapidly with all force available to opportunities to destroy the enemy; disrupt enemy bases, capturing or destroying his supply caches.
- Open up methodically and use roads, waterways, and the railroad; be alert and prepared to ambush the ambusher.
- Harass enemy lines of communication by raids and ambushes.
- Use your firepower with care and discrimination, particularly in populated areas.
- Capitalize on psywar opportunities.
- Assist in "revolutionary development" with emphasis on priority areas and on civic action wherever feasible.
- Encourage and help Vietnamese military and paramilitary units; involve them in your operations at every opportunity.
- Be smarter and more skillful than the enemy; stimulate professionalism, alertness and tactical ingenuity; seize every opportunity to enhance training of men and units.
- Keep your officers and men well informed, aware of the nine rule for personnel of MACV, and mindful of the techniques of communist insurgency and the role of free world forces in Vietnam.
- Maintain an alert "open door" policy on complaints and sensitivity to detection and correction of malpractice.
- Recognize bravery and outstanding work.
- Inspect frequently units two echelons below your level in insure compliance with the foregoing.