Comments of Benjamin Forman
Assistant General Counsel, International Affairs, Department of Defense
Pursuant to Army Regulations, all United States Army personnel undergoing basic training receive a minimum of three hours of instruction on the 1949 Geneva Conventions as outlined in Department of the Army Pamphlet No. 20-151, dated 28 April 1958. This instruction is supplemented by films and lectures included in the Army Troop Information Program and by detailed Department of Army publications on specific provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, such as:
Care and Treatment of Prisoners of War—DA Pamphlet 20-151, dated 28 April 1958. Prisoner of War Communications Censorship—Army Regulations 380-235, dated 30
Prisoner of War—Pay and Allowances and Deposits of Personal Funds—Army Regulations 35-233, dated 17 April 1961.
Prisoner of War Records and Administration—Army Regulations 345-210, dated 31 October 1962.
Prisoner of War Mail Service—Address: Procedures; Censorship—Army Regulations 380-200, dated 21 April 1960.
Prisoner of War 201 Files: Documents included; Maintenance; Disposition—Army Regulations 345-265, dated 23 June 1955, as changed.
Officers attending Army Service Schools receive two to six hours’ additional training on the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Officers selected to attend the Army War College receive another twelve hours of training on the conventions.
Navy Schools. In the Navy schools, instruction in the Geneva Convention of 1949 is integrated with instruction in the Code of Conduct. There is no course devoted exclusively to these subjects, but the following courses include them:
Correspondence Courses. There is no course devoted exclusively to the Geneva Convention, but the following courses include it:
a. International Law, NavPers 10717-B. Includes NWIP 10.2 (Law of Naval Warfare).
b. International Law (Naval War College). Includes thorough treatment of the Laws of War and of the Geneva Conventions.
c. Leadership, NavPers 10903-A. Includes Code of Conduct and Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.
The rights and obligations of U. S. military personnel under the Prisoner of War Convention are taught within the Air Force as an integral and substantial part ofthe Code of Conduct training. The Code of Conduct is a subject of instruction in each of the following Air Force schools or training programs:
a. Basic Military TRAINING, Lackland AFB, Texas—4 hours
b. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.—2 hours
c. ROTC, Civilian colleges—5 hours (3 hours’ classroom and 2 hours in summer camp)
d. Officers Training School, Lackland AFB, Texas—1 hour
e. Flying Training, Air Training Command Bases—1 hour
f. Squadron Officers School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.—6 hours
g. Survival Training, Stead AFB, Nev.—A major part of the two-week course
In addition to the foregoing, each major air command provides supplemental Code of Conduct training as required.
The following Air Force publications include information and requirements relative to the 1949 Prisoner of War Convention:
a. Air Force Pamphlet 110-1-3. The convention is published in this pamphlet.
b. AFR 30-20. Includes instruction on the issuance of the Geneva Convention Identification Card.
c. AFR 125-25. Directs USAF personnel to assure that prisoners of war in their custody receive their rights under the convention.
d. AFR 50-15. Requires annual reading of pertinent portions of the Geneva Convention by each individual member of the Air Force and a certification that it has been accomplished.