Some things just stick with ya. The other day, someone was talking about the military and was trying to remember the articles of the military code of conduct. Without even looking up, I just started reciting them (all six articles) from memory, which got a “thanks” followed by a look that screamed “weirdo”. ^_^

Back in my military days, I spent a good number of months in the training program for Air Force Survival Instructors (I’m pretty sure they refer to them as SERE specialists now… Survival Evasion Resistance Escape). Wound up moving to a new career because of complications due to a freaky heart condition I had (but I was still a 3-level survival instructor, so I got to work with the survival instructor for my next base to assist with training ROTC cadets… that was a lot of fun).

The cadre for the survival instructor course liked to keep the trainees mentally fit. They’d toss random objects at us at any time and have us give an impromptu 5-minute lesson on the value of that object for survival in the wilderness, they’d give us some crazy deadlines (requiring us to stay focused with little sleep for days), and they’d also randomly have us recite the code of conduct…

• I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

• I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.

• If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

• If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.

• When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.

• I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.