Discuss as:


Upon seeing this picture, I wondered, "What are the procedures that our military has to follow upon detaining someone they determine to be an 'enemy'?" The Commander's Tactical Handbook that is listed on the U.S. Marines website details what is required of our servicemen:

Enemy Prisoners of War
1. General.
a. Enemy prisoners of war EPW(s) are a good source of information.
b. EPWs must be handled per international law and without
losing a chance to gain intelligence.
2. Handling EPWs.
a. Search EPWs as soon as they are captured.
(1) Take their weapons and papers, except identification
(2) Give them a written receipt for any personal property
and documents taken.
(3) Tag EPWs’ documents and personal property.
(4) Have one man guard while another searches.
(5) Re-search any EPWs that are relocated.
b. Segregate EPWs into groups: officers, noncommissioned
officers, enlisted men, civilians, males, females, and political
figures. Segregation helps prevent EPW leaders from
organizing, giving support, and promoting escape efforts.
Keep groups segregated as they move to the rear.
c. Silence EPWs.
(1) Prohibit EPWs from talking to each other. This also
keeps them from planning an escape, from cautioning
each other on security, and from inventing or coordinating
stories that could result in lost intelligence opportunities.
(2) Report anything an EPW says to you or tries to say to
another EPW to the S-2.
d. Speed EPWs to the rear. Platoons turn EPWs over to the
company. Use guards to move EPWs to the rear for questioning
by the S-2.
e. Safeguard EPWs when moving them to the rear.
(1) Make sure they arrive safely.
(2) Watch out for escape attempts.
(3) Ensure that they do not bunch up, spread too far out, or
start diversions (e.g., fist fights). These create a chance
for escape.
(4) Ensure that no one abuses them.
f. Tag EPWs and their possessions using an Enemy Prisoner of
War (EPW) Capture Tag (DA Form 5976). See sample form
on pages H-4 and H-5.
(1) Tag the EPW before evacuation to the EPW collection
(2) Tag any enemy documents and equipment. If an item
was found on an EPW, his name should be on the tag,
and the item should be separated from him. (See Part C
of DA Form 5967.)
(3) Evacuate all documents found on an EPW with the
3. Types of Searches.
a. A hasty search is a good pat down of the EPW’s entire body,
checking all pockets and areas where the EPW could conceal
weapons or documents. Done only when time is paramount.
b. A detailed search is similar to a hasty search, but in more
detail. Search EPWs thoroughly, checking for hidden pockets
on the inside of the uniform, belts, and boots.
c. A strip search is the most preferred search. Strip EPWs of all
clothing to ensure there are no hidden weapons, booby traps,
or documents. Check all clothing for hidden compartments.
Remember to return the EPW’s protective gear.
Note: For female EPWs, care must be taken to ensure compliance
with international law. Females search females. If none are available,
the order of precedence for searchers is medical personnel,
members of the clergy, and if none of the aforementioned are available,
the senior officer on site.
4. Procedures for Handling and Searching EPWs.
a. Search EPWs located within an enclosed space first during a
hasty search.
b. Cover all EPWs (continue to cover immediate danger areas).
c. Sweep visible weapons away from all the occupants in an enclosure.
d. Check suspected dead.
e. Flex cuff all EPWs.
f. Conduct hasty search of the dead for weapons.
g. Conduct hasty search of the living prisoners.
MCRP 3-11.1A Commander’s Tactical Handbook
Appendix H H-7 Enemy POWs
h. Escort living prisoners to the marshaling area where they
will be detail searched and staged.
i. Detail search the dead and leave in place.
j. Mark dead once they have been searched.