Infantry Drills

Section VI – Enemy Prisoners of War and Retained/Detained Persons

Previous: D-109: Actions in the Assembly Area

D-110. Detainees and captured enemy equipment or materials often provide excellent combat information. This information is of tactical value only if the platoon processes and evacuates prisoners and materiel to the rear quickly. In tactical situations, the platoon will have specific procedures and guidelines for handling prisoners and captured materiel.

D-111. All persons captured, personnel detained or retained by U.S. Armed Forces during the course of military operations, are considered “detained” persons until their status is determined by higher military and civilian authorities. The BCT has an organic military police platoon organic to the brigade special troops battalion to take control of and evacuate detainees. (See figure D-19.) However, as a practical matter, when Infantry squads, platoons, companies, and battalions capture enemy personnel, they must provide the initial processing and holding for detainees. Detainee handling is a resource-intensive and politically sensitive operation requiring detailed training, guidance, and supervision.

Figure D-19. Detainee handling

D-112. All detained persons immediately shall be given humanitarian care and treatment. U.S. Armed Forces never will torture, maltreat, or purposely place detained persons in positions of danger. There is never a military necessity exception to violate these principles.

D-113. Soldiers must process detainees using the “search, silence, segregate, speed, safeguard, and tag” (5 Ss and T) technique. The steps of this process are described as follows:

  • Search. Neutralize a detainee and confiscate weapons, personal items, and items of potential intelligence or evidentiary value.
  • Silence. Prevent detainees from communicating with one another or making audible clamor such as chanting, singing, or praying. Silence uncooperative detainees by muffling them with a soft, clean cloth tied around their mouths and fastened at the backs of their heads. Do not use duct tape or other adhesives, place a cloth or either objects inside the mouth, or apply physical force to silence detainees.
  • Segregate. Segregate detainees according to policy and SOPs. (Segregation requirements differ from operation to operation.) The ability to segregate detainees may be limited by the availability of manpower and resources at the POC. At a minimum, try to segregate detainees by grade, gender, age (keeping adults from juveniles and small children with mothers), and security risk. Military intelligence and military police personnel can provide additional guidance and support in determining the appropriate segregation criteria.
  • Safeguard. Protect detainees and ensure the custody and integrity of all confiscated items. Soldiers must safeguard detainees from combat risk, harm caused by other detainees, and improper treatment or care. Report all injuries. Correct and report violations of U.S. military policy that occur while safeguarding detainees. Acts, omissions or both that constitute inhumane treatment are violations of the law of war and, as such, must be corrected immediately. Simply reporting violations is insufficient. If a violation is ongoing, a Soldier has an obligation to stop the violation and report it.
  • Speed to a safe area/rear. Quickly move detainees from the continuing risks associated with other combatants or sympathizers who still may be in the area of capture. If there are more detainees than the Soldiers can control, call for additional support, search the detainees, and hold them in place until reinforcements arrive. Evacuate detainees from the battlefield to a holding area or facility as soon as possible. Transfer captured documents and other property to the forces assuming responsibility of the detainees.
  • Tag. Ensure that each detainee is tagged using DD Form 2745. (See figure D-20a.) Confiscated equipment, personal items, and evidence will be linked to the detainee using the DD Form 2745 number. When a DA Form 4137, Evidence/Property Custody Document, is used to document confiscated items, it will be linked to the detainee by annotating the DD Form 2745 control number on the form or by field expedient means. Field expedient means should include tagging with date and time of capture, location of capture, capturing unit, and circumstances of capture. There are three parts to this form. DD Form 2745, Unit Record Card, Part B, is the unit record copy. (See figure D-20b, page D-44). DD Form 2745, Document/Special Equipment Weapons Card, Part C, is for detainee confiscated property. (See figure D-20c, page D-44). Tagging is critical. If it does not happen the ability of higher headquarters to obtain pertinent tactical information quickly is reduced greatly.

D-114. Detainees should be evacuated as soon as is practical to the BCT detainee collection point. Tactical questioning of detainees is allowed relative to collection of CCIRs. However, detainees must always be treated in accordance with the U.S. Law of War Policy as set forth in the Department of Defense Directive 2311.01E, DoD Law of War Program.

D-115. Soldiers capturing equipment, documents, and detainees should tag them (using the DD Form 2745, Enemy Prisoner of War (EPW) Capture Tag, Part A [see figures D-20a, D20b, and D20c on pages D-43 through D-44]), take digital pictures, and report the capture immediately. Detainees are allowed to keep protective equipment such as

+Figure D-20b. DD Form 2745, Unit Record Card (Part B)
+Figure D-20c. DD Form 2745, Document/Special Equipment Weapons Card
(Part C)
Figure D-20b. DD Form 2745, Unit Record Card (Part B)
Figure D-20c. DD Form 2745, Document/Special Equipment Weapons Card
(Part C)

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