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Chapter 2

Commander and Staff Responsibilities

All MP commanders and staff members must be familiar with applicable ARs, Army directives, and international laws necessary for the successful operation of I/R and confinement facilities. This chapter discusses areas of greatest concern when performing the I/R function.


2-1. An MP battalion commander tasked with operating an I/R facility is also the facility commander. As such, he is responsible for the safety and well-being of all personnel housed within the facility. Since an MP unit may be tasked to handle different categories of personnel (EPW, CI, OD, refugee, and US military prisoner), the commander, the cadre, and support personnel must be aware of the requirements for each category.


2-2. Commanders are familiar with applicable regulations, directives, international laws, and administrative procedures. The servicing staff judge advocate (SJA) provides legal advice and training on I/R matters. Regulations and other guidance relative to the administration, employment, and compensation of internees are prescribed in—

2-3. Copies of the Geneva Conventions and compound regulations, orders, and notices relating to internee conduct and activities are posted in each facility, in the language of internees who are housed there. If internees do not have access to posted copies, the facility commander makes copies available to them.

2-4. The commander is responsible for the administrative processing of each internee. When processing is complete, he submits a DA Form 2674-R to the servicing internment/resettlement information center (IRIC), which functions as the field operations agency for the national IRIC located in CONUS.


2-5. The following principles apply to I/R facilities:

  • Use housed personnel for internal maintenance and operation.

  • Use captured supplies and equipment (excluding weapons and ammunition).

  • Maintain control.

2-6. An EPW/CI has the right to—

  • Submit requests and complaints regarding the conditions of confinement.

  • Elect representatives.

  • Send and receive correspondence.

NOTE: The rights of US military prisoners are outlined in AR 190-47 and DOD Directive 1325.4.


2-7. Standing orders provide uniform, orderly administration of an I/R facility. The orders to be obeyed by housed personnel are published in their language and posted where they can read the orders and refer to them. Standing orders include rules, procedures, and instructions (see Figure 2-1) governing the following activities and other matters as deemed appropriate:

  • Schedule of calls, including—

    • Reveille.

    • Morning roll.

    • Readiness of quarters for inspection.

    • Sick.

    • Mess.

    • Evening roll.

    • Lights out.

  • Housed personnel actions that support the emergency action plans of the internment facility, such as—

    • Fire drills.

    • Air raid drills.

    • Emergency evacuations.

    • Natural disaster drills.

    • Blackouts.

    • Escapes.

  • Hours for religious services, recreation activities, and so forth.

  • Procedures for emergency sick call.

  • Designated smoking areas.

  1. You must comply with rules, regulations, and orders. They are necessary for safety, good order, and discipline.

  2. You must immediately obey all orders of US personnel. Deliberate disobedience, resistance, or conduct of a mutinous or riotous nature will be dealt with by force.

  3. You are subject to disciplinary or judicial punishment if you disobey a rule, a regulation, or an order or if you commit any act, conduct, disorder, or neglect that is prejudicial to good order or discipline.

  4. You will not receive disciplinary or judicial punishment until you have an opportunity to explain your conduct and to defend yourself. If you commit an offense for which judicial punishment may arise, investigation of the offense will be coordinated with the SJA before being undertaken to ensure that it is conducted according to the Geneva Conventions. You may call witnesses, and if necessary, you will be provided with the services of a qualified interpreter.

  5. You may receive disciplinary punishment that includes discontinuing privileges over and above the treatment provided for by the Geneva Conventions. You may receive a fine up to one half of your 30-day advance and working pay. Privates may be assigned fatigue (extra) duty up to 2 hours daily, noncommissioned officers (NCOs) may be required to perform supervisory duties only, and officers may not be compelled to work.

  6. You may not establish courts or administer punishment over other captives.

  7. You may not have knives, sticks, metal pieces, or other articles that can be used as weapons in your possession at any time.

  8. You may not drill or march in military formation for any purpose except as authorized and directed by the facility commander.

  9. You may not meet or issue propaganda for political purposes.

  10. You may not wear or display national political items.

  11. You may not gamble.

  12. You may not possess or consume alcoholic beverages.

  13. You may retain personal effects and property that are authorized by the facility commander.

  14. You may smoke at times and places specified by the facility commander.

  15. You will follow the required courtesies toward your army's officers. If you are an enlisted captive, you will salute all US commissioned officers. If you are an officer captive, you will salute US commissioned officers of a higher grade and the facility commander, regardless of his grade.

Figure 2-1. Sample Standing Orders


2-8. To protect persons from acts of violence, bodily injury, and threats of reprisals at the hand of fellow internees, post a notice of protection (Figure 2-2) in the internees' language in every compound.


A detainee who fears that his life is in danger, or fears that he may suffer physical injury at the hands of another detainee, should immediately report to a US member of the facility without consulting his representative. The facility commander ensures adequate protection for the victim by segregation, transfer, or other means. A detainee who mistreats a fellow detainee will be punished.

(Signed by the Commanding Officer)

Figure 2-2. Sample Notice of Protection


2-9. The commander establishes local records and reports necessary for the effective operation of the I/R facility. They provide information about the control, supervision, and disposition of personnel housed in the facility. He determines the type (administrative, operational, logistical, intelligence, and personnel) of reports and the frequency (routine or as required). Normal reports (duty officer logs, worksheets, and situation maps) are also required.


2-10. Commanders consider the following when establishing medical care (see AR 190-8):

  • A medical officer, a physician's assistant (PA), or a nurse practitioner examines each internee monthly and—

    • Records his weight on DA Form 2664-R.

    • Monitors his general health, nutrition, and cleanliness.

    • Examines him for contagious diseases, especially tuberculosis (TB), venereal disease, lice, louse-borne disease, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

  • The medical treatment facility provides isolation of communicable diseases, disinfection, and inoculations. Use retained medical personnel and EPWs with medical training to the fullest extent possible when caring for sick and wounded EPWs. When medical care is inadequate, transfer housed personnel to military or civilian medical facilities where the required treatment is available.

2-11. Certain sanitation standards must be met to prevent disease and ensure cleanliness. These standards include—

  • Ensuring that internees receive as much water as US soldiers.

  • Providing adequate space within housing units to prevent overcrowding.

  • Providing sufficient showers and latrines and ensuring that they are cleaned and sanitized daily.

  • Teaching dining-facility workers the rules of good food sanitation and ensuring that they are observed and practiced.

  • Disposing of human waste properly to protect the health of all individuals associated with the facility according to the guidelines established by preventive medicine (PVNTMED).

  • Providing sufficient potable water for drinking, bathing, laundry, and food service.

  • Providing materials for personal hygiene.

  • Training personnel on proper garbage disposal to prevent insects and vermin that can contribute to health hazards.


2-12. Encourage and support active education, religious, recreation, and employment programs when practical. If possible, provide adequate facilities, instruction material, and recreation equipment.

2-13. Accredited representatives of protecting powers and the ICRC are allowed full access to the I/R facility and internees. Representatives of approved religious organizations, relief societies, NGOs, IHOs, and other organizations assisting housed personnel are permitted to visit according to policies and procedures prescribed by the DA.

2-14. Advanced coordination is encouraged by representatives of NGOs, IOs, and IHOs who want access to internees. This avoids confusion when representatives arrive at the facility. Likewise, the facility staff coordinates in advance with organizations to establish an access roster of representatives and a means of verifying their identity.


2-15. Housed personnel are allowed freedom of worship, including attendance at services of their respective faith held within the facility. Retained chaplains and other EPW clergymen are permitted to devote their time to ministering to members of their faith. The MP commander may permit other ordained clergymen, theological students, or chaplains to conduct services within the compound. The US personnel will not attend services with EPWs, RPs, CIs, or ODs.


2-16. Participation in recreation activities promotes general health and welfare and alleviates tension and boredom. In addition to athletic contests, group entertainment can be provided by concerts, plays, recorded music, and motion pictures.


2-17. Set up and administer a safety program for housed personnel in each I/R facility. Follow the procedures outlined in AR 385-10 and associated circulars and pamphlets to establish the safety program. Maintain records and reports for the internee safety program separate from those for the Army safety program.


2-18. The EPWs are allowed to raise vegetables for their use. Subsequently, commanders must be aware of resources, procedures, and HN guidelines applicable to this program.


2-19. The MP commander establishes security measures that effectively control housed personnel with minimal use of force. The same use of force that is employed for one category of housed personnel may not be applicable to another. Commanders protect housed personnel from threats outside the facility. The physical construction of the facility and the presence of guard personnel create the most obvious means of providing internal and external security. Maintaining a high state of discipline, a system of routines, and required standards of behavior are all measures that enhance effective security and control.

2-20. Many housed personnel will actively cooperate with US authorities or will assume a passive, compliant role. They will be composed, in part, of individuals with ideologies favorable to the US. Others, through resignation or apathy, will simply adapt themselves to the conditions of their internment.

2-21. Some housed personnel will engage in a campaign of embarrassing and harassing US personnel to create propaganda of value to their cause. The EPWs want to force the use of maximum US troops for other-than-combat missions. The leaders of the uncooperative faction may try to establish a united effort and blind obedience by all its members. They will not be content with merely planning and attempting to escape or using normal harassment tactics. The leaders will assign duties and missions to individuals so that resistance will not stop while they are interned. Any relaxation of security will be immediately detected and fully exploited.

2-22. Maintain firm control at all times. Adapt policies, tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) to achieve this end state.


2-23. The facility guard force provides internal and external security. The force has a commander of the guard, one or more sergeants of the guard, a relief commander for each shift, and the necessary number of guards. There are two types of orders for guards:

  • General orders. All guards are required to know, understand, and comply with the general orders outlined for sentinels in FM 22-6.

  • Special orders. They apply to particular posts and duties. Special orders supplement general orders and are established by the commander.

2-24. The facility guard force is the primary source of security for the I/R facility. Its responsibilities include—

  • Internal.

    • Sally port.

    • Search teams.

    • Receiving and processing lines.

    • Escorts.

    • Facility gates.

  • External.

    • Holding area.

    • Towers.

    • Transfer area.

    • Work site.

    • Perimeter.

    • Brigade tactical operations center (BTOC).

Standby Guards

2-25. Standby guards are soldiers who are not on duty. The standby guard force is large enough to reinforce tower and sally port guards; however, it is not normally used as a quick-reaction force (QRF) to enter enclosures and quell disturbances or conduct searches.

Tower Guards

2-26. Tower guards are posted in towers and positioned so that they have overlapping fields of vision of the entire perimeter. This allows one or more guards to observe activities within enclosures. A tower guard's primary duties are to prevent escape and to observe and report unauthorized or suspicious activities.

Walking Patrols

2-27. Walking patrols supplement the perimeter security when weather conditions or electrical failure prevents tower guards from clearly observing the entire perimeter. Gate guards are posted at perimeter gates and the sally port to—

  • Exercise control over personnel, vehicles, and work details.

  • Conduct shakedown searches according to facility standing operating procedures (SOPs), special orders, and security regulations.

  • Prevent the smuggling of weapons or other contraband items into the facility.

  • Prevent escapes.

Military Working Dogs

2-28. Military working dogs (MWDs) offer a psychological and real deterrent against physical threats presented by housed personnel. However, they cannot be used as security measures against US military prisoners. The MWDs reinforce security measures against penetration and attack by small enemy forces that may be operating in the area. They also provide a positive, effective alternative to using firearms when preventing disturbances. The various techniques for employing MWDs are—

  • Demonstrations. Hold periodic demonstrations in full view of housed personnel to increase the psychological deterrent of MWDs. Emphasize how easily and quickly an MWD can overtake a fleeing individual, highlight his ability to attack and overcome physical resistance, and demonstrate his tracking ability. To ensure a successful demonstration, use only the best qualified MWD teams.

  • Perimeter security. Use an MWD team as an adjunct to perimeter security by making periodic, unscheduled patrols around the perimeter fence during periods of darkness. During inclement weather, a temporary blackout, or an electrical failure, increase the number and frequency of patrols. Ensure that housed personnel are aware of MWD presence by having dogs bark at infrequent intervals during the night.

  • Inspections. Walk an MWD team through living areas to search for contraband. Depending on the type of MWD team available, it can search for explosive devices and components and/or illegal drugs.

  • Work details. Position an MWD between the work detail and the area offering the greatest avenue of escape. The MWDs provide a valuable adjunct to work detail guards, particularly those employed in areas offering the greatest potential for escape.


2-29. An MP commander ensures that soldiers understand use-of-force guidelines and the ROE established by higher headquarters for each mission. Because the use of force and the ROE vary depending on the category of housed personnel and the operational environment, the commander develops SOPs that follow the guidance provided. He balances the physical security of forces with mission accomplishment and the protection of deployed forces.

NOTE: For more information on the use of force, see Appendix B.

2-30. The restrictions on combat operations and the use of force are clearly explained in the ROE and are understood and obeyed at all levels. Soldiers study and train on the use of the ROE and discuss them for their mission. The ROE address the distinctions between internee categories and the instruments of control available for each category. Use the following issues to develop ROE guidelines:

  • What is considered lethal force?

  • Under what conditions is lethal force used?

  • Under what conditions is nonlethal force used?

  • What are the required warnings, if any, before using force (lethal or nonlethal)?


2-31. Housed personnel may organize a disturbance within the facility to weaken the guard force. At the beginning of a disturbance, initiate a record of events. Commanders must be concerned with two types of disturbances—riots and disorders:

  • Riots.

    • Organized. Leaders of housed personnel organize the internee population into quasi-military groups.

    • Unorganized. It is spontaneous in nature, although it can be exploited and diverted by leaders into an organized riot.

    • Multiple. When housed personnel in one compound start rioting, personnel in other compounds also riot.

  • Disorders.

    • Organized. It can be a demonstration, a refusal to work or eat, a work slowdown, or the damage or destruction of property.

    • Unorganized. It is spontaneous in nature.

NOTE: For more information on riots and disorders, see Appendix B.


2-32. Staff officers at tactical headquarters and CSS commands are normally responsible for the same functional areas inside an I/R or confinement facility. However, the emphasis on different aspects and the scope and magnitude of EPW, CI, and US military prisoner activities vary in CS and CSS commands. This section describes additional staff officers that may be found at different echelons of command (primarily I/R MP units) and their areas of responsibility. FM 101-5 describes the roles, relationships, organization, and responsibilities of staffs in the US Army.


2-33. The adjutant general (AG) maintains personnel records for EPWs, CIs, and US military prisoners. The AG's personnel and administrative section can inprocess eight persons per hour, depending on the category. It—

  • Provides accountability documents to the IRIC if applicable.

  • Maintains labor records and time cards for prisoners.

  • Submits the required reports on prisoners.

  • Prepares documents for administrative court-martial charges for EPWs, CIs, and US military prisoners.


2-34. The finance officer—

  • Accounts for impounded financial assets (cash and negotiable instruments) of housed personnel.

  • Records pay/labor credits, canteen purchases/coupons, and other transactions.

  • Prepares payrolls, makes disbursements, and processes repatriation settlements.

  • Advises the commander on finance and accounting issues.

NOTE: See FM 14-100 for more information.


2-35. The civil-military operations (CMO) officer—

  • Provides technical advice and assistance on strategies for community relations and information.

  • Plans community relations programs to gain and maintain public understanding and goodwill and to support military operations.

  • Provides liaison and coordination with other US government agencies; HN civil and military authorities concerned with I/R operations; and NGOs, IOs, and IHOs in the AO.

  • Coordinates with the SJA on the ROE for dealing with housed personnel.

  • Provides technical advice and assistance on the reorientation of enemy defectors, EPWs, CIs, and detainees.


2-36. The chaplain or the unit ministry team—

  • Provides religious support for assigned soldiers and internees.

  • Advises the commander on the impact of faiths and practices of indigenous religious groups in the AO and internees within the facility.

  • Provides religious support to the command and the community, including confined and hospitalized personnel.

  • Exercises supervision and control over internee religious leaders within the facility.


2-37. The engineer officer is a captain in a brigade and a lieutenant in a battalion. He trains and supervises internees who perform internal and external labor (construction and repair of facilities). The engineer officer is responsible for—

  • Construction, maintenance, repair, and operation of utilities (water, electricity, heat, and sanitation).

  • Construction support.

  • Fire protection.

  • Insect and rodent control and fumigation.


2-38. The public affairs officer (PAO)—

  • Understands and fulfills the information needs of soldiers, the Army community, and the public in matters relating to internees and the I/R facility.

  • Serves as the command's spokesman for all communication with the external media.

  • Facilitates media efforts to cover operations by expediting the flow of complete, accurate, and timely information.


2-39. The signal officer is located in the brigade. He is responsible for all matters concerning signal operations, automation management, network management, and information security.


2-40. The SJA is located in the brigade and the brigade liaison detachment (BLD). He—

  • Provides operational law advice and support for US military prisoner operations and resettlement operations, particularly the interpretation of the Geneva Conventions.

  • Provides advice on the application of force to quell riots and other disturbances.

  • Provides support and advice during investigations following the death or injury of an internee during internment.

  • Serves as the recorder for Article 5 tribunals. (A tribunal determines the status of a person who has committed a hostile act but whose status is doubtful.)

  • Serves as the commander's liaison to the ICRC.

  • Provides legal advice on—

    • Military justice.

    • Administrative law (investigations and command authority).

    • Civil law (contract, fiscal, and environmental laws).

    • International law (law of land warfare, Geneva Conventions, status of forces, ROE, and treatment of detained persons).

    • Claims.

    • Legal assistance.

  • Provides technical advice and assistance on the internee labor policy as it relates to supporting local indigenous requirements not directly advancing the war effort.

  • Complies with all treaties and conventions.


2-41. The surgeon section—

  • Is responsible for the combat health support (CHS) of the command and internees within the facility.

  • Advises the commander.

  • Plans and directs echelon I CHS.

  • Arranges echelons II and III CHS (including air/ground medical evacuation and hospitalization) when required.

  • Provides disease prevention through PVNTMED programs.

2-42. The medical treatment squad—

  • Provides routine medical care (sick call) and advanced trauma management for duty soldiers and internees.

  • Supervises qualified RPs who are providing medical care for internees.

  • Performs initial medical exams to determine the physical fitness of arriving internees as stipulated by the Geneva Conventions.

  • Is capable of operating as two separate treatment teams.

2-43. The PVNTMED section—

  • Provides limited PVNTMED services for the facility.

  • Performs sanitary inspections of housing, food service operations, water supplies, waste disposal operations, and other operations that may present a medical nuisance or health hazard to personnel.

  • Provides training and guidance to the staff, unit personnel, and others.


2-44. The movement control officer (MCO)—

  • Plans and coordinates the movement of internees and their property with the Corps Support Command (US Army) (COSCOM) movement control center.

  • Coordinates with brigade operations for daily transportation requirements and evacuation and transfer of internees. This includes determining the transportation requirements for the evacuation of detainees from one level of internment to the next and coordinating the arrangements.


2-45. The inspector general (IG) is located in the brigade. He—

  • Advises the commander on the organization inspection policy (OIP).

  • Conducts inspections, surveys, and studies to comply with international, state, and US laws.

  • Receives allegations and conducts investigations and inquiries based on reports and information obtained from EPWs, CIs, DCs, US military personnel, and multinational guard and police forces.

  • Consults with international and US agencies in matters pertaining to the overall health and welfare of the protected population.

  • Determines the MP unit's discipline, efficiency, morale, training, and readiness and provides feedback to the chain of command.

  • Assists the protected population in coping with family issues and resolving complaints consistent with military necessity.

  • Identifies trends to correct and improve I/R operations consistent with current doctrine, military laws, international laws, UN mandates, and foreign-nation (FN) and state laws.

  • Assists in the resolution of systemic issues pertaining to the processing and administration of the protected population.

  • Reports allegations of war crimes (from protected personnel or US soldiers) through the chain of command to the SJA or the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIC). The responsibility for investigating alleged war crimes rests with the SJA and the criminal investigation division (CID), not the IG.


2-46. Psychological operations (PSYOP) are not part of the I/R structure; however, the PSYOP officer in charge (OIC) of the EPW/CI PSYOP team supporting I/R operations serves as the special staff officer responsible for PSYOP. The PSYOP officer advises the MP commander on the psychological impact of actions to prevent misunderstandings and disturbances by EPWs and CIs. The EPW/CI PSYOP team—

  • Assists the MP force in controlling EPWs and CIs.

  • Exposes EPWs and CIs to US and allied policies.

  • Develops and executes PSYOP programs to condition EPWs and CIs to accept facility authority and regulations.

  • Gains the cooperation of EPWs and CIs to reduce guard needs.

  • Identifies malcontents, trained agitators, and political officers within the facility who may try to organize a resistance or create a disturbance.

  • Develops and executes indoctrination programs to reduce or remove proenemy attitudes.

  • Recognizes political activists.

  • Helps the MP commander control EPWs and CIs during emergencies.

  • Plans and executes a PSYOP program that produces an understanding and appreciation of US policies and actions.

  • Uses comprehensive information, reorientation, educational, and vocational programs to prepare EPWs and CIs for repatriation.

NOTE: See FMs 3-05.30 and 33-1-1 for additional information about PSYOP support to I/R operations.


2-47. The necessary care and control of housed personnel is best achieved with carefully selected and trained personnel. The specialized nature of duty at different facilities requires individuals who can be depended on to cope successfully with behavior or incidents that call for calm, fair, and immediate decisive action. These personnel must possess the highest qualities of leadership and judgment. They are required to observe rigid self-discipline and maintain a professional attitude at all times.

2-48. Personnel assigned or attached to I/R facilities are trained on the care and control of housed personnel. They are fully cognizant of the provisions of the Geneva and UN Conventions and applicable regulations as they apply to the treatment of housed personnel. A formal training program should include—

  • Principles and laws of land warfare, specifically provisions of Geneva and UN Conventions and HN laws and customs.

  • Supervisory and human relations techniques.

  • Methods of self-defense.

  • The use of force, the ROE, and the ROI.

  • Firearms qualification and familiarization.

  • Public relations, particularly CONUS operations.

  • First aid.

  • Stress management techniques.

  • Facility regulations and SOPs.

  • Intelligence and counterintelligence techniques.

  • Cultural customs and habits of internees.

  • The basic language of internees.

2-49. The guard force should receive additional training in—

  • Riot control measures, control agents, and dispersers.

  • QRF actions.

  • Searching techniques, including the use of electronic detection devices.

  • Nonlethal equipment and weapons.

2-50. Medical soldiers assigned to the facility may be required to deliver babies and care for infants and small children. Their training should include—

  • Delivery procedures.

  • Birthing techniques.

  • Medical conditions associated with malnutrition and water-, food-, and arthropod-borne diseases.

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