In January 2016 Iran captured 2 armed U.S. Navy boats in the Persian Gulf that surrendered without a fight. Something similar happened in North Korea in 1967. In both instances, the captured crews were humiliated and used as propaganda by the enemy before being released.
- Surrendering without a fight violates the US Military Code of Conduct:
II. I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender my men while they still have the means to resist.
III. If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
The written code is based on centuries old military principals of duty, loyalty, and honour.
“During the War of 1812, American General William Hull surrenders Fort Detroit and his army to the British without a fight. … In 1814, William Hull was court-martialed for cowardice and neglect of duty in surrendering the fort, and sentenced to die. Because of his service in the revolution, however, President James Madison remitted the sentence.” Source: history.com
The Department of Defence explains what Article II of the Code means:
As an individual, a member of the Armed Forces may never voluntarily surrender. When isolated and no longer able to inflict casualties on the enemy, the American soldier has an obligation to evade capture and rejoin friendly forces.
Only when evasion by an individual is impossible and further fighting would lead only to death with no significant loss of the enemy should only consider surrender. With all reasonable means of resistance exhausted and with certain death the only alternative, capture does not imply dishonor.
The responsibility and authority of a commander never extends to the surrender of a command to the enemy while the command has the power to fight and evade. When isolated, cut off, or surrounded, a unit must continue to fight until relieved or able to rejoin friendly forces through continued efforts to break out or evade the enemy.
A soldier is never to give up, even in the face of death, as long as he has the ability to (1) resist capture by fighting back, (2) inflict damage upon the enemy, and/or (3) escape to fight another day.
The enemy will seek to intimidate the unit into surrendering without a fight. It is suggested that this is why pirates would hoist the Jolly Rodger (black flag with skull and crossbones), signalling that they were terrorists not averse to slaughtering all who put up any resistance.
Christians are in a fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil. We are witnesses of Christ to the world, we flee from the lusts of the flesh, and we stand our ground and resist the devil.
Those that fight against us should be demoralized, for they are doomed: “But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” Acts 5:39
The clouds are darkening overhead and the signs of a gathering storm are all around us. We are not to be intimidated – we are to continue the mission. The hoisted black flags of our stalking enemies shall not strike fear in our hearts: will will never surrender! To death or to victory, we won’t stop fighting the enemy!
” Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13
” Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
” But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:9-12
” For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:4-5
” But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-58