This lesson describes detainees captured or detained by the US Armed Forces and provides key definitions. These definitions explain the different personnel categories that a Military Police (MP) commander may be required to handle, protect, account for, and ensure are treated according to established laws, regulations, and international agreements. For the purpose of this lesson, the broader use of the word “detainee” applies to Enemy Prisoners of War (EPWs), Civilian Internees (CIs), Retained Persons (RPs), and other classification terms for US-controlled persons unless otherwise specified. Use of specific detainee classifications does not preclude protections granted according to Geneva Conventions I through IV (1949), Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 5100.77, or protections promulgated under paragraph 1-5 of Army Regulation (AR) 190-8. MP leaders and Soldiers conducting Internment/Resettlement (I/R) operations must maintain task proficiency for each category. For the purposes of this subcourse, detainee operations are defined as operations that take or keep selected individuals in custody as a result of military operations to control their movement and activity and/or gain intelligence.
I/R operations facilitate the ability to conduct rapid and decisive combat operations; deter, mitigate, and defeat threats to populations that may result in conflict; reverse conditions of human suffering; and build the capacity of a foreign government to effectively care for and govern its population. This includes capabilities to conduct shaping operations across the spectrum of military operations to mitigate and defeat the underlying conditions for conflict and counter the core motivations that result in support to criminal, terrorist, insurgent, and other destabilizing groups. I/R operations also include the daily incarceration of U.S. military prisoners at facilities throughout the world.
The following photos are from a collection housed at Bancroft Library at the University of California at Berkeley. The photos span from 1942-1945 at various internment camps around the U.S. operated by the War Relocation Authority.