Viet Cong Discipline
Know Your Enemy: The Viet Cong, Armed Forces Information and Education, Department of Defence, DoD GEN-20, DA Pam 360-518, Washington, 1966
Scholar or street urchin, professional officer or farm boy, they all tell the same story of relentless indoctrination of discipline playing on every human emotion,constantly applied. The soldier is required to memorize basic codes of conduct (a oath of honor and a code of discipline) which put him in the position of a hero, a patriot, a friend, and protector of the people. He is never allowed to forget this role. Perhaps the most effective reminder is his unit's daily indoctrination and self-criticism session. In this, his indoctrination is continued and reinforced, his supposed motives are reviewed and discussed by the group, and he is told by his leader what his future actions will be. After this, he must explain his reactions, and he must publicly confess and criticize his own shortcomings and weaknesses in thought and deed.
After every fight there is an almost immediate critique, with no holds barred, which gives every man a chance to let off steam. It also lets the cadre know what his men are thinking. This contributes to the effectiveness of the constant surveillance program, maintained primarily through the cell system (usually three-man) which is applied to every possible unit.
Appeals to the mind and the heart are the principal way in which the Viet Cong seeks to control its members. Regular units employ standard forms of military courtesy, and strict obedience is always expected, but emphasis is placed on making compliance with regulations appear to be voluntary. For those who fail in their duty, if such normal punishments as public criticism, extra duty, and brief confinement do not bring reform, the penalty is often discharge, in terms that make the man feel a traitor and an outcast from the human race. The fear of corporal punishment or death seems to be of less importance although either may be visited on the individual or his relatives.
Viet Cong Oath of Honour
1. I swear I am prepared to sacrifice all for Vietnam. I will fight to my last breath against imperialism, colonialism, Vietnamese traitors, and aggression in order to make Vietnam independent, democratic and united.
2. I swear to obey absolutely all orders from my commanders, executing them wholeheartedly, promptly, and accurately.
3. I swear to fight firmly for the people without complaint and without becoming discouraged even if life is hard or dangerous will go forward in combat without fear, will never retreat regardless of suffering involved.
4. I swear to learn to fight better and shape myself into a true revolutionary soldier battling the invading American imperialists and their servants, seeking to make Vietnam democratic, wealthy, and strong.
5. I swear to preserve organizational secrecy, and to keep secret my unit's plans, the name of my unit commander, and all secrets of other revolutionary units.
6. I swear if taken by the enemy I will not reveal any information even under inhuman torture. I will remain faithful to the Revolution and not be bribed by the enemy.
7. I swear in the name of unity to love my friends in my unit as myself, to work cooperatively with them in combat and at all other times.
8. I swear to maintain and protect my weapons, ensuring they are never damaged or captured by the enemy.
9. I swear that in my relationships with the people I will do three things and eschew three things. I will respect, protect, and help the people; I will not steal from, threaten, nor inconvenience the people. I will do all things to win their their confidence.
10. I swear to indulge in self-criticism, to be a model soldier of the Revolution, and never to harm either the Liberation Army or Vietnam.
Viet Cong Code of Discipline
1. I will obey the orders from my superiors under all circumstances.
2. I will never take anything from the people, not even a needle or thread.
3. Iwill not put group property to my own use.
4. I will return that which is borrowed, make restitution for things damaged.
5. I will be polite to people, respect and love them.
6. I will be fair and just in buying and selling.
7. When staying in people's houses I will treat them as I would my own house.
8. I will will follow the slogan: All things of the people and for the people.
9. I will keep unit secrets absolutely and will never disclose information even to closest friends or relatives.
10. I will encourage the people to struggle and support the Revolution.
11. I will be alert to spies and will report all suspicious persons to my superiors.
12. I will remain close to the people and maintain their affection and love.