For centuries, codes of conduct have been used to guide the moral conduct of all types of human endeavors, including combat. A code of conduct is required, for if it is not present, all control and order is lost and we are noting but wild animals. For an example of what occurs when there is not an enforced code of conduct, look at the behavior of professional basketball players. For an example of what occurs when there is an enforced code of conduct, look at the behavior of the military, especially when they are at war.
In the 1930's, Gene Autry, who was a cowboy movie star and a hero to many children of the time, had a fan club that had a cowboy code of conduct. The following is an adaptation of the 1939 Cowboy Code.
- Never take unfair advantage of someone.
- Never go back on your word or reveal a trust confided in you.
- Always tell the truth.
- Be gentle with children, elderly, and animals.
- Do not advocate or believe in racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
- Help people in distress.
- Be a good worker.
- Be clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
- Respect the opposite sex, parents, and our nation's laws.
- Be a patriot.
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