Hawai‘i War Crimes: Compulsion to Serve in the Occupier’s Military

War crimes are actions taken by individuals, whether military or civilian, that violates international humanitarian law, which includes the 1907 Hague Conventions, 1949 Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions. War crimes include “grave breaches” of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, which also applies to territory that is occupied even if the occupation takes place without resistance. Protected persons under International Humanitarian Law are all nationals who reside within an occupied State, except for the nationals of the Occupying Power. The International Criminal Court and States prosecute individuals for war crimes.

War Crimes: Compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of an Occupying Power

US Recruiting PosterThe United States Selective Service System is an agency of the United States government that maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription. Under the Military Selective Service Act, “it shall be the duty of every male citizen of the United States, and every other male person residing in the United States, who, on the day or days fixed for the first or any subsequent registration, is between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six, to present himself for and submit to registration at such time or times and place or places, and in such manner, as shall be determined by proclamation of the President and by rules and regulations prescribed hereunder.”

Conscription of the inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands unlawfully inducted into the United States Armed Forces through the Selective Service System occurred since the First World War to the Vietnam War. The 1907 Hague Convention, V, “Respecting the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in Case of War on Land,” also prohibits the Occupying Power from establishing recruiting stations on the territory of a neutral Occupied State (Article 4).

There were 4,336 residents of the Hawaiian Islands drafted in the United States military during the First World War (September 1917-November 1918) and 32,197 of Hawai‘i’s residents drafted during the Second World War (November 1940-October 1946). There are no statistics available as to the number of Hawai‘i’s residents drafted during the Korean War (June 1950-June 1953) and the Vietnam War (August 1964-February 1973), but there were over 25,000 of Hawai‘i’s residents who served during the Korean War and 13,000 of Hawai‘i’s residents who served during the Vietnam War.

Although induction into the United States Armed Forces has not taken place since February 1973, the requirements to have residents of the Hawaiian Islands who reach the age of 18 to register with the Selective Service System for possible induction is unlawful and therefore war crimes are still being committed. The Selective Service System in the Hawaiian Islands is headquartered on the Island of O’ahu.

3 thoughts on “Hawai‘i War Crimes: Compulsion to Serve in the Occupier’s Military

  1. This is of major importance, as it is literally a matter of life and death (potentially, and often actually). The fact that money is paid to such recruits does not subtract from the essential fact of its being a nuanced form of slavery–involuntary servitude.

    • Mahalo nui Jon for your comment on this issue of Conscription that has been foisted upon Na Kanaka in our island nation. This oppressive practice has been a burden and near annihilation of our people by U.S. Occupying forces. But FYI and for the readership of this blog, I have attached for you here from WikiPedia a short narrative on a Hawaiian Hero of the Korean War Herbert K.Pilila’au. Pililaʻau’s official Medal of Honor citation reads:

      Pfc. Pilila’au, a member of Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. The enemy sent wave after wave of fanatical troops against his platoon which held a key terrain feature on “Heartbreak Ridge.” Valiantly defending its position, the unit repulsed each attack until ammunition became practically exhausted and it was ordered to withdraw to a new position. Voluntarily remaining behind to cover the withdrawal, Pfc. Pilila’au fired his automatic weapon into the ranks of the assailants, threw all his grenades and, with ammunition exhausted, closed with the foe in hand-to-hand combat, courageously fighting with his trench knife and bare fists until finally overcome and mortally wounded. When the position was subsequently retaken, more than 40 enemy dead were counted in the area he had so valiantly defended. His heroic devotion to duty, indomitable fighting spirit, and gallant self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself, the infantry, and the U.S. Army.

      He has made the ultimate sacrifice. It is my hope that the United States will honor Herbert Pilila’au and his People the return of their Homeland.

      Me ka pono, Frank

  2. I almost had to serve in Nam,as a grad of Kamehameha in 68,the US Army would have given graduates the rank of Sargent for signing up,as we had 4 years of ROTC. I’m glad that I was spared by the lottery system that was implemented when I graduated or I would have been cannon fodder for the de factos,and at that time didn’t know the truth about the unlawful occupation of my homeland,alot of my classmates never came back.

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