The Prisoner of War Medal may be awarded to any person who was a prisoner of war after April 5, 1917. The Prisoner of War Medal is awarded to any person who was taken prisoner or held captive while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing Armed Force; or while serving with friendly forces engaged in armed conflict against an opposing Armed Force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. As of an amendment to Title 10 of the United States Code in 1989, the Prisoner of War Medal is also awarded for captivity by foreign armed forces that are hostile to the United States, under circumstances which the Secretary concerned finds to have been comparable to those under which persons have generally been held captive by enemy armed forces during periods of armed conflict. The person's conduct, while in captivity, must have been honorable.
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