US Army Course – IT0601 – Interrogation Course – Questioning Techniques

The value of spot reportable information depends on the speed which it is processed. If an interrogator obtains information he thinks is spot reportable, he must compare the information with his element’s overall objective statement. Information relating to any intelligence indicators listed in the objective statement are spot reportable. Information relating to indicators not listed may still be spot reportable. The key to identifying spot reportable information is recognizing its potential value. If the information indicates a significant change in enemy capability or intent, it is spot reportable.

Information inconsistent with current order of battle (OB) holdings should be spot reported if the inconsistency concerns an important item, and the EPW/detainee has given a plausible explanation for the inconsistency. If the interrogator cannot decide whether or not a piece of information is spot reportable, he should act as though it is. This means he should fully exploit it and record all pertinent information. The interrogator should then consult with the senior interrogator for a final determination of the information’s value.

Spot reportable information is reported orally or written, using the SALUTE format (see figure 1-1).


Leads are signs which alert the interrogator the EPW/detainee has additional pertinent information that can be obtained through further questioning. Leads are provided by the EPW/detainee in response to questions. There are two types of leads – “hot” and “cold.” A “hot” lead, when fully exploited, may contain spot reportable information. A “cold” lead, when fully developed, may contain no spot reportable information but is of intelligence value. The use of follow -up questions to fully exploit “hot” and “cold” leads may require the interrogator to cover topics he did not list in his interrogation plan. The interrogator must exploit “hot” leads as soon as he identifies them. Once the interrogator is sure he has obtained and recorded all details known to the EPW/detainee, he issues a spot report. The interrogator then resumes his EPW/detainee questioning at the point where the “hot” lead was obtained. The interrogator should note “cold” leads, as they are obtained, on his lead sheet and exploit those leads during his questioning on the topics which the “cold” leads apply. “Cold” leads may expand the interrogation scope as they may indicate the EPW/detainee possesses pertinent information in areas not previously selected for questioning.

If the interrogator does not fully exploit all “cold” leads obtained, he must include information on all leads he did not exploit in his interrogation report.


Hearsay is unverified, unofficial information gained or acquired from another person. When reported, it must include the most precise information possible of its source. This will include the name, duty position, and full unit designation of the person who provided the information, and the date time group when the EPW/detainee obtained the information.


The interrogator should begin questioning with the first topic tentatively established as part of his interrogation plan. Normally, the first questioning topic should be concerned with determining the most recent EPW/detainee duties. This information will give the interrogator an important clue to general EPW/detainee knowledge, and can provide a transition to the next question.

Clues obtained from EPW/detainee duties will help determine the EPW/detainee’s mission prior to capture. This information will also aid the interrogator in determining missions of the EPW/detainee’s agency or unit, and those of related units.

The EPW/detainee will be most familiar with his own unit’s activities, locations, installations, or troop dispositions, and other units within his area of operation. He is best qualified to speak about activities which he was personally engaged in or observed.

The EPW/detainee may be able to provide additional information about adjacent areas. This will enable the intelligence officer or using agency to draw conclusions concerning other sectors of the enemy front.

Everything the EPW/detainee contributes to the overall situation should be reported. This includes supporting unit’s locations, deployments, activities, and information regarding area installations and weapons. It also includes all commander’s names and other persons known to the EPW/detainee.

The EPW/detainee may have observed items of intelligence interest while moving in or through other areas. Ask questions on these points. If the EPW/detainee has recently been in rear areas, he may have information concerning reserve units, artillery positions, higher headquarters locations, supply installations and routes, preparations for defense in depth, and other related data.

The interrogator obtains all the EPW/detainee’s pertinent knowledge in the topical area before moving on to the next topic. The interrogator should maintain established questioning sequence to ensure no topics are missed during questioning.


As the final questioning step, the interrogator should obtain any additional conclusions, statements, observations, or evaluations, especially from a knowledgeable EPW/detainee. Officer EPW or informed noncommissioned officers and civilian sources, who may be qualified, should be thoroughly questioned as to their conclusions, opinions, and evaluations. Their conclusions may be as important as factual information. When the interrogator receives such information, he must further obtain facts on which the EPW/detainee based his conclusions and/or evaluations.



TO:    G2,X Corps    DATE: 230950ZAug93 j

FM:    Team 1,1 PW Section    REPORT NUMBER: 08-0175

231st Ml Bn (CEWI), 23d Inf Div (MECH)

1.    (U) SIZE/WHO: Company-size tank unit.

2.    (U) ACTIVITY/WHAT: Reconnoiter and secure river-crossing sites (number


3.    (U) LOCATION/WHERE: West bank of FULDA river, southwest of BEBRA

(NB 5547). Exact location unknown.

4.    (U) UNIT/WHO; Amphibious Tank Co/Recon bn/56th MRD.

5.    (U) TIME/WHEN: Mission to be completed no later than 232330ZAug98.

6.    (U) EQUIPMENT/HOW: Using assigned weapons and equipment.

7.    (U) REMARKS:

a.    (U) SOURCE: EPW assigned interrogation serial number US-AR-2235-1.

b.    (U) MAP DATA: GERMANY, 1:50,000, EISENACH-HUNFELD, 87-242.

c.    (U) H/S, JrSgt PETRENKO, Squad leader, Amphibious Tank Co/ Recon

Co/56th MRD, 222230ZAug98.

__________ «>*CIASS!F!EC)___

Figure 1-1. Spot (SALUTE) Report


The following items will test your grasp of the material covered in this lesson. There is only one correct answer for each item. When you have completed the exercise, check your answers with the answer key that follows. If you answer any item incorrectly, study again that part of the lesson which contains the portion involved.

1.    Spot reportable information is reported-

A.    Through complete EPW/detainee exploitation.

B.    By following up a “cold” lead.

C.    When OB holdings are inconsistent.

D.    Orally or written.

2.    When the interrogator casually asks the EPW/detainee how his family is doing, this is an example of what type of question?

A.    Direct.

B.    Repeated.

C.    Follow-up.

D.    Nonpertinent.

3.    Generally, the questioning phase commences when the EPW/detainee-

A.    Responds to your approach.

B.    Requests political asylum.

C.    Begins to answer specific questions.

D.    Recognizes a significant topic.

4.    Two types of questions the interrogator should not use are

A.    Direct and nonpertinent.

B.    Repeated and prepared.

C.    Compound and negative.

D.    Follow-up and control.

5. The direct questioning technique uses-

A.    Ambiguous questions so the EPW/detainee does not realize he is being interrogated.

B.    Follow-up questions for complete information.

C.    Questions where the EPW/detainee can answer “yes” or “no.”

D.    Recording devices to ensure nothing is missed.

PRACTICE EXERCISE Answer Key and Feedback

Item    Correct Answer and Feedback

1.D.Orally or written (page 1-9).
2.D.Nonpertinent (page 1-5).
3.C.Begins to answer specific questions (page 1-1).
4.C.Compound and negative (page 1-8).
5.B.Follow-up questions for complete information (page 1-3)



This lesson will enable you to define and discuss the fundamentals of map tracking. TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVE

ACTION:    To extract valuable EPW/detainee information by tracing movements and

observations prior to capture.

CONDITION:    Interrogator must be proficient in all aspects of map reading to obtain accurate and

detailed EPW/detainee information.

STANDARD:    To lead the EPW/detainee through his memory, in a logical manner, to obtain

locations of enemy dispositions the EPW/ detainee had knowledge of within 72 hours of his capture.

REFERENCE:    The material contained in this lesson was derived from the following publication:

FM 34-52


Every interrogator must be very proficient in all aspects of map reading. Maps are used extensively in all interrogations, and are extremely valuable tools for obtaining accurate and detailed EPW/detainee information.

Map tracking is a critical facet of map reading skills, in that it provides a means to extract valuable EPW/detainee information by tracing movements and observations prior to capture. This enables the interrogator to guide the EPW/detainee, using the map, to a common recognition point for the EPW/detainee and the interrogator. This gives a beginning point from which to work when tracking the EPW/detainee’s route to his point of capture (POC) or the original departure point.

A military area map, which includes the EPW/detainee’s POC, is a prerequisite for a thorough interrogation. The required map(s) should be obtained prior to the interrogation. For interrogation purposes, large-scale maps are the best, and should be of the same scale as those used by supported intelligence sections.

POC coordinates assist the interrogator in plotting the exact POC on the map, and will aid the EPW/detainee to recall area terrain features. The POC is plotted using a six-digit coordinate.

From the captive tag that accompanies the EPW/detainee (prepared by the capturing unit), or as the result of questioning a guard or escort, the interrogator can usually obtain information on the EPW/detainee’s time, place, circumstances of capture (COC), and the capturing unit.

The first map tracking step is when the interrogator and EPW/detainee become familiar with a ground location which can become a common reference point (CRP) which to begin map tracking.

Important map tracking procedures are–

★    Keeping the EPW/detainee’s attention.

★    Taking copious notes as you track the EPW/detainee’s route(s).


The interrogator asks the EPW/detainee if he can read the interrogator’s map. If he can, the EPW/detainee is asked to point out route locations and pertinent dispositions.

If the EPW/detainee appears unfamiliar with thee map’s features, orient him to the map by explaining the symbols, colors, grids and other features. If the EPW/detainee is able to locate his pOc after this orientation and is able to read the map, this makes the interrogator’s job easier and some map tracking steps may be omitted.

Ask the EPW/detainee to show the route traveled and locate appropriate dispositions on the map. Label these dispositions in the same manner as when map tracking.

After you have determined whether or not the EPW/detainee can read a map, what happens next? Map tracking is based on the concept that the interrogator is completely oriented to his map in relation to terrain and the area in question. The interrogation can, through word and idea association, guide the EPW/detainee through various terrain features which he recently traveled without the EPW/detainee being able to read a map.

If the EPW/detainee cannot read the interrogation’s map he must be asked if he knows compass directions.

If the EPW/detainee says “no,” you must depend on other elicited information to map track. This means you will have to guide the EPW/detainee very carefully to determine his exact route.

If the EPW/detainee says “yes,” verify whether or not this is true. Ask, for example, “if you are facing the rising sun, what compass direction would be on your right?” If he answers “south,” you can expect compass directions he gives to be accurate. If the EPW/detainee gives any other answer, the interrogator must rely upon other means to determine compass directions, for example, left or right instead of north or south.

The interrogator may find the EPW/detainee is most confident when expressing himself in terms other than compass directions. When this occurs, the interrogator should allow the EPW/detainee to use his own reference frames. However, the interrogator must ensure he understands the EPW/detainee.

The basic idea is if the EPW/detainee cannot read a map, he cannot point out dispositions. The dispositions must be obtained by guiding the EPW/ detainee.


The first location the interrogator should try to establish as the ICRP is the EPW/detainee’s POC. Once this has been established and plotted, the next step is to tell the EPW/detainee to describe the POC area. This aids in pin-pointing the EPW/detainee’s POC.

The POC cannot be used, however, unless the EPW/detainee can describe it well enough for the interrogator to be certain of its location. If the POC cannot be used, the interrogator must review previously mentioned locations and ask the EPW/detainee to describe each of them in turn. Once the EPW/detainee describes a location well enough for the interrogator to be certain of its map position, an ICRP has been established. The interrogator then marks that position.


The interrogator must review the EPW/detainee’s past missions to identify those points he actually visited. The interrogator must also determine how long ago the EPW/detainee was at each point, and approximately how far each point is from the ICRP. The interrogator wants to select as the DCRP that point visited by the EPW/detainee which provides the longest travel route to the ICRP, and is still within the supported command’s area of interest. The DCRP selected must be a location the EPW/detainee can describe well enough for it to be plotted on the map, even if it is nothing more than a general vicinity. The DCRP can also be obtained by using, as a general rule, a location furthest back in time, then distance, and, if necessary, highest in echelon. This will generally permit the interrogator to find the longest route.


The interrogator must establish the route the EPW/detainee traveled between the DCRP and ICRP. When the DCRP is a specific, identifiable point, the interrogator can establish the route from it to the ICRP, tracing the route in the same direction which the EPW/detainee actually traveled. When the DCRP is an undefined point, the interrogator must establish the route from the ICRP to the DCRP. This means the interrogator must trace the route in the opposite direction from that traveled by the EPW/detainee. The interrogator should establish the route traveled by using procedures in the sequence below–

★    Obtain EPW/detainee’s travel direction when leaving the ICRP.

★    Obtain surface description on which the EPW/detainee traveled.

★    Obtain distance EPW/detainee traveled in this direction.

★    Obtain prominent terrain feature(s) description(s) EPW/detainee remembers after traveling in this direction for the distance given.

NOTE: The above four items establishes a CRP.

★    Repeat questions and plot responses until entire route between ICRP and DCRP has been plotted.

The interrogator can follow the same sequence when establishing route actually traveled by the EPW/detainee by beginning with the DCRP.


The interrogator must obtain the exact location and description of each enemy disposition the EPW/detainee knew about at the DCRP. The interrogator does this by having the EPW/detainee–

★    Identify and describe all items of military significance belonging to his forces which are located at the DCRP, for example, command post (CP), minefield, or deployment.

★    Provide full unit designation (FUD) of enemy units to which these military items belong.

★    Describe all defense/security measures which are located at or near the DCRP.

★    Identify EPW/detainee’s information source, for example, personal observation.

★    Explain the last time EPW/detainee was there, or had information about the disposition in question, for example, date of information (DOL) or hearsay, if appropriate.

As other map positions are located, label them in the same manner.

If the EPW/detainee relates hearsay information concerning locations, record this information on the map the same way as before. Record the following information regarding the person from whom the EPW/detainee received the information–

★    Name (rank).

★    Duty position.

★    Person’s FUD.

★    DOI.

★    Additionally, question the EPW/detainee as to when this person providing him this hearsay information actually saw the location/activity.


The interrogator begins exploiting the route with the segment closest to the ICRP or DCRP. The preferred way is the segment closest to the DCRP. but either can be used. Route segments are from the DCRP, to CRP, CRP to CRP, and CRP to ICRP. The interrogator asks the EPW/detainee: “From this point to this point (CRP), what of military significance belonging to your forces did you see, hear, or know of?” If there is no information, go to the next segment. The interrogator uses the same procedure he used to exploit the DCRP to ensure he fully exploits all dispositions found along each segment, for example, activity, security measures, DOI, collocated unit(s). If no disposition is found, go to the next segment. These steps are repeated until all route segments have been exploited.

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