From: Gen. Norman
Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command
To: U.S. Forces in Operation Desert Shield
Incl: Headquarters, 3rd Armored Division
Date: November 10, 1990
1. Statement of Military Purpose & Necessity: Operation
Desert Shield places United States Armed Forces into USCENTCOM
AOR countries where Islamic law and Arabic customs prohibit or
restrict certain activities which are generally permissible in
western societies. Restrictions upon these activities are essential
to preserving U.S. host nation relations and the combined operations
of U.S. and friendly forces.
2. Prohibited Activities:
a. Purchase, possession. use or sale of privately owned firearm,
ammunition, explosives, or the introduction of these items into
the USCENTCOM AOR.
b. Entrance into a mosque or other site of Islamic religious
significance by non-moslem's unless directed to do so by military
authorities or required by military necessity.
c. Introduction, possession, use, sale, transfer, manufacture,
or consumption of any alcoholic beverage.
d. Introduction, possession, transfer, sale, creation, or
display of any pornographic photograph, videotape, movie, drawing,
book, or magazine, or similar representations. For purposes of
this order, "pornographic" means any medium which displays
human genitalia, uncovered women's breasts or any human sexual
act. It is intended to include not only "obscene items,"
but items of "art" which display human genitalia, uncovered
women's breasts, or any human sexual act.
e. The introduction, possession, transfer, sale, creation,
or display of any sexually explicit photograph, videotape, movie,
drawing, book, or magazine. For purposes of this order, "sexually
explicit" means any medium displaying the human anatomy
in any unclothed or semi-clothed manner and which displays portions
of the human torso (i.e., the area below the neck, above the
knees and inside the shoulder). By way of example, but not limitation,
are body building magazines, swim-suit editions of periodicals,
lingerie or underwear advertisements and catalogues, as well
as visual mediums which infer but do not directly show human
genitalia, women's breasts, or human sexual acts.
f. Gambling of any kind, including sports pools, lotteries,
g. Removing, possessing, selling, defacing, destroying archeological
artifacts, or national treasures.
h. Selling, bartering or exchanging any currency other than
at the official host-nation exchange rate.
i. In the event of armed conflict, taking of war trophies.
(a) Private property cannot be confiscated. The wrongful taking
of private property, even if owned by the enemy, is a violation
of Article 121, Uniform Code of Military Justice.
(b) Enemy public property captured by U.S. Armed Forces is
the property of the United States. The wrongful retention of
such property is a violation of Article 103, Uniform Code of
(2) Limited exceptions: The following items of enemy public
property may, as a limited exception to the prohibitions above,
be retained by members of the U.S. Armed Forces as souvenirs:
(a) Items of captured enemy military clothing; e.g., hats,
shirts, belts, trousers, and insignia.
(b) Items of captured enemy individual military equipment;
e.g., helmets, load-bearing equipment, canteens, mess kits, and
ammunition pouches. Individuals are not authorized to retain
bayonets as souvenirs.
3. Punitive Order: Paragraph 2 of this General Order
is punitive. Persons subject to the Uniform Code of Military
Justice may be punished thereunder. Civilians serving with, employed
by, or accompanying the Armed Forces of the United States in
the USCENTCOM AOR may face additional adverse administrative
action for violation of this general order.
4. Individual Duty: All persons subject to this general
order are charged with the individual duty to become familiar
with and respect the laws, regulations, and customs of their
host nation insofar as they do not interfere with the execution
of their official duties. Individual acts of disrespect or flagrant
violations of host nation laws, regulations and customs may be
punished as a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Civilians serving with, employed by, or accompanying the Armed
Forces of the United States in the USCENTCOM AOR may face adverse
administrative action for violation of this general order.
5. Unit Commander Responsibility: Unit Commanders and
supervisors are charged to ensure all, repeat all, personnel
are briefed on the prohibitions and requirements of this general
order. Commanders and supervisors are expected to exercise discretion
and good judgment in enforcing this general order.
6. Confiscation of Offending Articles: Items which
are determined to violate this general order my be considered
contraband and may be confiscated if found in the USCENTCOM AOR.
Before destruction of contraband, commanders or law enforcement
personnel should coordinate with their servicing Judge Advocate.
7. Effective Date: This general order is effective
immediately, except for an alcohol amnesty period of 72 hours
granted for personnel to surrender or dispose of items which
violate this general order. Individuals or commanders may arrange
for safekeeping of personal firearms with their unit's military
law enforcement activity. Military customs and other pre-clearance
officials will enforce this general order in their inspections
of personnel and equipment prior to departure to the AOR and
return to CONUS.
8. Expiration: This general order will expire upon
the completion of Operation Desert Shield unless rescinded, waived,
9. Waiver Authority: Authority to waive or modify the
prohibitions of this order relative to personal firearms, alcoholic
beverages, sexually explicit materials and gambling is delegated
to the Chief of Staff, USCINCCENT. Designated commanding officers
(DCO) for the respective host nation AOR countries may request
waivers pursuant to this paragraph.