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[A primer for the personal conduct of U.S. Troops,
including restrictions of Islamic Law and Arabic customs]


From: Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf
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, and raffles.

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.

(1) Prohibition:

(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 Military Justice.

(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, or modified.

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.


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