Teaching the basics of Cultural Property Protection (CPP) was a significant task for the U.S. military during deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. To meet this challenge, the CCHAG Archaeology Awareness Playing Cards were designed to educate CENTCOM and Allied forces about the importance of respecting ancient sites and monuments and Afghan cultural heritage during military operations and post-conflict reconstruction.
Each playing card conveys a specific message, and the top of every card states “ROE first!” to remind soldiers that the military’s Rules of Engagement – strict operational rules for engaging the enemy and protecting one’s safety and health – precede all other considerations.
Each suit in the deck has a theme for its messages: diamonds for artifacts and treasures, spades for historic sites and archaeological digs, hearts for “winning hearts and minds” and clubs for heritage preservation.
The military has long recognized that educational playing cards are a good way to capitalize on the time soldiers spend waiting for orders. The CCHAG playing cards are merely the latest in long list of special-purpose playing cards that date back to World War II and earlier campaigns.
Part of the “In-Theater Heritage Training for Deploying Personnel” program, the playing cards were developed by the Fort Drum Cultural Resources Program and the Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML) at Colorado State University with support provided by the DoD Legacy Resource Management Program, which falls within falls Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment.
For information on ordering a sample set of Operation Iraqi Freedom In-Theater CPP Training Cards, please make a request via the Contact Us link at the top of this page.