Teaching the basics of Cultural Property Protection (CPP) was a significant challenge for the U.S. military during Operation Iraqi FreedomOperation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Exercise Bright Star in Egypt. Since DoD has long recognized that educational playing cards are a good way to capitalize on the time soldiers spend waiting for orders, playing cards proved ideal for this type of instruction.

“The playing cards are inspired, and I want to show them to my family and friends. I was in the Army years ago. This is great.”

— George Dancigers
Virginia Beach, VA
US Army Reserve, 1971-1980

The Heritage Resource Preservation Playing Cards were designed to educate U.S. military personnel about the importance of respecting ancient sites and monuments and preserving host nation cultural heritage during military operations and post-conflict reconstruction. A three unique sets of playing cards were created for personnel serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt.

Each playing card conveys a specific message, and each suit in the deck has a theme: diamonds for artifacts and treasures; spades for historic sites and archaeological digs; hearts for “winning hearts and minds”; and clubs for heritage preservation. Click the images below to view the messages on individual playing cards.

To request a sample deck of cards, please provide your name, email address and U.S. mailing address using “Contact Us”.

Heritage Resource Preservation Playing Cards for Exercise Bright Star 2009

Heritage Resource Preservation Playing Cards for Operation Enduring Freedom

Heritage Resource Preservation Playing Cards for Operation Iraqi Freedom

The Heritage Resource Preservation Playing Cards were developed as part of the “In-Theater Heritage Training for Deploying Personnel” program by the Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML) at Colorado State University and the Fort Drum Cultural Resources Program, with support provided by the DoD Legacy Resource Management Program at the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment. On November 7, 2007, the “In-Theater Heritage Training for Deploying Personnel” program received the Chairman’s Award from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, an independent federal agency that promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of historic resources in the United States and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy.