MCRP 3-02E Terrorism
The Individual's Guide for Understanding and Surviving
A key businessman. Since many U.S. civilian firms operate overseas, certain U.S. businessmen are high on the terrorist's lists, especially for kidnapping for ransom.
3 Identification by Recognition as American
4 The best way to keep from being selected as a target is not to say, do, wear, use, display, or drive 5 anything that will help the terrorists identify you as an American.
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Uniforms. Wearing uniforms; e.g., greens, blues, etc., will identify you as an American. When a uniform is required at work, by all means wear it with pride. But when driving to and from work, wear civilian clothes. Take a few minutes to change. If you must wear a uniform while traveling, at least remove your cover.
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License Plates. In many overseas countries, Americans are issued different-colored license plates than the locals, or are given certain number or letter indicators. Get and use local plates.
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Dress. The way we dress sets us apart from the locals, especially when we wear loud clothes and T-shirts with civilian and military slogans written on them. Wear what the locals wear.
Speech. The way we talk gives us away, even if we speak the language. This is hard to counter unless you do not talk. Avoid using military terminology and American slang.
Customs and Habits. Even if American physically blend in with the locals, our customs and habits give us away. Adopt local customs and habits.
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Personal Behavior. Some of our behavior, which is accepted here in the U.S., is not well-received in many overseas countries. Many Americans when overseas have the tendency to be loud and obnoxious. Do not be the "ugly American." Do not draw attention to yourself. Keep a low profile. Try to blend in as much as possible. Also, leave your ethnocentrism scale at home. This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, mistakes Americans make overseas.
Tattoos. If you have tattoos with military or civilian slogans or logos, wear a long-sleeved shirt to cover them up when you go out.
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Displaying the Flag. Anyone displaying an American flag, especially overseas in a high-risk area, will have no trouble being identified. There is nothing wrong with being patriotic, but do not advertise it, especially in a high-risk area.
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Nationality Indicators. it is not wise to go around advertising your nationality by displaying decals or logos on your vehicles, clothes, or in front of your home or place of employment, especially in a high-risk area. Do not display or wear anything that identifies your nationality. Nobody really cares what nationality you are except a terrorist.