Washington, Nov.22 : Over the next five months, the U.S. Army is preparing to reinforce troop morale in Afghanistan with "Entertainment from the Home Front," a string of touring entertainers and athletes that will include World Wrestling Entertainment Divas, National Football League cheerleaders and players, NASCAR drivers, and professional rodeo participants.
According to the Washington Post, the program calls for 10 tour groups to travel separately to Afghanistan for 10-day periods.
The request for entertainment has been made by the U.S. Army Europe that seeks "professional and reputable tour promoters to provide the type of entertainment services required."
Military leaders have long recognized the necessity of bringing a piece of home to their troops to relax them and take their minds off the trauma of conflict.
The list of entertainers they are now seeking, which they hope will reflect what the troops watch on TV, and the meticulous attention to detail offer a unique window on the broad diversity in the 21st-century Army and the venue in which it is fighting.
Outside the bases where they will perform, the entertainers will face the same constraints the troops live with. For example, as a nod to cultural sensibilities in Afghanistan, where insurgent attacks have increased as much as 30 percent this year, the entertainers are being asked to observe dress codes that will not offend the local population.
Furthermore, before the trip, "pre-approved autograph cards" with photographs must be supplied to make sure they are "acceptable by persons of alternate religions and faiths as not to offend the host nation population."
Standards of good taste are listed in the solicitation almost as commandments:
"An acknowledged deity will not be referred to in a manner that would offend a follower of any religious faith.
"Profanity, vulgarity, or connotations of sexual depravity and perversion will not be used.
"Military, racial, religious, or national groups will not be defamed, and individual deformities will not be ridiculed."