Image of the Air Force wings with the museum name underneath

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
FREE Admission & Parking

To the American Soldier in France

Note: This item is currently in storage.


Intelligence gathering by the enemy was a serious concern for Allied leadership during World War I. Correspondence was particularly bothersome, as seemingly harmless details regarding troop locations and movements could easily be gleaned from well-meaning letters home. As such, troops were issued a set of very detailed instructions regarding what was allowed and prohibited in letters, packages and photographs. Soldiers were also admonished not to talk too much, and never to offer unsolicited information. “Any stranger, man, woman, or child, even a man in an American or allied uniform, may be a spy.” On the subject of women, soldiers were specifically told, “… never tell anything of a confidential nature to a woman, as women are the most successful of enemy spies.” On the subject of being captured by enemy forces, the instructions only offer this advice: “Don’t remember any more than you can help. Try particularly to forget organizations and places in which they are stationed.”


”To the American Soldier in France” was issued in 1917 through the Adjutant General of the American Expeditionary Forces, Robert C. Davis, by the command of Gen. Pershing.

Click here to return to the Featured World War I Artifacts index.