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In a mobile ad hoc network (MANET) for military or emergency applications, it is required to give priority to certain messages or message sources. In this paper, mechanisms are considered for implementing priority treatment of packets in a MANET using the DSR ad hoc network multihop routing protocol based on modifying an IEEE 802.11 MAC layer operating in the distributed mode. The mechanisms include queuing in order of priority and several methods for giving higher priority messages an advantage in contending for channel access. Simulation results are given for OPNET models of these schemes.