Friday, October 8, 2010

The Enemy is listening..

Today I'm revisiting a topic I am very passionate about, one that I feel noone takes as serious as they should. I posted about this shortly after starting my blog, but I'm deleting that post and going into more detail. I have studied OPSEC since the day I became a Navy wife. I have read so many Official postings on OPSEC and have been to a briefing on it as well. So, With all things considered.. I would consider myself to be well educated when it comes to OPSEC. I will do a PERSEC post another day.. betcha I scare a few of you with it too. I have scared a few friends when I talk about it. ;)

First off, What is OPSEC?
OPSEC means Operational Security. OPSEC is the process of denying potential adversaries any information about capabilities and/or intentions by identifying, controlling, and protecting generally unclassified evidence of the planning and execution of sensitive activities.

Something Everyone should understand-
Although some information may not be secret, it can be what we call “critical information.” Critical information deals with specific facts about military intentions, capabilities, operations or activities. If the Enemy knew detailed information, the service member's mission accomplishment and personnel safety could be jeopardized. By being a member of the military family, YOU will often know some bits of critical information. Do Not discuss them in public and with persons who are not immediate family or affiliated with the military- Only people you trust and who practice OPSEC.

• Where and how you discuss this information is just as important as with whom you discuss it. Adverse agents tasked with collecting information frequently visit some of the same stores, clubs, recreational areas, or places of worship as you do.

• Determined individuals can easily collect data from cordless and cell phones, and even baby monitors, using inexpensive receivers available from local electronics stores.

Some information you may think is insignificant, However.. Paired with someone else's "Insignificant" information, it can be puzzled together and the full picture put together. Puzzle pieces ARE a violation of OPSEC.

What not to talk or post about:
  • Do not post deployment dates or redeployment dates.
  • Do not post Training dates such as Ship Underways
  • Do not post homecoming dates- this includes training/ underway homecomings
  • Do not Post R&R dates- Arrival or Departure.
  • Do not discuss Locations, Keep it on a "Country" basis Such as Afghanistan. Navy Ladies, Don't discuss what country the ships are porting in at all.
  • Do not discuss convoy routes (“we traveled through XYZ on our way to ZXY”) 
  • Do not discuss detailed information on the mission, capabilities or morale of a unit  or command.
  • Do not discuss details concerning security procedures, response times, tactics
  • Do not discuss equipment or lack there of.
  • Do not talk about or speculate about future operations or movements. This would include a ship changing ports Stateside. (i.e. a specific carrier moving from Norfolk to Mayport)
  • Do not post countdowns or time frames, same for count-ups. Counting down is giving the exact date. Counting up from the day he left is a puzzle piece. While you may not be giving exact information, Put with someone eles's percentage or estimate.. you give it away.
  • Do not post pictures of your SO with obvious landmarks that can give away his or her location. 
  • Do not pass on Rumors.. (i.e. "I heard the dates changed")
  • Do not post percentages- Some feel this is ok, but it is also a puzzle piece. If you pair it with someone else's puzzle piece/ Violation- it can be figured out. You post that you are 50% done.. and someone posts he's been gone 90 days.. You then have a date/ timeframe.
I think you get the idea. 

If you refuse to follow these guidelines, you are putting YOUR service member at great risk. Not only are you putting yours in greater danger- You are putting every service member in their unit/ command/ ship.. etc at risk.

By not following these rules you are potentially getting your service member in trouble. I know a few ladies who got there husband put on restriction and stripped of their crow (they lost rank) because they couldn't wouldn't adhere to OPSEC. I have also met a girl on Myspace who refused to listen to numerous people when they told her not to post dates of her boyfriend's deployment. By not listening, she caused his group's deployment to be extended by a few months.

Remember, no matter your affiliation, status, rank or age- you have a part in the security of your loved one!


  1. Thank you for posting this! I know way too many people, who do a lot of these and it just irritates the hell out of me, I always thought to myself when people were saying oh its ok im counting up not down, well if you stated hed be gone about a year or six months and it gets to 360 days or 110 days hello...people can tell its getting close. I have had ladies here, tell the exact dates of them leaving and coming home as well as while they are in transit....I guess what seems like common sense to some, doesnt to others.

  2. I love this post! I am so passionate about OPSEC as well. Some of my friends roll their eyes and call me paranoid when I'm being vague about my husband's career. I've gotten so used to practicing OPSEC that it's almost fun being mysterious.

    And I'm so glad you're going to do a post about PERCEC too. It's so important for everyone, not just mil spouses. You never know who's reading your blog, and quite frankly, people don't always know their FB "friends." I never say where I am or what I'm doing, and I usually don't post anything about going on vacation until after I've returned home.

    Great post girl!!

  3. I absolutely LOVED this!
    I know your post on PERSEC will be an eye opener as well. I know I don't do the best job at this with my blog b/c a friend practically found my house from details (puzzle pieces) on my blog!

  4. After talking to you MANY MANY times about this, my philosophy now is "just don't say anything".

    When people ask when he's coming
    home "winter", how long has he been gone "since august"... Thanks to you my iffy posts have all been deleted or re-worded.

    I would hate to get my husband in trouble and I would HATE if something I said got people killed. I don't know if people don't care, I think it's a lack of knowledge on the subject. I just don't think enough people know about OPSEC or they don't understand it.

  5. You know how I feel about OPSEC too. Thank you for posting this. I couldn't have said it better myself.

  6. Oh I am so glad that you posted this! :) yaya. I love reading and re-reading about OSPEC.

    I am excited to read about PERSEC as well! Thanks for being awesome!

  7. This was such a great post! My husband is in the navy and though I know OPSEC I learned a lot from this and also confirmed my suspicion that not very many people follow it the way it needs to be. I just started blogging but I feel like this is an important topic to blog about for fellow military spouses as well as civies to know! Thank you for being educated on the topic, sharing your knowledge, and caring so much about protecting our protectors.