OpSEC

Text on this page has been reproduced from the USMC 3rd MAW web site. Click here for the original text: http://www.3maw.usmc.mil

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From Our Founder
Please Maintain Personal and Operational Security Standards in ALL Environments
Help keep you, your Marine and our military personnel safe by not sharing any personal or military information in email or in any online environment.

Online communities, including those that are "Military" by design, do NOT have a way to assure that every member has the same goal of safety and security for our Marines and military personnel. Knowledge is power; the enemy does not need to know anything other than our Military is ready to act and defend. To help keep you and our military safe, do not share information except with your family and very close friends.

Friendships will be made and maintained from the "Connect & Share" philosophy of this web site and others like it, but sharing information through email with other members and friends in this or other online communities should be discouraged. In an online environment, you do not know the person on the receiving end of your communication. Remember, if it can't be posted on this message board, it shouldn't be shared in an e-mail, it shouldn't be posted on other message boards, it shouldn't be shared in chat rooms and it shouldn't be shared in any instant message interface or any other online communication environment.

The MarineParents.com, Inc. Message Board Communities are moderated; that means every post is reviewed by a trained MarineParents.com volunteer. Our volunteers go through rigorous training to assure guidelines are followed. Anything that has potential to violate personal or operational security will be deleted and you will be notified of the change. If you are in doubt as to whether or not you should share information, please ask one of our volunteers.

Rules your Marine MUST FOLLOW to call home! Click here to read! These security measures should not be interpreted as intent to limit free speech or exercise editorial control. Freedom of speech does not include the right to endanger someone else's life or liberty. MarineParents.com is categorized as a military community and our troops are engaged. OpSEC will be followed with the strictest interpretation.

Posts requesting to share information via private email will not be approved. Please be careful what you share publicly AND privately in online environments. You have a responsibility to help keep yourself, our Marines and our military personnel safe by observing OPSEC-based guidelines and security measures in all online communities and communications.

Careless Keystrokes Can KillThere is an awareness video produced by the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and the Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations (JTFGNO) that uses the catch phrase "Careless Keystrokes Can Kill". We encourage you to watch the video for an understanding of how easily electronic communications can be intercepted by the enemy.

Thank you for sharing this philosophy with others and for your commitment to keeping our troops safe!

Tracy Della Vecchia
Founder, MarineParents.com, Inc.

Print Security Philosophy

 

Operations Security OpSEC
Photo by: Sgt. Nathan K. Laforte, USMC
View PDF of original article:
USMC OpSEC PDF File.

As a family member of the military community, you are a vital player in our success and we could not do our job without your support. You may not know it, but you also play a crucial role in ensuring your loved ones' safety just by what you know of the military's day-to-day operations. You can protect your loved ones by protecting the information that you know. This is known in the military as, "Operational Security", or OPSEC.

What is OPSEC?
OPSEC is keeping potential adversaries from discovering critical Department Of Defense information. As the name suggests, it protects US operations - planned, in progress and those completed. Success depends on secrecy and surprise, so the military can accomplish the mission more quickly and with less risk. Enemies of freedom want this information, and they are not just after the military member to get it. They want you, the family member.

Unofficial Websites
The posting of pictures and information that is pertinent to your loved ones military unit to personal or family websites has the potential to jeopardize their safety and that of the entire unit. Coordinate with your unit's Family Readiness Officer and have pictures screened and posted to the "Official" Key Volunteer website. This will ensure that you contribute to OPSEC and keep the force safe.

What Information Is Sensitive?

Examples of Critical Information
The following examples may help you in defining parameters for your communications. It is important to remember that there are many more examples than those listed below:

  1. Detailed information about the mission of assigned units.
  2. Details concerning locations and times of unit deployments.
  3. Personnel transactions that occur in large numbers (e.g., pay information, power of attorney, wills or deployment information).
  4. References to trend in unit morale or personnel problems.
  5. Details concerning security procedures.

Puzzle Pieces
These bits of information may seem insignificant. However, to a trained adversary, they are small pieces of a puzzle that highlight what US forces are doing and planning. Remember, the elements of security and surprise are vital to the accomplishment of US goals and collective DOD personnel protection.

Where and how you discuss this information is just as important as with whom you discuss it. An adversary's 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 cellular phones and even baby monitors using inexpensive receivers available from local electronics stores.

If anyone, especially a foreign national, persistently seeks information, notify your military sponsor immediately.

What Can You Do?
There are many countries and organizations that would like to harm Americans and degrade US influence in the world. It is possible and not unprecedented for spouses and family members of US military personnel to be targeted for intelligence collection. This is true in the United States, and especially true overseas! What can you do?

  1. Be Alert
    Foreign Governments and organizations can collect significant amounts of useful information by using spies. A foreign agent may use a variety of approaches to befriend someone and get sensitive information. This sensitive information can be critical to the success of a terrorist or spy, and consequently deadly to Americans.

     

  2. Be Careful
    There may be times when your spouse cannot talk about the specifics of his or her job. It is very important to conceal and protect certain information such as flight schedules, ship movements, temporary duty locations and installation activities, just to name a few. Something as simple as a phone discussion concerning where your spouse is going on temporary duty or deploying to can be very useful to US adversaries.

     

  3. Protecting Critical Information
    Even though this information may not be secret, it is what the Department of Defense calls "critical information." Critical information deals with specific facts about military intentions, capabilities, operations or activities. If an adversary knew this detailed information, US mission accomplishment and personnel safety could be jeopardized. It must be protected to ensure an adversary doesn't gain a significant advantage. By being a member of the military family, you will often know some bits of critical information. Do not discuss them outside of your immediate family and especially not over the telephone.

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