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Gold Star Family Day: September 25, 2016
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.
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:
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?