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OPSEC, otherwise known as Operations security, is something anyone associated with the military should take very seriously because it is everyone's responsibility to protect our nation's security.  If you are unfamiliar with OPSEC, please take a few moments to read the information below.


The following is an excerpt from an article published on Navy.mil:

"Within the Navy, the odds of making it through boot camp without hearing ‘Loose Lips Sink Ships’ are improbable. Though the slogan is old, it still embodies the basic principle of Operational Security, or OPSEC.

OPSEC is a multi-faceted concept that strives to prevent the inadvertent compromise of sensitive or classified activities, capabilities or intentions. According to Gunnery Sgt. Fred Wilson, assistant OPSEC officer and OPSEC program manager at Navy Europe Headquarters in London, OPSEC involves a relatively simple five-step process that anyone can use.

- Identify critical information. The information you have that could assist an adversary in any way.

- Analyze the threat to that information. Does an adversary have the capability to collect or use the information, and if so, how?

- Analyze the vulnerabilities. How is the critical information relayed in the course of your daily duties and how is it protected?

- Assess the risk. How likely is it that the information could be compromised?

- Develop countermeasures. What can you do to protect the information from being disclosed?

“These steps should be taken from the adversary’s perspective,” said Wilson. “In order to catch a bad guy, you have to think like one.”

Wilson explained that OPSEC requires the active participation of every servicemember, regardless of his or her rank or job. He added that the best defense is educating people through annual required training on how to protect critical information.

“It’s a combination of people knowing what information is considered sensitive and then knowing when to shut their mouth,” Wilson said."


Below is a list of explanations and rules that anyone associated with the military must be fully aware of, taken from  http://www.armymedicine.army.mil/sfrc/OPSECTrifold.pdf:

What is OPSEC?

Operations Security, or OPSEC, is keeping potential adversaries from discovering our critical information. As the name suggests, it protects our operations planned, in progress, and those completed. Success depends on secrecy and surprise, so the military can accomplish the mission faster and with less risk. Our adversaries want our information, and they don't concentrate on only Military Members to get it. They want you, the family member.

Protecting Critical Information

Even though 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 an adversary knew this detailed information, our 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.

Examples Of Critical Information

Detailed information about the mission of assigned units.
Details on locations and times of unit deployments.
Personnel transactions that occur in large numbers (Example: pay information, powers of attorney, wills, deployment information).
References to trends in unit morale or personnel problems.
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 were doing and planning. Remember, the elements of security and surprise are vital to the accomplishment of our goals and our collective personnel protection.

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 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. He or she will notify the unit OPSEC program manager.

What Can You Do?

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

Be Alert 

Foreign governments and organizations 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.

Be Careful

There may be times when your spouse cannot talk about the specifics of his or her job. It's very important to conceal and protect certain information such as flight schedules, ship movements, temporary duty (TDY) locations, and installation activities, for example. Something as simple as a phone discussion about where your spouse is deploying, or going TDY, can be very useful to our enemies. 


All Family Members Are Part Of The Military OPSEC Team. They Need To Protect Information To Ensure The Safety Of All Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, Coast Guards, Civilians, And their Families.

 You Are A Vital Player In Our Success!

 As a family member of our military community, you are a vital player in our success, and we couldn't do our job without your support. You may not know it, but you also play a crucial role in ensuring your loved one safety. You can protect your family and friends by protecting what you know of the military day-to-day operations. That's OPSEC.


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