OPSEC: What You Need To Know

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What to Know About OPSEC


I have been seeing many posts lately about OPSEC. What I am seeing is that there are still many people who, maybe unknowingly, are violating it. This got me thinking, maybe there are still some who don’t know what OPSEC is. This is OPSEC, and this is what you need to know.

Operations Security (OPSEC) is keeping potential threats from discovering critical information. It is all in the name really. OPSEC applies to planned, in progress or completed operations. It is critical to keep secrecy and surprise so we can complete missions with success and minimal risk.

You may not think that telling your friends and family members that your spouse is deploying to Afghanistan on March 5th is doing anyone any harm. Because terrorists don’t read your Facebook, right? Wrong! Our country has a large number of enemies, some frienemies even. They scour the internet, even your phones for information. It is never safe to give critical information to anyone. Information can even be picked up through your baby monitors. Yes, that is right, your baby monitor. Think this is way out of the realm of possibility? Think again! So, how does our government know we are being spied on in this manner? Well, you could apply the old saying. “Takes one to know one!”

So what exactly is critical information?
  • Any detail about the mission of your family members command.
  • Any detail about times and locations of your family members unit.
  • Any detail about security procedures.

You may think it is OK to say, “I didn’t say what command they were with.” Again, this poses a problem when you are friends with your husbands command on your Facebook. You are involved with support websites that are for a specific region.  Or maybe you have stated what command your family member is a part of in the past.

National Security is at Stake

Remember that OPSEC is vital to us all, military or not. Supporting our soldiers means protecting them at all costs. So if you see someone you know giving out information that violates OPSEC, please do the right thing and ask them politely to stop immediately. Being cautious for the sake of saving lives is the easiest job you could ever have.

If someone is bugging you constantly for information with things that fall under OPSEC, tell your military member immediately. Your military family member will notify the powers that be.  This does not include impatient and worried family members. The best thing to say to those people is, your not exactly sure. Example: Mom, “When is your husband coming home?” Me, “No time soon!” They get irritated, but they get over it.

***NOTE: OPSEC applies to EVERY branch of service, including reserves!

Visit here to learn all you have ever wanted to know about OPSEC from the Department of Defense.


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