OPSEC: Operations Security - for those in the military and the family that loves them, OPSEC can make the difference between a homecoming as scheduled vs. a delayed return, port visits vs. stuck turning circles in the big pond, secure exercises vs. compromised security. And this is one way that spouses, significant others and family members can actually take an active role in helping our troops.
Many of us have seen the clever OPSEC poem in Dr. Seuss rhyme:
I am Sam. Sam I am.
Do you like OPSEC and ham?
I do not get it, Sam I am.
I do not get OPSEC and ham.
We must use it here and there.
We must use it everywhere.
You CAN share it in a car.
But you CANNOT in a bar.
You CANNOT share it in a text.
You CANNOT share it at the NEX.
You CAN say it in your house.
But should NOT tell a random spouse.
You CAN say it in the shower.
But do NOT go sharing at happy hour.
DON'T make the Ombudsman sweat.
DON'T post it on the internet.
You CANNOT share it in a tweet.
That would not be very sweet.
Beware of Facebook and Myspace too.
It's tempting to let your feelings through.
You cannot tell it to a friend.
NOT even at the very end.
It is a privilege to know a date.
DON'T tell ANYONE or they may be late!
Oh, I get it, Sam I am!
Now I get OPSEC and ham!
I will not tell anyone. I will keep hushed until they're done!
I will not tell him or her. I will not tell my dog with fur.
I will not tell my child's teacher. I will not tell any creature.
Thank you, THANK YOU, Sam I am.
Thank you for clearing up OPSEC and Ham!!!
While social media has made communication with family and friends much easier, it has also created potential for serious OPSEC violations. Too many times, we've received reminder emails from our Ombudsman or FRG President admonishing us for an OPSEC violation. Some spouse will put a status or tweet that her "sweetie comes home in 23 more days!" Or something equally as innocent - to the girlfriend or wife who posted it. Unfortunately to our enemies, it's an opportunity.
In fact, according to Foxnews.com,
"The Taliban is using fake Facebook profiles of cute girls in an attempt to befriend soldiers with the intent of gathering information about operations, the Sunday Telegraph reports.
Australian and coalition troops are being targeted by Taliban insurgents posing as "attractive women" on Facebook, according to the paper, and now troops are being warned about the potential danger."
I know that several FRGs have been posting friendly reminders on Facebook and Twitter, but, please, EVERYONE, keep OPSEC in the forefront of your mind. Remind well-meaning extended family members that details cannot be given out, schedules are secret, and loose lips DO sink ships. Let's all pitch in and do our best to help keep our soldiers, sailors, airmen, coasties and marines safe.