Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wherein I tell you about OPSEC

OPSEC is military for Operational Security.You know, "Loose Lips Sink Ships." It's a big thing. It's not something to play with, joke about or risk people's lives for. Being a military wife, OPSEC gets drilled into you. Spouse meetings (aka FRG) where confidential information is passed is not something we take lightly. Ports of call, dates, missions are NOT talked about in the grocery store. You never know who is listening.

Tonight, this news story about a wife who learned of her husband's death through text message came across my Facebook feed. It broke my heart. There are protocols and rules in place to prevent these kind of things. An Army notification team was en route to tell this woman her husband had been killed in action. These teams are trained for this notification. A text message or Facebook post is NOT the way you would want to find out about a loved one's death.

I think the biggest problem with the article is how spouses are blamed. Not all military spouses disregard OPSEC rules. There are serious consequences for breaking these rules. An example, told many times over in the Navy world, happened years ago at King's Bay, Georgia: Two women were in the grocery store discussing a boat's movements. When the boat would be pulling in, how long they'd been gone, etc. So, as all the wives were standing on the pier waiting for their loved ones to finish pulling in, the boat turned around and went back out to sea. Those two women in the grocery store happened to be in line in front of an admiral/captain/big kahuna on base. So, instead of letting the boat pull in as scheduled, they left again.You never know who is listening in on your conversation.

Social media being as big a part of our lives as it is, makes OPSEC that much more important. You may think that one little tweet or Facebook post is in code. But, the other 20 people who also post in code have now given our enemies enough information to know exactly what is happening. Codes can be broken. Codes were made to be broken. I don't tell my parents when EM will be going or coming back. AFTER he's left, I let them know. AFTER he's back, I let them know. Risking his safety, and the safety of everyone else on board isn't worth leaking confidential information. There's a reason it's confidential.


Just follow OPSEC, y'all. It will make things SO much easier. It's really NOT that hard.


  1. Oh my god... how awful! I can't even imagine. Ugh. I just... no words. 

  2.  Yeah, this topic really gets me going. Some people just don't have common sense.

  3. That is so heartbreaking.  It's too bad some people "know better" than everyone else.