The MOST IMPORTANT topic you will ever need to be aware of concerning the military is OPSEC. And, as a spouse, you usually are not told what it even is, let alone why it’s SO important.
The military gives your spouse or loved one the responsibility of keeping you informed on this topic. And we all know that sometimes things can get lost in the shuffle.
These guidelines may not be communicated to the spouse or loved ones, or if they are, many choose not to follow it or don’t see it’s importance.
That is dangerous.
This can literally save lives. Being briefed on this subject will protect you, your loved one, and potentially even entire operations!
What is OPSEC?
OPSEC stands for Operation Security. It is a process used to keep potential enemies from learning information that could put our military members at risk.
OPSEC has been put in place to protect military members, families, operations, and information.
Ever heard the phrase “loose lips sink ships”? It was coined in World War Two as a reminder of the importance in keeping some things quiet – deployments, operations, base activity, and more.
Why should I care?
When anyone posts something online, it’s out there forever. We know this.
Which means that we are always cautious of posting things like our home address, passwords, ssn, credit card info, etc.
Some of the main reasons are to avoid things like identity theft, stolen credit card info, unwanted mail or even people showing up to our home.
This makes sense. So it should also make sense that specific military information shouldn’t be shared either.
And you as the spouse/S.O./family member/whoever should be aware of what is ok to share, and what isn’t, because it can put your loved ones life or job in danger.
What is ok for me to share?
You as the spouse can (and should) know about things like deployment dates and locations, specific job titles, and more (unclassified, of course).
OPSEC is usually referring to your online presence. So think emails, social media, and other online platforms.
So it’s more of what should I NOT share.
The answer? More than you think.
DO NOT SHARE locations and dates of deployment, specific job titles, or even specific bases you are stationed at. General locations are fine, but you never know who’s watching.
Why is OPSEC important?
My husband learned through training that a list was recovered of service members who had a specific job within the Air Force. That list was held by enemies, and curated through social media posts and other means.
I can only imagine why they had a list of members who hold a specific job. My guess is it’s NOT good.
If that doesn’t scare the crap out of you, I don’t know what else will.
Of course, this isn’t meant to be terrifying. It is meant to be informative. But it also needs to be taken seriously.
You can read more about the hit list here.
Moving forward, always remember to be cautious of what you post online. It is arguably the MOST IMPORTANT topic, and you may not have been briefed on it at all. OPSEC will always be in place, so know your role in keeping it!