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OPSEC

It was 4:30am when the alarm went off last Saturday; WAY TOO early for this night-owl. But as I plopped my legs off the side of the bed, rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, and started to wake up I began to get feel a little excited about what my day had in store.

Paul and I were traveling to our "Family Mobilization Brief" four hours away. I was craving information. It was unavoidable that he was leaving. I had accepted that fact & was ready to find out what support services were going to be there for our family and a little bit more what was in store for him.

The meeting was in a middle-school & was very nicely set-up. When we arrived Paul got his picture taken for Operation Pillowase; I picked up information on ConnectAndJoin.com, Flat Daddy and so much more. Oh and was I ever so excited to see a whole table of donuts & coffee!

We sat down in the auditorium armed with brochures, stuff for the kids, magnets, calendars,... talk about information overload! Over the course of our day we listened to the various speakers on Tricare; what life was going to be like for the soldiers; Family Readiness Groups; pay & other finance talks; AKO; and of course the inevitable OPSEC, Operation Security.

OPSEC is what stuck out in my mind from the entire eight-hour meeting. I feel like I'm pretty good about not sharing unnecessary information. But it was good to have it drilled back into my mind. The Colonel started out by telling us about a gal who had a myspace account. She had details, way too many details... including her husband's name, unit, & deployment location. It wasn't all in one spot - just kind of dangled around her little space. One night she got a phone call. It was someone with a Mideastern accent & it was not a friendly phone call. The gal was very frightened & now the FBI is involved. It left me feeling a little bit vulnerable. What trail have I left? What have I said that can be used in the wrong hands?

I did a little research and found this brochure on OPSEC: http://www.niocmd.navy.mil/main/highlights/family_brochure.pdf. It is very similar to ones I found from the Army so I'm sure that all the branches are on the same page. It is worth the two minutes to read; just a small reminder of our role as a "Military Spouse".

This one really struck me for those of us that own a little piece of the web (whether myspace, facebook or blogging): "- Details concerning locations and times of unit deployments." There are so many 'tickers' out there that are fun to make and show off on your own website. Everything in me is going to want to make one regarding when Paul will finally come home. A constant reminder of when my family will be whole again is tempting. However, it is just one more piece of the puzzle that seems minor to us but could mean so much in the wrong hands.

I have no right to put my husband, his unit, our soldiers in harms way & I have no intentions of doing such a thing. So I'll leave all those cool looking widgets right where they are and think of other ways to celebrate the count-down of his return with my family. (M&Ms in a jar right now are my current favorite! Who doesn't need an excuse to eat chocolate?!)

I'm still wading though all the materials we left with that day. But I left with something ingrained in my head and that is the story of a gal who didn't think she would be a target of the enemy. I realize that we are all targets and I don't plan on give them anything they don't need to know!

78 comments:

  1. Great blog. You are right OPSEC is so important, especially for the military spouse. It is difficult for many spouses to see how those "tidbits" of information can be of any harm. Yet, those wishing harm on our military family and friends are very capable of taking a piece of information from each of several sources, and then they piece it together into a much bigger picture. Thank you for taking the time to bring this useful information to light! I would like to extend a thank you to your husband and your family for your service and the sacrifices you make for America. God Bless.

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