OPSEC & PERSEC

Operational Security and Personal Security

Operations Security, or OPSEC, is keeping potential adversaries from discovering our critical information. As the name suggests, it protects our operations planned, in progress, and those completed. Success depends on secrecy and surprise, so the military can accomplish the mission faster and with less risk. Our adversaries want our information, and they don’t concentrate on only service members to get it. Please do not post any information regarding unit locations, deployment dates, unit morale, etc.

Generally, it means that you should not give out the following:

◾A soldier’s exact location overseas
◾Any information on troop movements – this includes any movement while they are deployed, in transit to / from theater, etc. Do not ever give dates.
◾Any information on weapons systems, how they train or numbers – for this reason, many pictures from overseas can easily violate OPSEC
◾Deployment Tickers: Many wives like to use deployment tickers to count down their soldier’s deployment. Never have a ticker that shows XX days until he returns. If you must have a ticker, then have one with the amount of time he has been gone.

Finally, for your own personal safety, be very aware of what you are putting on the internet or in conversations in public. With the internet, it is not difficult to track down an address and phone number. Do not make yourself a target by letting the world know that your husband is deployed.

CORRECT:

My spouse is deployed in support of Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom.

INCORRECT:

My spouse, First Name/Last Name is in XYZ Unit and is stationed at ABC Camp in XXX city in Iraq.

Give only general locations IF his unit allows it. The above incorrect statement is way too much information.

INCORRECT:

First Last name is returning from deployment and flying into XYZ Airport at 8pm next Tuesday.

 

Never give dates or times for troop movements. This includes R&R dates as well as deployment dates. Planes have been known to be delayed for days or weeks because this information was made public by an excited spouse.

If your soldier is in a special operations unit, the OPSEC guidelines can be stricter. You may not be able to say he is deployed at all much less where he is. Always abide by the rules set forth by his unit. Just because it is on the news does not mean that you can talk about the issue. By talking about it, you are only verifying the information.

PERSEC: PERSEC is also known as personal security. Like OPSEC, this involves guarding the information that you know. Do not give out your soldier’s name along with rank. Be vague about your personal information on the internet.