Following information provided as obtained from the "OPSEC-A Guide For Family and Friends" brochure as presented by "1st Information Operations (Land), Vulnerability Assessment Division OPSEC Section
NOTE: Though the following information is provided by the Army and is directed at family members, friends of military families and individuals providing support to our military through various military support groups need to be aware of these security concerns and is used by all Branches of our Military.
WHAT IS OPSEC
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 soldiers to get it. They want you, the family member.
PROTECTING CRITICAL INFORMATION
No picture may be used without express permission from the Soldier.
No one may disclose the condition, etc of any wounded soldier.
Even though information may not be secret, it can be what we call "critical information." Critical information deals with specific facts about military intentions, capabilities, operations, or activities. If an adversary knew this detailed information, our mission accomplishment and personnel safety could be jeopardized. It must be protected to ensure an adversary doesn't gain a significant advantage.
By being a member of the military family, you will often know some bits of critical information. Do not discuss them out-side of your immediate family and especially not over the telephone.
EXAMPLES OF CRITICAL INFORMATION
Detailed information about the mission of assigned units
Details on locations and times of unit deployments
Personnel transactions that occur in large numbers (Example, pay information, powers of attorney, wills, deployment information
References to trends in unit morale or personnel problems
Details concerning security procedures
Remember, the elements of security and surprise are vital to the
accomplishment of our goals and our collective personnel protection.
Where and how you discuss this information is just as important as with whom you discuss it. Adversary agents tasked with collecting information frequently visit some of the same stores, clubs, recreational areas, or places of worship as you do.
Determined individuals can easily collect data from cordless and cellular phones, and even baby monitors, using inexpensive receivers available from local electronics' stores.
If anyone, especially a foreign national, persistently seeks information, notify your military sponsor immediately. He or she will notify the unit OPSEC program manager.
There are many countries and organizations that would like to harm
Americans and degrade our influence in the world. It's possible, and not unprecedented, for spouses and family members of U.S. military personnel to be targeted for intelligence collection. This is true in the United States and especially true overseas!
Foreign governments and organizations collect significant amounts of useful information by using spies. A foreign agent may use a variety of approaches to befriend someone and get sensitive information. This sensitive information can be critical to the success of a terrorist or a spy, and consequently deadly to Americans.
There are times when your spouse cannot talk about the specifics of his or her job. It's very important to conceal and protect certain information such as flight schedules, ship movements, temporary duty (TDY) locations, and installation activities, for example. Something as simple as a phone conversation about where your spouse is deploying, or going TDY, can be very useful to our enemies.
Thank you for taking the time to read the information provided above. The goal of the "1st Information Operations Command (Land), Vulnerability Assessment Division OPSEC Section" and
The Silver Star Families of America is to provide readers of this
material a greater understanding of the Military's security concerns. The information provided is not intended to frighten you or make you suspicious that everyone you meet is a secret agent or terrorist. But stay alert - if a stranger shows excessive interest in the affairs of your family members and/or friends, military or not, notify the authorities.