If you are a military spouse, the term OPSEC is {hopefully} an integral part of your vocabulary. 

If you aren’t a mil spouse, OPSEC means Operations Security.  Basically, this means that we have to watch what we say, what we blog about, what we share on Facebook and Twitter, even what we discuss over the phone regarding our husbands’ careers.  This includes when they are leaving on deployment, where exactly they are, what they are doing, what their mission is, and when they are expected to return home.

OPSEC is on my mind because of a post by a fellow mil spouse blogger who recently discussed her frustration with OPSEC protocol.  (The post has since been removed and replaced with an apology.)  If you read it, I hope it reminded you of the essential responsibilies we have as military spouses to withhold information that could potentially affect our loved ones who are proudly serving our country.  If you didn’t read it, it’s probably a good thing because the comments were getting hateful and, in my opinion, out of control.

This concern isn’t just for military spouses.  PERSEC (Personal Security) is important for everyone who regularly participates in social networking.  How much personal information do you share on your blog?  Do you really know whose friend requests you’re accepting on Facebook, people you’re giving full access to the intricacies of your life?  I just want everyone to be safe from harm.  Whether we’re protecting our military service members, our families, or ourselves, OPSEC and PERSEC are issues that can’t be ignored when we choose to blog and share our lives with anyone who has access to the Internet.

Sorry I stepped up on my rarely used soap box, but this topic is extremely important to me.  So if you’ll indulge my rant a bit longer, here are my…

Top 10 Reasons Why Mil Spouses MUST Practice OPSEC

10) To protect the safety of our service members

9)  To protect the safety of our service members

8)  To protect the safety of our service members

7)  To protect the safety of our service members

6)  To protect the safety of our service members

5)  To protect the safety of our service members

4)  To protect the safety of our service members

3)  To protect the safety of our service members

2)  To protect the safety of our service members

1)  Did I forget to mention…OPSEC IS IN PLACE TO PROTECT THE SAFETY OF OUR SERVICE MEMBERS.  Know it, follow it, live by it. 

If you need further information on OPSEC…

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What tops your list?  Thoughts?  Reactions?  Comments?  (Please know that I will not publish any comments with profanity.)

26 Comments on Top 10 Reasons Why Mil Spouse Bloggers MUST Practice OPSEC

  1. I am so glad you said something about the importance of not only OPSEC, but PERSEC too. I didn't do a lot of welcoming home things like hanging welcome signs on our house or yellow ribbons, or hanging a blue star banner in our window because I didn't want other people to know my husband was gone and therefore, that I'm more vulnerable. When my hubby leaves I rotate our cars so people wont notice his isn't getting used. Thank you for reminding wives and families how important it is to follow OPSEC and PERSEC!

  2. Agreed. When we sign our lives to our spouse, that's what we agree. It's not a huge commitment but it isn't necessarily easy. But it's small compared to the sacrifices that they make. This is part of our sacrifice…

  3. I saw all of the commotion on Twitter and read the offending blog, though I didnt look at the comments. All I could think was wow, such a blatant disregard for others. I wondered if she even knew what she was saying or if she knew what kind of reaction it would cause. I'm happy to hear that it's been taken down.

  4. This is a very good post and I think everyone needs to read it I agree with everything you say on here I actually just cleaned up my facebook nad deleted over 400 people because I didn't know who they were. I try not to share persona information on here because you never know whos reading it.

  5. Not having a burial at sea tops my thoughts.

    OPSEC is something I learned about the hard way about a week into my marriage. I was not the violater. Someone who was a Navy Wife for going on 25 years was. I try my hardest everyday to uphold this important tool in bettering the life of my service member, and all the rest.

  6. I read only the first few lines of the post and out of frustration didn't finish. I did see all the commotion it caused and out of curiousity went to look at all the comments. What's horrible about the situation is how personal people made it. Her post was definitely irresponsible and invoked anger out of all of us. BUT does that give people the right to attack HER on a personal level?

    Your post is brilliantly done. Tactful but gets across the message that we all what to convey to her.

  7. Thank you! This post is a completely appropriate response, and far more constructive and helpful than the trash talking that was happening in those comments on SS. I hope it reaches the right people.

    Oh, and my list includes my 3 (soon to be 4) children, who need to be protected from being fatherless!

  8. I have to admitt it is weird not living on post because I do not have any yellow ribbons hanging up. i have debated rather i will hang welcome home signs up. I think I will just hang them up inside the house.

  9. Every single one of these reasons is essential to think about! Well said. Thank you!

    I did read the post and I'm sad that the comments started becoming hateful.

    Great post!

  10. Thank you! Recently I've seen several people make rather concerning OPSEC decisions (both service members and civilians). It seems people feel "safe" on the internet when in reality you never really KNOW who you're talking to or who may be listening in. Again, THANK YOU! for the reminder to keep our eyes peeled and our brains in place as we surf the web!

  11. I went to a Key Spouse training session today and they pushed this issue home. I completely agree with what you said in this post.
    I know that sometimes you can get so excited that your loved one is coming home and want to share, but it's just not worth it in the end.

  12. I was just discussing this with my niece tonight. The casualness of conversatins with the wives she knows, when they're on their cellphones, for all to hear in public.

    How timely. Thank you for this.

    You are all kinds of awesome.

  13. You are absolutely right on. And I'm glad that you talked about personal security too, because it is always hard to know where to draw the lines when you blog about personal matters. I've actually been struggling with some personal drama lately and essentially stopped blogging for a while because of it. I couldn't focus on anything but what was happening in our family. But then going back to lighthearted blogging felt false. So I finally decided to write about some of what has been going on. I hope what I wrote isn't too much or too dark. But it does feel good to be back in the blogosphere. I've missed you!

  14. I agree 100%, not just as someone married to an Army officer, but also as a prior service, Army Intelligence NCO, myself. I now work as a civilian in the Intelligence Community and it floors me what little attention is paid to this issue.

    Unfortunately, the problem isn't just with the loose-lipped family members, but also with the unit's chain of command giving the spouses FAR too much information. When I was still in the Army, getting ready for our 2006 Iraq deployment, my Bn CO held a mandatory FRG meeting for everyone and their spouses. This LTC actually had the nerve to answer the wives' questions regarding when the flights were leaving, how many soldiers were on each flight, etc. I almost jumped up and screamed "OPSEC, nimrod" right in his face (my uniform and measly rank of SGT prevented me from doing so, however).

    Why spouses seem to think they are privy to this sort of information is beyond me, but those actually serving in the military should know better. There is such a term as "need to know" and nobody but the service member needs to know!

    Thanks for addressing this issue! It's a hot button topic for me, as you can see. 🙂

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