*This site created and maintained by members of The Nest's Military Newlyweds board.

This page has been created with military spouses -- particularly those on the Nest! -- in mind. It's intended to be a central spot, serving as a resource of information available to military spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends, fiancees, and family members. We hope you find it helpful! To keep your military member safe, please read and understand the OPSEC information on this page. If there's anything else you want to know, just page us on the Nest Military Newlyweds board! We'll do our best to answer your questions.


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OPSEC is a HUGE deal where military members are concerned.
Please read the following before going any further!



These rules are here for your safety and the safety of thousands of troops serving around the world. Please follow them. Remember, this is for safety and security.

OPSEC & PERSEC

OPSEC

  1. Do not post exact deployment dates or redeployment dates.
  2. Do not reveal camp locations, including nearby cities. After the deployment is officially announced by military officials, you may discuss locations that have been released, normally on the country level.
  3. Do not discuss convoy routes (“We travelled through Takrit on our way to X”).
  4. Detailed information on the mission, capabilities or morale of a unit.
  5. Specific names or actual nicknames.
  6. Personnel transactions that occur in large numbers (example: pay information, powers of attorney, wills, etc).
  7. Details concerning security procedures, response times, or tactics.
  8. Don’t discuss equipment or lack thereof, to include training equipment.
  9. Don’t speculate about future operations.
  10. If posting pictures, don’t post anything that could be misconstrued or used for propaganda purposes. A good rule of thumb is to look at your picture without your caption or explanation and consider if it could be re-captioned to reflect poorly on coalition forces. For example, your image might show your Soldier rescuing a child from a blast site, but could be re-captioned to insinuate that the child being captured or harmed. (It’s happened!)
  11. Avoid the use of count-down tickers for the same reason as rule #1.
  12. Be very careful if posting pictures of your loved one. Avoid images that show significant landmarks near their base of operations, and black out last names and unit affiliations.
  13. Do not, ever, post information about casualties (coalition or enemy) before the official release of the information.
  14. Do not pass on rumors (“I heard they’re coming home early,” etc.).

PERSEC

PERSEC is 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. This is plain common sense in every day life, regardless of if your husband is in the military. The old saying that "loose lips sink ships" still holds true today. Keep your soldier, your family, and his unit safe by keeping the information you know to yourself. You never know who is lurking and gathering information on message boards, MySpace pages and profiles, etc. Better safe than sorry!

Please be sure to look at your bios and make sure that there is not any identifying personal information or photos. 

OPSEC/PERSEC FAQ's

"Can I have a countdown ticker?": The short answer is no. Anything hinting at a troop movement, whether alone or in a group, is strictly prohibited. If you do want and must have a ticker, use a count up ticker. IE: He has been gone for xxx days. If you MUST tell someone what is happening follow these examples...

Safe:
“My Marine/Sailor/Soldier/Airman/Coastie is coming home soon!”
“A few more months and he’ll hopefully be home!”
“Spoke with my Marine/Sailor/Soldier/Airman/Coastie today and they are busy!”

Not Safe:
“My Marine/Sailor/Soldier/Airman/Coastie will be home between 5-10 June!”
“5 days until I see my Marine/Sailor/Soldier/Airman/Coastie.”
“He’s due home in July!”
“Spoke with my Marine/Sailor/Soldier/Airman/Coastie today and they are busy doing patrols in XYZ province.”

The "Not Safe" examples are ACTUAL status messages pulled from people's FB and Myspace accounts. 

Posting specific information can and will delay homecomings. It has happened before. 

"I have a Facebook and MySpace; how do I keep myself safe?": You can take simple steps to keep yourself and your information safe by making them private and only inviting people you know to view your page. This can extend far past these two networking sites. Google is a powerful tool. One can Google the smallest bit of information and come up with thousands of hits for YOU. It is possible and has happened. You are not invincible. Take the correct steps to safeguard your accounts and your information. Remember to safeguard your Knot/Nest Bio as well! And remember that what you say and do online can affect you and possibly your spouse's career in the military.

"There's a picture of my husband/myself I want to use in my sig. He's/I'm in uniform and it shows his/my name and/or rank. Can I use it?": This is a judgment call. If your name is very unique and can be seen in the picture, blur out the name (a number of photo sites offer this feature) or pick a different picture. If you have a very common last name like Smith or Jones, it probably won't hurt you unless he/you are very high ranking, which could make you potentially easy to find.

"What do I say to someone IRL who is violating OPSEC/PERSEC?": If it's a small thing, just bring it up in a friendly matter. Be sure to know exactly what the "violation" is when explaining to them that they violated OPSEC/PERSEC. If it's a major violation, get in contact with them immediately. If they are unwilling to change what they are doing, it is okay to take it up the Chain of Command (COC) to get it fixed. If they won't listen to you, chances are, they'll listen to someone in direct authority over them or their husbands.




What is OPSEC?

"Operations security (OPSEC) is an analytic process used to deny an adversary information - generally unclassified - concerning friendly intentions and capabilities by identifying, controlling, and protecting indicators associated with planning processes or operations. OPSEC does not replace other security disciplines - it supplements them." (Wikipedia)

OPSEC is simply denying an adversary information that could harm you or benefit them. Another form of OPSEC, although not as widely accepted, is the intentional mis-information of an adversary, designed to protect your true secrets.

OPSEC is a process, but it is also a mindset. By educating oneself on OPSEC risks and methodologies, protecting sensitive information becomes second nature.

OPSEC is unique as a discipline, because it is understood that the OPSEC manager must make certain decisions when implementing OPSEC measures. Most of these measures will involve a certain expenditure of resources, so an estimate must be made as to whether the assumed gain in secrecy is worth the cost in those resources. If the decision is made not to implement a measure, then the organization assumes a certain risk. This is why OPSEC managers or Commanders must be educated and aware of the OPSEC process.

OPSEC is not only for Military or Government entities. More individuals and Corporations are realizing the importance of protecting trade secrets, personal security and intentions. Whatever the organization and purpose, OPSEC can, and will, increase the overall security posture.

Why OPSEC?

We are in a world increasingly dependent on information. In this world, pieces of information (internet postings, work schedules, phone directories and more) may be assembled in order to form the “big picture” of an organization or operation.

Your adversaries in a military or business sense practice OPSEC to varying degrees, and it would be unwise to discount the capabilities of your adversary. Your adversary will constantly probe your organization, so the importance of a solid understanding of OPSEC cannot be understated.

What are OPSEC indicators?

An indicator is a "piece of the puzzle". In other words, an indicator is any piece of information that can be exploited to gain further information, or be combined with other indicators to build a more complete profile of your operations.

For example, an OPSEC indicator could be when you go to work, what you do at work, large group or troop movements or financial transactions such as life insurance appointments. Before releasing information, consider the potential value to your adversaries.

What are the capabilities of your adversary?

The unfortunate fact is that you don’t know. Your adversary may have internal spies, skilled photographers or any other manner of resources at their disposal. You may never be able to determine the full capability of your adversary, so you can only protect your information on your end.

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