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Old Fart going off on another Pet Peeve - OPSEC and Why We Follow It!
Oh! Damn! I couldn't believe it! Some wife of a soldier was complaining about how he never really says much when he Skypes her from down range! Really? Are you that obtuse??
Time for the Old Fart to do some 'splainin' about OPSEC and why it is important. Firstly, why am I an expert on OPSEC? It is because I am an Old Fart, who is a veteran, who served during Cold War II (after Bay of Pigs, before OEF I) onboard U.S. Submarines, and at one time was directly involved with the routing and safety of every ship and submerged ship belonging to NATO in the Atlantic Ocean. Yes, I created more Eyes Only stuff (and subsequently shredded) than most readers can imagine. So, I do know a few things about Operational Security and the now popular OPSEC as defined in DOD JP 1997.
But, before I start on OPSEC, who knows about PERSEC? Anyone? Anyone? (Feel like Ben Stein in the Beuler movie) Anyone?
PERSEC is us parents teaching the kids Stranger Danger, making sure our SSNs are kept private, guarding our phone numbers and addresses from the creepy guy down at the corner. PERSEC keeps our kids safe. OPSEC keeps our other kid safe, the one who raised her hand (or his, I know some wives are reading) and has placed his/her life in the way of future unforseen jeapordy.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, this is the day and age of high technology, and there really are no secrets. You are absolutely correct. BUT. The enemy may already know the facts, they just need someone to VERIFY the fact so they can act upon it. Do you want to be the one who gets GI Jane to tell you exactly where she is so you can zoom in on Google Maps? Do you want to be the one who then gets caught (yep, our side will catch her) verifying the location of the next rocket barrage? Are you protecting your kid who is there in harms way by fulfilling a STUPID DESIRE to know exactly where they are? Don't do it!
Likewise, don't work out some lame code to pass info home... our side has tons of spooks (guys and gals who live to break codes) who are bored. You will get caught.
So, lady - the one who made me write this rant... are you really upset because he doesn't tell you much? I would be happy to know my soldier can find time to Skype me and say she loves me! All I need to know, it'll get me through the next 90 to 120 days!
'Nuff said, Old Fart out.
Not too long ago, a Facebook friend and fellow military spouse posted how much she missed living in the U.S. We had a three year overseas assignment several years ago, and so I could relate to this post. I remember missing “home” too.
Personally, our family had the opportunity to live in Germany for three years. We visited many wonderful countries and I would not trade that opportunity for anything, but we also missed Texas, our friends and family. Since we had a house on the economy, many times I would take our daughter to places like “The Kids Zone” (think “Chuck E. Cheese”) and we enrolled her in activities on post, such as ballet and soccer. One of the biggest opportunities living overseas offered to us was for our daughter to enroll in German Kindergarten at age three. She had a great time and quickly picked up the language (but even with proactive efforts and good intentions, maintaining those skills in the US is very difficult).
It's the little things that make the biggest difference. For military families frequently moving around the country, a friendly greeting from a neighbor looking to connect goes a long way.
November is Military Families Appreciation Month, and the 2014 Armed Forces Insurance Branch Spouses of the Year (Branch SOYs) want to help everyone, everywhere participate in thanking and honoring military families.
Americans love our military, but many people don't quite know how best to express their gratitude. As National Guard Spouse of the Year Dr. Ingrid Herrera-Yee notes, “saying "thanks" to our military families is something that many want to do, but are at a loss as to how to do it –or in the case of Guard and Reserve, how to find us!”
So the Branch SOYs created #30Ways of Thanks to help. Each day in November, the Branch SOYs will release a video with an action item that people around the country can participate in virtually or locally, individually or in groups. Participants can hash tag #30Ways so that their messages, photos, or videos are spread far and wide. Hash tags #GratefulNation and #MilFamsRock can also be added as a short-hand way to say “You are amazing, military families!” Best of all, the entire #30Ways video collection will be stored on the Branch SOYs' YouTube channel so that it can be repeated in Novembers to come, or whenever someone is looking for a way to say “thank you” to military families.