I grew up in a Navy family where we didn’t publicly discuss Dad’s comings and goings. This was during the cold war era where we assumed every bush had a lurking Russian Spy waiting to devour Navy intelligence. But in reality, we were protecting ourselves, too. We didn’t exactly want to announce where we lived and that there was a woman and her two small children alone, and for how long.
OPSEC (Operational Security) is touchy nowadays, what with Facebook and Twitter and blogs and such Tomfoolery. Most people don’t think about this, and I’m not wagging my finger at you – I’ve just realized that I have as many civilian followers as I do military ones, so this is important stuff. Don’t discuss:
Troop, ship, or manpower movements of any kind. It may be on the news, but you don’t have to be the one to leak it. This applies to personal or group movements. But it probably does not apply to bowel movements.
Dates. When things happen, when they’re over, how long they’re going to take, or when they are projected to start. Remember, online everything is time and date-stamped, so it’s not that hard to figure out! Things that happened in the past are OK to discuss if it’s not still ongoing.
Location, location, location. Use generalizations like “Portland Metro Area” or “Middle East” or “Duty Station” but not specifics.
Identification. This is actually PERSEC – personal security. Don’t use your servicemember’s name/rank or associated squadron, unit, or batallion.
And you might think twice about using your children’s names.
It may seem trivial to you, but it couldn’t be more important to me. The tiniest hints count. Pieces of the puzzle are small but significant. You may fill in just the piece someone else was looking for, so no matter how small – please – follow the rules.