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Are Military Spouses Unknowingly Violating OPSEC?

Submitted by Meditec on Mon, 04/30/2018 - 18:39
Are Military Spouses Unknowingly Violating OPSEC

What is OPSEC?

OPSEC stands for Operations Security and it is a process that is designed to keep military service members and operations safe from violations. OPSEC ‘breaks’ when anyone who is related to those members or the members themselves reveal confidential military information that can place people at risk. In general terms OPSEC refers to small chunks of data that can be grouped together to get a complete picture of a troop’s activities. [bctt tweet=" Military wives who are missing their spouses who are on active duty are known violators. Any information they post online about their partner’s whereabouts or ETA can put them in danger."] This includes any military operations they are involved in or any incidents that is not meant for the public.

Rules and Regulations

The military uses public affairs offices and officials to release information that they know won’t put the nation or anyone’s life in danger. This is done through official press releases that are released to the public and which do not violate OPSEC since the information is cleared via a chain of command. That information can be shared or re-posted safely. Here are some rules that can help you determine what you can and cannot share regarding your spouse’s job:

  • Refrain from posting about deployment and troop relocation dates.
  • Do not post names of the troops or any information regarding a unit.
  • Refrain from posting about specific deployed location of any member of the military service or about any unit.
  • Do not post about unit or solider itineraries that have not been released to the public.
  • Do not post information about troop movements and size.

These were just some of the basics that are military spouses have to adhere to as per OSPEC regulations. There are a good many others that you may be violating unknowingly. These examples will help you set boundaries to the data you share with others:

  • Referencing trends in morale in deployed units or stationed units
  • Information about units who are on specific missions
  • Deployment information
  • Details about security procedures that are necessary for troop safety

One of the most common OSPEC violations occur via unofficial websites such as social media. Many military spouses are guilty of posting information about their active spouses on Facebook which can compromise not only their safety, but also an entire unit’s safety. Some of the ways they do this is by posting pictures of deploying troops or about times of departure. Any of that information has the potential to do great harm in the wrong hands. To prevent that from happening, consult with your Family Readiness Officer on what kinds of posts you can and cannot share. Plus, have all of the pictures you want to share screened and post them on official websites that are fortified against hackers. This will keep the troops safe and ensure that you do not violate any OPSEC regulations. Some of the things you can share include:

  • Support for the troops on the front
  • Official PRs released by the military
  • Port call information after the media has released it
  • Generalizations regarding active duty
  • General location status about a troop’s location

What is MyCAA Program?

As a military spouse, you can still support your partner by supporting your family at home. Sign up for the MyCAA program or the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account. This is a education and training scholarship program for military spouses who want to explore career options that can help them support themselves financially. The program is meant for all military spouses of active members and this also includes those who are part of the Reserves and National Guard. The scholarship program is part of the Department of Defense and its aim is to help members of the military support their families. The scholarship can be used post to post and you can start and complete it while your partner is on active duty. The certification programs on offer can range from 6 to 9 months but you can get done a lot faster if you take the courses online. Sign up for the scholarship program today and support your spouse the right way.