Operational Security (OpSEC). . . Now? Marine Corps Bootcamp Recruit Training MCRD

You can protect your loved ones by protecting the information that you know. This is known in the military as, "Operational Security", or OpSEC.

Operational Security
  —USMC Photo

In this series of articles on "Becoming a Marine Parent", we've talked a little bit about privacy and respect, noting that both are important concepts to learn as the parent of a recruit. As your recruit nears graduation, the concept of Operational Security becomes just as important to understand.

As a family member of the military community, you are a vital player in their success. You may not know it, but you also play a crucial role in ensuring your loved ones' safety just by what you know of the military's day-to-day operations. You can protect your loved ones by protecting the information that you know. This is known in the military as, "Operational Security", or OpSEC.

OpSEC is important to us as family members during recruit training because we need to understand it fully prior to our Marine going into the fleet. It includes many different levels, goes across all branches of the service, includes both stateside and overseas locations, and is important during peace time as well as during times of conflict. Simply put, sharing your Marine's job duties, expectations, dates, times, locations or other pertinent information is putting the safety of other Marines in danger.

OpSEC is keeping potential adversaries from discovering critical Department of Defense information. As the name suggests, it protects US operations - planned, in progress and those completed. Success depends on secrecy and surprise, so the military can accomplish the mission more quickly and with less risk. Enemies of freedom want this information, and they are not just after the military member to get it. They want you, the family member.

Help keep you, your Marine and our military personnel safe by not sharing any personal or military information in email or in any online environment including chat rooms, message boards and social networking websites such as twitter, facebook and myspace.

Online communities, including those that are "Military" by design, do NOT have a way to assure that every member has the same goal of safety and security for our Marines and military personnel. Knowledge is power; the enemy does not need to know anything other than our Military is ready to act and defend. To help keep you and our military safe, do not share information except with your family and very close friends.

Friendships will be made and maintained from the "Connect & Share" philosophy of this web site and others like it, but sharing information through email with other members and friends in this or other online communities should be discouraged. In an online environment, you do not know the person on the receiving end of your communication. Remember, if it can't be posted on this message board, it shouldn't be shared in an e-mail, it shouldn't be posted on other message boards, it shouldn't be shared in chat rooms and it shouldn't be shared in any instant message interface, social networking web sites or any other online communication environment.

When using the MarineParents.com, Inc. Message Board Communities, remember they are moderated; that means every post is read and reviewed by a trained MarineParents.com volunteer prior to sharing it publicly on the message boards. Our volunteers go through rigorous training to assure guidelines are followed. Anything that has potential to violate personal or operational security will be edited and you will be notified of the change.

These security measures should not be interpreted as intent to limit free speech or exercise editorial control. Freedom of speech does not include the right to endanger someone else's life or liberty. MarineParents.com is categorized as a military community and our troops are engaged. OpSEC will be followed with the strictest interpretation.

Click here to learn more about Operational Security and what YOU can do.

We are told to be careful about what we share and, if you are new to the military, it can be a scary thought... that something YOU share could have disastrous consequences to our military or other Americans. While during boot camp, your possession of intelligence is very limited - remember YOU are also in training - to become a strong, educated Marine loved one. Once your recruit hits the fleet, one slip could have far-reaching ramifications. Please take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about Operational Security and what you can do to keep us safe!
  —Marine Mom from Michigan and Marine Parents Volunteer, 2009
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