07 January 2012

"OPSEC"....OPwhat??!!

I've been around a while. Living the Army life with the Husband for over 10 years. Had friends before that with husbands in the Army etc. Never in any of that time, not even anytime during my husbands deployments have I come across the term "OPSEC", and rightly so, I'm NOT the one IN the Army. I'm NOT the one that goes out on Operations. It wasn't until probably the last 2 years in some new Facebook 'support' groups for Defence wives and girlfriends did it start popping up. I have been in one particular group for over 4 years and nothing. However the extent that this term is thrown around these days absolutely ASTOUNDS me! why on earth do wives and girlfriends find it so necessary to constantly be bringing this term into a post or conversation?

For starters, there is no actual OPSEC document relating to wives that says 'rule 1. don't do this,' 'rule 2. don't do that.'* OPSEC is 'Operational Security.' If you know anything about OPSEC then your defence member other half is the one that has breeched OPSEC!. In the grand scheme of the ADF it has NOTHING to do with you as a wife or partner. If you ask anyone to link you to specifics you'll find they link you to something from the US. Last time I checked we were Australian, not American.

Secondly, why are wives and girlfriends even discussing anything that warrants the OPSEC nazi to rear her ugly head and, to quote a very good friend, throw in a sickly polite "just be mindful of OPSEC rules ladies :)"
You should already know what you can and can't post about from your husbands/boyfriends....and if for some really strange reason he has not had the conversation with you about this then really commonsense should kick in and tell you that you should not be telling anyone about his current or upcoming deployment ANYWHERE online, closed group or not. Even your personal profile.

Operational Security is just that, about operations. It is not about what corp or unit your partner is in and certainly has no relation to his/her rank. Certain units of course, for security reasons can not be discussed by anyone that is apart of them, though any wife that runs her mouth about being part of those units is probably on her way to being divorced. Mentioning your partners Unit is not a violation of anything (except as previously stated about certain units). If an admin of a Facebook group says you can't mention it then they are more than like one of said OPSEC nazi's. The Corp thing usually just comes down to Grunts Vs Pogues. And occasionally particular units in the same corps don't particularly like each other either, which is a whole other story that really has nothing to do with wives anyways. So really you don't need to get all argumentative over it in a FB group. I find nothing wrong with asking what unit someones partner is in if there is a likely chance that it may be the same as yours partners and they might even end up knowing each other which then makes it much easier to make new friends! unless the husbands don't like each other....awwwwkwarrrrd!

This then leads to the rank thing. There is nothing actually wrong with mentioning what rank your partner is. Unless you are mentioning it to big note yourself, these women are supposedly known as 'rank wearers', which to be honest I have never come across myself and really rather despise the term. I truly believe it is talked about more than it actually happens! and you will also find those that are constantly going on about 'rank wearing' are those whose partners don't actually have any rank, but when they do get it those wives will more than likely be the ones that turn into the mythological 'rank wearing creature.'  The rank thing, I have found in discussions usually is an ORs (other ranks) and Officers thing. The boys have their reasons for this for exactly the reason that they are the ones that live it. I also don't find anything wrong with asking someone that you are making friends with what rank their hubby is, he maybe the same rank as yours and you might find yourself in the same location and at the same events! (ie. dining in nights, they are usually the only rank specific events) much better to go to them knowing that you know someone else, especially if you are new to a location. So again another topic that is not a security risk and one wives should not be getting all argumentative over.

SO! If someone gets their nose out of joint because you mentioned a Corp, Unit or rank you are not doing anything wrong! (again except for the certain units as previously stated) it is their own issue that they need to get over. Just don't talk about O/S deployments in detail and you don't have a problem.

What it really comes down to when talking on FB to a group of 400-800 women that mostly you have never met before is not worrying about whether you are breaking the rules of some fictional document, rather what you really should be worried about or thinking about is "will my husband really appreciate me talking about him and his job to all these strangers?" you'll probably find the answer is "Hell, NO!" Though of course you are well within your wifely duties to rant about the fact he has just come back from 2 weeks out bush and has dumped his stinky cams on the floor for you to pick up and wash. Or has spent the majority of his leave carving out a nice arse dent in the lounge while watching episode after episode of American Dad or Family Guy or playing the playstation/Xbox! These kinds of discussions are highly encouraged in order to save your sanity and the likelihood of you committing murder.

P.S feel free to rant away on my Facebook page if you want! :D you can find it by clicking right.............HERE!

*I am more than happy to be corrected if I am wrong, I have searched and asked particular people and am yet to come across such a document. Link me to it if it exists and I will stand corrected!

4 comments:

AussieArmyWife said...

Ugh I hate the sickly polite reminders about OPSEC! Good post, I'm interested to see if any of the OPSEC nazis can come up with any documents proving its existence in Australia.

Betty Sue said...

I completely agree! Are you surprised?!
I'm yet to come across somthing that actually requires someone to step in and say this should not be posted. Admittedly there are women that have no idea but in all the instances I've seen it was totally unnecessary. It always reminds me of being chastised like a school kid by the principal. uhoh you just got in trouble!

Bellablue said...

Totally agree, no drama with asking about unit/rank etc or even some job descriptions/recent history (except of course for the units you mentioned and usually those wives/gf are very good at keeping their lips locked.) Obviously a term bandied about a little too much in FB groups. Although I did get a little lecture from my hubby about putting any info about os deployments on line. But you mentioned that anyway so I think that it is important for us to get to know other defence wives & gfs to enable us to stay sane. It's also good to know who people are so you don't go bitching about the CO to the CO's wife!

Anonymous said...

I've been so called "attacked" on a defence Facebook page because of my comment on OPSEC. I merely said "what OPEC, I didn't receive the "directive" on that one". As you said in the "we are not the member". We a have a moral obligation to our partners, brothers, sisters etc etc in the defence. However, I'm loving your blogs!!!!