OPSEC Precautions For This Site


Things to keep in mind when interacting with The Lint Center, particularly when leaving comments or uploading photos:

  1. Defense conditions are classified secret, while force protection conditions are unclassified.
  2. Vulnerability of oconus installations to sabotage or penetration is classified secret if U.S. Intelligence information is made.
  3. The identity of units planned for deployment is confidential until an official announcement of the deployment is made.
  4. General geographic location of units deployed ( I.E. City, Country or Area) is unclassified.
  5. Specific geographic location of units deployed is confidential.
  6. Details of allied military participation in operations are secret.

The Global reach of the World Wide Web requires special precautions to be taken when posting information. The following types of information will not be posted publicly on and will be taken down immediately:

  • Information that is for official use only (FOUO). This type of information would pose an unacceptable risk to the US Military, especially in electronically aggregated form. While records containing FOUO information will normally be marked at the time of their creation, records that do not bare such markings shall be assumed to contain FOUO information.
  • Analysis and recommendations concerning lessons learned which would reveal sensitive military operations, exercises or vulnerabilities.
  • Reference to unclassified information that would reveal sensitive movements of military assets or the location of units, installations, or personnel where uncertainty regarding location is an element of a military plan or program.
  • Personal information including compilations of names or personnel assigned overseas, sensitive, or routinely deployable units.
  • Names, locations, and specific identifying information about family members of military and government employees.
  • Highly technical information that can be used or be adapted for use to design, engineer, product, manufacture, operate, repair, overhaul, or reproduce any military or space equipment or technology concerning such equipment.
  • Unclassified information pertaining to classified programs. The clearance review procedures for unclassified information pertaining to classified programs proposed for posting to a publicly accessible web sites must take into account the likelihoods of classification compilation.

So, let’s review…

  1. Don’t discuss current or future deployment destinations.
  2. Don’t discuss current or future operations or missions.
  3. Don’t discuss current or future dates and times of when service members will be in deployed, in-port or conducting exercises.
  4. Don’t discuss readiness issues and numbers.
  5. Don’t discuss specific training equipment.
  6. Don’t discuss people’s names and billets in conjunction with operations.
  7. Don’t speculate about current or future operations.
  8. Don’t spread rumors about current, future, or past operations or movements.
  9. Don’t assume the enemy is not trying to collect information on you; they are… right now.  Seriously.
  10. Be smart, use your head, and always think OPSEC when using email, phone, chat rooms and message boards.


Operations Security: 1. A systematic, proven process by which a government, organization, or individual can identify, control, and protect generally unclassified information about an operation/activity and, thus, deny or mitigate an adversary’s/competitor’s ability to compromise or interrupt said operation/activity (NSC 1988). 2. OPSEC is a process of identifying critical information and subsequently analyzing friendly actions attendant to military operations and other activities to (a) identify those actions that can be observed by adversary intelligence systems, (b) determine indicators adversary intelligence systems might obtain that could be interpreted or pieced together to derive critical information in time to be useful to adversaries, and select and execute measures that eliminate or reduce to an acceptable level the vulnerabilities of friendly actions to adversary exploitation (DOD JP 1994; JCS 1997).

Operations Security process: An analytical process that involves five components: identification of critical information, analysis of threats, analysis of vulnerabilities, assessment of risks, and application of appropriate countermeasures (NSC 1988).



LC Partner In the News: OPSEC Professionals Society


The Operations Security Professionals Society (OPS), a Maryland-based 501(c) 6 whose purpose is to advance the interests of the United States and its allies by furthering the application of OPSEC as a professional discipline, announced the election of its first woman president, Valerie Simpson.

OPS was founded in 1991 by a group of veteran national security professionals who were instrumental in developing the U.S. military’s official operational security (OPSEC) program during the Vietnam War. The “Purple Dragon” team (as the group was named) was established by Admiral Ulysses Sharp, commander in chief of the Pacific Command, in order to determine how the enemy was able to obtain advanced information on military operations.

OPSEC is generally defined as a process of identifying critical information and subsequently analyzing friendly actions attendant to military operations as well as intelligence systems; essentially, the effort to safeguard critical national security information. The founding members of Operations Security Professionals Society were also responsible for drafting National Security Decision Directive 298 on OPSEC, which was created to promote “operational effectiveness by helping prevent the inadvertent compromise of sensitive or classified U.S. Government activities, capabilities, or intentions.” The directive was implemented and signed by President Ronald Reagan.

“Valerie Simpson is but one of only a handful of people who has the knowledge, drive and vision to serve as our president,” explained Dan Phillips, immediate past president of the OPS. “Ms. Simpson has been involved in OPSEC for over 20 years and is a Life member of OPS. She has been an integral member of the OPS Board and served as chair of the committee responsible for the development and implementation of our new awards program. I can think of no other person better suited or more ready to serve as president of OPS.”

Valerie Simpson has led a distinguished career in the national security arena, most recently serving as a division security manager, Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts. Additionally, Simpson was the second place winner of the National OPSEC Individual Achievement Award in the literature category from the Interagency OPSEC Support Staff, a division of the National Security Agency in 2004, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Award for Technical Excellence in 1996.

Understanding the importance of OPSEC and enhancing the professional discipline is at the top of Simpson’s priority list as she begins her tenure as president. Though divulging little detail on how she will lead the society in the coming years, she does note that OPSEC will always remain a national security priority, especially in light of the ongoing realities of both threats and vulnerabilities facing the United States and its key allies.

Awareness and training will always be watchword in the national security profession and looking forward, Simpson poignantly reminds us, “If your eyes are closed, you can’t see what you can’t see.”

Read more:

OPSEC-60 Years and Counting, Remembering the Korean Conflict 1950, five years had passed since the U.S. Army achieved victory during World War II. The Army had a major drawdown and cut troop units and staff. Most of the remaining junior personnel had not served in World War II nor did the draftees have actual combat experience. June 25, 1950 was a picture perfect summer day, the sun was shining, spirits were high and Americans were preparing for a big installation softball event. It was a great day to leave the office behind, enjoy life, and relish downtime even if you were stationed in Korea.

June 25 was a day for great operational security practices, and a busy day for unwitting others. Motor pools were emptied covertly and troops by the masses trudged south. The North Korean invasion of South Korea was just about to commence and lemonade was still being poured at the big Post softball event.

There was no warning, just complete surprise. The U.S. Army’s focus was on softball. An Embassy Marine driving an orange painted jeep near the U.S. Embassy compound noticed a plane in the morning air flying lazy circles. He waved, and the North Korean Yak came in for a strafing run. The Marine barely survived, but the jeep was an early combat loss.

Even with the recent memories of 1941 Pearl Harbor still fresh in the minds of military and civilian personnel serving overseas, the obvious question was how yet another surprise attack could happen again. The better question is how this attack could have been prevented.

2North Korea’s use of intelligence and surveillance served them well in the attack of an organization not focused on operational security (OPSEC) in all working conditions, to include fun. The need to observe and implement good OPSEC practices is evident, and could have saved lives.

Our lack of OPSEC practices and the North Korean’s good use of OPSEC and intelligence information helped our enemies attack the U.S. military. Lesson learned’ When we lower our guard and our OPSEC practices, we create and expose our vulnerabilities for our enemies to exploit. Protecting our country, our servicemen and women and their families begins with good OPSEC behaviors.

June 25 holds a special place in the hearts and minds of security and intelligence professionals. For us, we see an intelligence failure that cost lives. There were no indications and no warnings presented to the command leadership that could have prevented the attack or at least allowed an evacuation of the area to save lives.

Then, there was little tracking because the Army was the victorious Army of World War II; who would dare attack us. Security stood at a readiness level best described as, hollow. When we need to, we will upgrade to meet the threat. Additionally, people believed that when the time comes, we will be ready, so let’s enjoy the day.

It is so easy to sit back 60 years later and see the errors in the ways of those professionals at the time. Even so, this assessment would do little to provide meaningful value to us today. Instead, I like to sit back and compare the intelligence and security operations of June 25, 1950 to today. We are better prepared. We have implemented a more robust and fine-tuned intelligence system.

However, first we must ensure that we maintain our focus and support the overall command mission. Through improved OPSEC behaviors and practices, we decrease opportunities for our enemies to exploit our perceived weaknesses.

As our military navigates its way through our present conflicts abroad, I challenge all of us to remember the valuable lessons of the past and move on with the new security requirements of daily life on the home front.

Bottom line- we must ensure we stay informed with the best intelligence information available and be vigilant concerning any security breaches, or imperfections. Minor security issues will most always exist; however, I charge our military communities to think of how we can improve our security practices. This is a group effort that requires each and every one of us to adhere to OPSEC with saving lives in mind.

We are in the same military community, and serve the same country, the United States of America. If we see problems with the regulations, we have a responsibility to raise these issues through the chain of command and report it to Department of the Army Headquarters. We have to balance security, risk, and mission accomplishment. Too much security can hamper mission accomplishment, just as too little can destroy a mission and possibly cause loss of life.

Having served seven years in Korea, both active duty and as a civilian, I have had the opportunity to see the history through the eyes of the people who were there that day. The 50-year anniversary of the Korean War brought the veterans of 1950 back to Korea. My conversations with them and the U.S. Forces Korea Historian Office, highly energized me to be a good professional in the security realm of operations at the brigade and headquarters levels. At any level, good security practices are essential.

I ask that as June 25 approaches, you will reflect on where our security capabilities were 60 years ago compared to the technology and security and intelligence operations we engage in today. As you reflect, perhaps you may find where improvements can be made within your organization and its operations.

Be informed, be safe, be secure!

Jim Lint, Chairman
Special Agent (Retired)
Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc
IRS Approved 501 (c) (3) Charity

(Article first appeared: