Operational Security with Generation “LOL”

e21cc69a7c36a79f341e261af3820aaaWhen she wakes up and before going to bed, Tabitha Brakin is on social media.

“It’s like an addiction,” said the Logistics Specialist in S8 division. She posts about nearly anything that’s on her mind: “Moods. What I’m doing. Where I’m at. Almost like advertising.”

What she won’t do, however, is share her whereabouts if she’s on the ship.

“We don’t want people to know where we’re at because we’ll be a target,” said Brakin.

She’s right. According to the Navy, you should not “share official information that isn’t approved for public release like emails, message traffic, public affairs guidance, pre-decisional materials, investigatory information, etc. If the information is on a public-facing website (i.e. you can access it from home) then the information is ok to use; otherwise be careful in putting anything from work on social media.”

Just one post on social media that violates operational security (OPSEC) threatens USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and its mission.

“The whole point of OPSEC is to protect our mission and protect our people,” said Lt. Cameron Thomas, the operational security officer aboard Theodore Roosevelt. “Violations of OPSEC give the enemy an opportunity to take a peek into our planning process.”

Email, phone conversations, text messages and social media are some of the most common forums where Sailors could breach OPSEC. Inadvertently revealing ship’s movement or mission details to a family member or friend, whether over the phone, via email or social media are clear violations of OPSEC.

“I think social media blurs the lines of what information is okay to send and what is not,” said Senior Chief Cryptological Technician (Technical) Alyssa Lavers. “Sailors just need to pay attention to what they post to keep security and safety always at the forefront of their minds.”

Posting a ship’s information on a social media site may seem harmless, but sites often have no privacy settings allowing unwanted viewers, which may unintentionally put the ship in harm’s way.

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Bounome Chanphouang, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs

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