Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why is OPSEC So Important, You Ask?

You may or may not have read a story recently concerning Megan Born. She's an Army wife who recently made the news thanks to other people's inability to adhere to OPSEC.

Megan Born's husband had been serving in Army, and unfortunately he lost his life during a protest in Afghanistan. That in an of itself is heartbreaking. Every husband, wife, child, family member and friend worries when their loved one goes on deployment. Everyone knows that death is a possibility, but I doubt anyone is truly prepared for it.

When a soldier dies there are procedures to be followed. I don't know of a single milspouse who doesn't have a fear of uniformed soldiers showing up at her house, bible in hand, to deliver some very bad news. I know that I jump a little when there's an unexpected knock at my door while Huzzy is gone. It's a fear that we try to ignore, but it's always there.

Unfortunately for Megan Born  she did not get the calm, trained soldiers breaking the bad news to her. She found out through a text message from a fellow military spouse on post. A TEXT MESSAGE. Turns out it was already all over Facebook as well. Well isn't that just dandy?

No one is really taking blame in this, although there are plenty of people pointing fingers. Some are blaming the FRG for leaking the information. Others are blaming the Army. The Army is blaming the spouses. I'm not sure that we'll find out for sure who is to blame (though there is to be an investigation of course) but I cannot believe that someone along the way didn't stop to think, "Hey, should we really be spreading this stuff around?"

Last year the USS Enterprise also had casualties during deployment. Thanks to the wonder that is Facebook and social media it spun out of control at record speed. At first we were aware that there had been a casualty, but did not know who. Everyone was panicked and scared. I don't think I can stress to you how scared we all were. I was about to pack up Baby Girl and go somewhere else just so that if by chance it was  Huzzy, I wouldn't have to see them show up at my door. Besides, if they didn't relay the message then it wasn't real, right?

Whoever is at fault for this should be ashamed of themselves. I can't imagine the pain this woman is going through, but I'm pretty damn sure it would have been better to find out the way regulation dictates. No one should ever find out about the loss of a loved one through text message.

Shame on the Army for giving this information to less than trustworthy individuals.

Shame on the person that thought themselves above OPSEC.

And shame on the wives who kept this going by texting or posting about it on Facebook.

If you haven't already, I highly encourage you to read HouseholdDiva6's OPSEC page. Don't keep it to yourself either. Spread it around. Make sure fellow spouses know what OPSEC means.


  1. how terrible for her and the whole family! oh my goodness, that is really too bad. I hope the people serving in our military know that so many people pray for them every single day.

    1. It always makes me feel better to know there are people outside the military who care. The military can be so isolating sometimes you forget.

  2. This is such a shame... I feel so badly for her. A text? That spouse who sent that really either didn't think that through, or she was looking to cause hurt....

    1. The only thing I can think of is maybe the woman who sent the text assumed the wife had already been given the bad news. Maybe it was a "So sorry for your loss" message. Still, I can't imagine sending something like that in a text message.

      I really, really hope that wife just did something stupid, as opposed to something malicious. :(