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In the military, OPSEC stands for Operational Security. There are rules and guidelines for OPSEC that pertain to services members and their families and friends. In this day and age with social media, there are a lot of bad guys out there looking for information to deter the safety and missions of our nation’s military.

WHAT IS OPSEC?

OPSEC protects US operations – planned, in progress, and those completed. OPSEC is keeping potential adversaries from discovering critical information about the Department of Defense. The military needs to accomplish the mission quickly and successfully. Success relies on secrecy, surprise, and private information. Enemies want this critical information, and they are not just after the military member to get it. They also look to military families and friends.

Unfortunately, OPSEC can’t be summed up in a brief list of rules and regulations and be expected to cover every possible situation. There are some general rules and guidelines to follow for military family members and friends.

RULES OF OPSEC

  1. Do not post detailed information about the mission of assigned units.
  2. Do not post details on locations and times of unit deployments.
  3. Do not list your spouse’s specific job on social media.
  4. Do not post where your spouse is ported.  
  5. Do not post about personnel transactions that occur in large numbers (Example: pay information, powers of attorney, wills, deployment information).
  6. Do not post details on locations and times of unit trainings
  7. Do not post unit/service member itineraries
  8. Do not post references to trends in unit morale or personnel problems.
  9. Do not post details concerning security procedures, response time, tactics.
  10. Do not post details Personal Identifying Information (PII)
  11. Do not post exact redeployment dates
  12. Do not reveal camp locations, including nearby cities. After the deployment is officially announced by Military officials, you may discuss locations that have been released, normally on the Country level.
  13. Do not discuss convoy routes (“we travelled through ‘such-and-such’ on our way to X”)
  14. Do not discuss equipment or lack thereof, to include training equipment
  15. Avoid the use of count-up or count-down tickers for the same reason as rule #1, if you do decide to use one, make sure only YOU and those you trust are able to see it.
  16. Be very careful if posting pictures of your loved one. Avoid images that show significant landmarks near their base of operations, and black out last names and unit affiliations.
  17. Do not, EVER, post information about casualties (coalition or enemy) before the official release of the information.
  18. Do not pass on rumors (“I heard they’re coming home early”, etc)

SOCIAL MEDIA
You may want to limit your posts to friends-only. Defaults can change on Facebook with no real notice, and suddenly you’re posting to the Public. If your FRG has a facebook group, ask the leader if it’s secret, closed, or public. What you post to a group may appear on other people’s timelines as well.

Photos
If you must post photos, consider cropping or blurring some details on pictures.

Geotagging
Make sure your location services setting is turned off, if you don’t want your or your spouse to be reporting where their location is.

Social media is not going away any time soon. More and more issues arise with social media and consequences hit much harder and much faster (with consequently less time to “undo” a mistake).

These OPSEC rules aren’t meant to limit your free speech or restrict your liberties- that’s exactly what our men and women in uniform fight to protect. They are put into place to help ensure the safety and security of our nation’s military.

If you have any questions, contact your (or your sponsor’s) unit OPSEC manager.

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MEMORIAL DAY 2019 FROM THE The United States Army Field Band (LISTEN)

The Rhode Island Blue Star Moms is a military support group specially dedicated to supporting our Veterans, troops and assisting the mothers and families who have children who volunteered to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

 

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We offer a safe place to share thoughts, concerns, and any personal stories that are kept solely within the group.

I am a military mom, one of many elite women. I stand beside my child with courage, strength and dignity. While I am not on the battlefield or in the foxhole, I am in the heart, mind and the character of my soldier sons and daughters.I support the Band of Mothers, who know just how I feel. Sharing encouragement, stories, laughter and tears for days or months or years.

Our sons and daughters were called to duty. (Listen)

NEXT MEETING IS TUESDAY MARCH 10 

We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of MARCH at 6pm at the FAC/Warwick Armory located at 541 Airport Rd., Warwick 02886

Email: RIBlueStarMoms@gmail.com

DIRECTIONS 

We offer a safe place to share thoughts, concerns, and any personal stories that are kept solely within the group.

I am a soldier’s mother; I sometimes march alone
And yet I stand with many, trying to be strong.
You may not recognize me as you pass me on the street; I may look like any other that you by chance might meet.
Like any mother, in a lot of ways I still remain,
But watching my son become a soldier brought a forever change.
For deep down inside where you cannot see
My own battle rages that’s as real as it can be.
It starts with feeling pride in all he has become,
But often worry creeps in before the day is done.
Then there is his absence that never will seem right –
The days without a word that causes many sleepless nights.
And at the sight of another soldier, my heart skips a beat,
For it reminds me of my own, and that face I’d love to see.
And I have a deeper sense of the sacrifices our heroes make;
I can see the hardships on the families – the loneliness, the heartache.
But in spite of all that’s raging, this mother’s love holds strong
As I’m wrapped in God’s peace and comfort and given strength to go on.
© Cynthia Gibbs

Who We Are

The Rhode Island Blue Star Moms is a military support group specially dedicated to supporting our Veterans, troops and assisting the mothers and families who have children who volunteered to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

A chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America, the RI Blue Star Moms provide military family support throughout the state of RI. Throughout the year, we create and send military care packages to show our loved ones that they are our heroes, that we appreciate their service and that we continue to support them while they are away from home.We share our concerns, our support, our pride and our devotion for our loved ones serving in the United States Armed Forces. Through various events and activities, we support fellow Blue Star Moms, associate members, our children serving in the military, our veterans and our community. We provide military family support to benefit our members and their families and we promote causes that will benefit military personnel through a military advocacy program.The RI Blue Star Moms is a non-partisan, non-sectarian, non-discriminatory and non-profit organization. Our mission is to support fellow Blue Star members, their sons, daughters and any other family members who are currently serving or have served in the United States military. The Service flag is an official banner authorized by the Department of Defense for display by families who have members serving in the Armed Forces during any period of war or hostilities the United States may be engaged in for the duration of such hostilities.

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The RI Bar Association US Armed Forces Legal Services Project is specifically designed to provide those serving in the military, eligible veterans, and their families with legal assistance. Volunteer attorneys directly represent military personnel in critically needed areas of civil law.

Services

  • Direct legal representation of military personnel, veterans, and families in areas of civil law.
  • Cases can include family law, probate issues, landlord/tenant, real estate, contracts, consumer, bankruptcy, collections, employment, immigration/naturalization, and income tax.
  • Cases may not involve initiation of a law suit.
  • Services are provided pro bono by volunteer lawyers.

Eligibility

  • Current active duty, Reserve, and National Guard members and their families. -OR-
  • Retired service members and their families. -OR-
  • Service-connected veterans and their families.

Armed Forces Legal Services Project

The Rhode Island Bar Association United States Armed Forces Legal Services Project is specifically designed to provide those serving in the military and their families with legal assistance. Coordinated with the Attorney-Advisor at the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, volunteer attorneys directly represent military personnel by accepting civil law cases including family law, probate issues, landlord/tenant, real estate, contracts, consumer, bankruptcy, collections, employment, immigration/naturalization, and income tax. For additional information on this project,
contact the Lawyer Referral Service at: (401) 421-7799 or by email eking@ribar.com.

Veterans and transitioning service members: This new Department of Labor site can help you find a civilian job. On this site you can:

· Explore Veterans’ Job Bank/National Labor Exchange online job listings.

· Find careers similar to your military job, or you can explore other options.

· Connect with one-on-one assistance in job seeking and skills training at an American Job Center near you.

· Access industry career programs in agriculture, transportation, energy/utilities, and homeland security.

· Learn how to start a business, with resources just for vets.

There are resources for employers seeking to hire veterans too!

And for more help with your job search, visit USA.gov.