Tending on MSN today was the following story:
“PRANK PAINTING HUNG IN PENTAGON FOR NEARLY A YEAR”
For nearly a year, a commemorative portrait of Ensign Chuck Hord, “lost at sea” in 1908, hung on a Pentagon wall. Amazingly, no one noticed that the painting was actually a stylized photograph and that the man in it looked like he had stepped out of GQ magazine, complete with blow-dried hair. Turns out that the portrait, which belongs to 53-year-old military retiree Capt. Eldridge Hord III, was smuggled in by one of Hord’s buddies in July 2011. The unusual hairstyle tipped off the Wall Street Journal, which alerted Pentagon staff, who have taken it down. What party poopers.”
How cool is that? Indicators people! In OPSEC, you’ve got to see the indicators. Sometimes, like the item above, not noticing indicators is simply embarrassing. At other times though, not noticing an indicator could cost lives. Ambushes, IED’s, surprise attacks: each of these typically will give off indicators. If you see one of those indicators it could give you a tactical advantage or help you reassess your current plan of action. It really doesn’t get much simpler or stronger than that.
Yes, OPSEC is a formal program with Program Managers, Program Coordinators, official guidance, and a defined 5-step process. But in the big picture – the one where the people we support live – it must be a way of life, a mind-set, a way to view the world. Some of you know this as situational awareness. Call it what you want but if you are not actively looking for, recognizing and reacting to the indicators around you then you are not doing all you can for yourself or your unit/organization.
On the way into work today (speeding as usual) I noticed multiple cars about 1/2 mile ahead of me were applying their brakes. To me that means one of two things: an accident or a cop on the side of the road. Either one dictated early braking which I did. It was a cop. The indicator was the brake lights. I looked for it, recognized it and reacted to it and will keep my driver’s license another day.
Keep the Faith!
It’s In The Way That You Use It – Eric Clapton