Commentary

August 10, 2012

A moment on the lips will surely delay trips

Commentary by Staff Sgt. Gina M. Paige
366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

There is nothing more satisfying than holding my husband in a long embrace after six-months of separation. Even after several deployments, it just doesn’t seem to get old.

While our significant others are gone we have this sense of pride – a right to brag about where they are and what they are doing – but what we don’t realize is the impact this can have, not only to our loved ones but all members at their de-ployed location.

I was at a local business recently and overheard a woman on the phone. I could tell she was talking to her spouse and just by their conversation, I knew he was de-ployed. She finished up her phone call while paying the cashier and went on to discuss how her husband was at a particular location and that she could still talk to him over the phone.

I sat there in shock for a moment as I pondered what I heard. As a Public Affairs specialist I know his location was an “undisclosed” and is not releasable. As I sat there thinking to myself, I realized many military members and their spous-es may not know any better and do not realize the negative effects a small, friendly conversation could have.

In 2009, my husband was deployed with his unit of more than 300 personnel. I was so eager for his return home as this was our first separation. I went into work the morning before his projected return date and was greeted with an email in my inbox. I was excited to just know he was safe somewhere on the globe. I read the first line, and my heart sank, “I can’t tell you what happened and I don’t know when I will be home, but I am okay, and I love you.”

We later learned a member of the unit emailed their significant other the details of their departure and arrival information. The information fell into the wrong hands, and the base was attacked and put on lockdown. The decision of one person put their entire unit, and base, in jeopardy.

Today’s technology has made it easy for our enemies to track troop movements and missions. Simple things like status updates and photos on social media sites can give terrorists “pieces of the puzzle” – a term known as aggregation.

I am just as proud of my spouse as anyone else is of theirs, and want the world to know just how great he is. However, their safety is critical to mission success. It’s up to us as military members, dependents, family and friends to ensure we keep our Airmen safe as they con-tinue overseas contingency operations.

Contact your unit or base OP-SEC manager for more information on how to safeguard potentially sensitive information.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Racheal E. Watson)

Living the American Dream

SOUTHWEST ASIA — On Christmas day in 1991, the Soviet flag flew over the Kremlin in Moscow for the last time. People across the country took what jobs they could find, getting paid a fraction of what they made before as...
 
 

AFSOUTH Airmen visit orphans

(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Heather R. Redman) Staff Sgt. Katie Adams, Master Sgt. Roberto Vasquez and Capt. Sarah Hartenstein, all members of 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), take a group photo with the children at Casa de Corderitos orphanage outside the city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, June 18. The 12th Air Force (AFSOUTH) members...
 
 

AF begins enlisted PME enrollment notifications

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Last week, the Air Force Personnel Center initiated a phased approach to notify approximately 83,000 Airmen of the requirement to enroll in the applicable enlisted professional military education distance learning course. AFPC will notify 20,000 Airmen at the beginning of each month until all members have been notified....
 

 
Congeniality_pict

More than just Ms. Congeniality: Airman competes for homeless female veterans

For Tech. Sgt. Charmaine Pozo, the Ms. Veteran America contest was not about glamourous pageantry. It was about tireless advocacy – for a minimally acknowledged segment of those who have served in uniform: homeless female...
 
 

Enlisted evaluation, promotion systems updated

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — With static closeout dates for each rank in place, the Air Force announced it will update the enlisted performance report forms and utilize new forced distribution and senior rater stratification restrictions to round out the incremental changes to enlisted evaluation and promotion systems with performance as the driving factor in promotions. For...
 
 

Don’t throw a fit — get fit

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, ARIZONA — It’s a controversial topic that has been brought up by many Airmen — changing the abdominal circumference standards on the Air Force fitness assessment test. After months of debate, it was decided by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III that the standards will stay the same....
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>