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  1. Good article My opsec is similar to yours and probably many survival blog readers. My job takes me house to house every day working with people. Ive found a lot of preppers out there. There not as prepared as they should be or as good at opsec Im not either we are all trying to do our best Thanks for pointing that out

  2. I also am retired military. I also am teaching youngsters at this time (private school, not a military academy). I also have reached the conclusion that to not preach a self-reliant doctrine to select people of character is suicide tactically to my own house, but also is not carrying the message of the Proverbs ant vs. the grasshopper. Yes, it risks my own safety to a degree, but I would rather endure this risk than that of total isolation where EVERYONE else is an enemy. The second, course of secrecy also lets down my commander, Jesus Christ. All part of that defending the Constitution and being a sheepdog. If it was safe, they would call it bowling. Good to see someone else has recognized this issue and chosen the harder right.

    I am not the only one I know with this mindset either – another retired military man recently shared with me a comment from his contractor building his house. “All you military guys want ICF houses for when the bad times come.” This buddy is a convert to becoming self-reliant through the exact process this article describes. He was enlisted, warrant, and officer over 25 years. Reasonable, logical discussion and the front page news won him over. Everyone that has a family/friends enclave where they are self-reliant will offer the chance to solve problems, not be problems for the nation.

  3. I have never spoken out about a post here but this one deserves special consideration in the ranking because it is not just about saving your own skin but about something bigger beyond self-interest and personal survival, but about the kind of world we want to have after. As the man says, like it or not we are all going to die anyway… we should leave the world a better place for our having been here or as he says, at least carry the torch a bit further and hand it off to the next runner… not just bury it in a hole in the ground somewhere.

  4. Very good article , my prepping/OPSEC approach is a wee bit different in Canada. I work with alot of different people and have noticed , that there seems to be a lack of urgency or any kind of a mandate with the idea that Operational Security should be one of the top priorities .It might be that this generation ( 20yrs younger than me ) does not feel any sort disaster-type scenario would directly affect them . Education to me is paramount and even the little bit of info that I can pass on to the younger generation , to me is the right choice ….whether they accept it or not then becomes their choice

  5. Unless you’re buying everything locally with cash, I don’t believe thorough OPSEC is possible. As an example, our mail carrier saw me outside one day, and started a conversation with “I know you’re a prepper, I deliver your mail.” Luckily, she was looking for property in our area for a BOL, but it made me think of the UPS and FedEx drivers who deliver cases of dried foods and bulk ammo.

    People talk, and although the people you might talk to are honest and trustworthy, you can’t control who they might make an offhand remark to about your preps.

  6. My experience lends more toward a Sun Tzu philosophy of survival. In this case the imperatives being to represent a certain set of characteristics to your opponents, whether real or fabricated, while retaining a highly functional level of knowledge about your side (you and your allies) and as much as possible about your opponent. How you use that knowledge to prepare yourself beforehand will determine success or failure. If you haven’t envisioned your success (in the most realistic terms possible) before the event, through intel, planning, and prep, then you will have already lost before the event even starts.

    Opsec is part of a bigger strategy. Like the chessboard, the masters will attempt to convey information to their opponent that will lead them to a more predictable set of actions while simultaneously ascertaining their opponent’s motives and their own most likely responses. Thus, the masters’ success or failure lies in how well they prepare for the match, long before the first piece is moved.

    Also, you can’t win at poker if you have too many tells, and can’t bluff worth a damn. That too is Opsec.

    Look up Sun Tzu quotes.

  7. I totally agree with your view. We have had some differing opinions with a partner about this very subject.
    Some people are just going to figure out that you are a prepper based on your actions even if you don’t directly give it away.
    Our view is to share with folks when the opportunity arises. We still never let folks know exactly what we have but there’s no hiding the solar panels on our carport, big garden, chicken house or the fact we sold our life in the city and moved to the middle of nowhere!

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. I believe that OPSEC is more than keeping secrets. It is deception and misdirection and understanding human nature. It is said that a New York cab driver never uses his signal to change lanes because if you put on your signal the other drivers will move to block you. When I’m following a driver who constantly checks his rear view mirror and seems to be driving just to irritate me. Instead of tailgating him and staring him down I drop back and drive as though I do not even notice him. My theory is he is the kind of person who searches for a reason to be angered by others and if I don’t fill that vacuum he will find someone else. Of course when the opportunity presents itself to pass I do it eagerly and all the more successfully simply because he is no longer paying attention to me. I don’t generally make eye contact with people in stores or on the street. Even when a stranger greets me or asks a question I generally reply with the shortest response while continuing to move in the direction I was headed. (I know, I’m not friendly and it drives my wife crazy.) Being noticed and or giving up verbal or non-verbal information about yourself is the first misstep in keeping your private life private. Avoiding awkward questions by first avoiding introductory questions is a useful habit.

  9. In my command, I make it mandatory for every soldier to take the course on the Constitution found at https://www.theamericanview.com/
    Participation is required before I let them loose on other military training. It takes us 12 months, one lesson at each drill, to complete the course. Then we start over again. I have never had a soldier refuse, and I always see them ask questions in depth about the lessons learned. I tell them, and my up line chain of command, that I make this course mandatory because we ask those soldiers to take an oath to defend and protect that document with their lives. Why then should they not clearly understand the document they are willing to die for?
    This is for every soldier, those with prior service as well as the new guy who hasn’t yet been to basic. I wish it was mandatory at every grade school, high school,and every college and university in this nation. May I suggest that readers of this blog do the same?

    If the day ever comes where I am ordered to cease hosting this course, it’s the day I leave the military and form a new unit dedicated to the Godly principles and ideals contained in the founding documents of our nation.
    How’s that for OPSEC? Enough hiding behind the bushes; a lamps light cannot be hidden under a basket.

  10. Great job Todd. I believe that you and I have reached similar conclusions about a number of issues regarding OPSEC. I now talk freely about some aspects of my preparedness mindset to at least give people cause to think about where the world is at this point in time and maybe extrapolate where we could be heading. It has had a positive effect on numerous friends,family and others from my sphere of influence. You have it absolutely right about the need to preserve correct principles and virtues, while attempting to keep self and others alive to carry on with the work. Alive and well in H’burg.

  11. When the moving company moved us out of California to where I am now (technically not in the redoubt but close and way better than California) the movers were a Dad and his veteran son. Unpacking a loading press, IBA, pressure canner and stuff like this the son asked if I was going to put up a personal shooting range. I knew he knew, but it didn’t give me a reason to plan on murdering him. It was just one of “us” recognized or spotted another one of us. Like the authors students he will normally be far from here, and if something went sideways with him nearby he would probably seek some shelter or safe haven here. But that’s not a bad thing.

    On the other hand; I like the concept in JWR’s fictional book though about the people with the food anonymizing themselves through a giving partnership with their church. I forget the title but it’s the one that follows the couple with the bronco and the mustang. Its a believable application of opsec if we experience hunger in our time.

  12. Bravo! There are some things more important than just protecting our own interests.

    (Benjamin) I would love to see someone fully explore the application of Sun Tsu’s principles to prepping, or at least give us all a good start on thinking it through.

  13. I am glad you posted your article as I do believe that following a cookie-cutter process is not good for everyone, especially in OPSEC. Even in what someone should have is more of an individual choice than a group choice, unless you are coordinating with a group.
    The main thing is that many are preparing for whatever they think is coming down the pike. Getting together all the basics is always a good thing, just in case. The just in case can be anything from a natural disaster to a man-made one. So, long as you have something set aside to help you get through it, all the better.
    I share information in general, though not always much in the way of specifics.
    I work with over 200 military retirees (mainly AF, but also Army, Navy, and Marines)so there is talk about these sorts of things on a fairly regular basis. Some talk openly about what they have and where they have it, but it is with people they served with for 20+ years, and are now working together as government contractors. I share with them too more of an extent but still maintain plenty under wraps, as I did not serve with any of them and have known them for a shorter span of time. It is good to share some information as there is always something new to learn or find out about.
    Just like much of anything else, it really is up to the individual to determine what they are going to do, and how they will do it.

  14. OPSEC. They cannot read your mind but they can infer & deduce your thoughts and actions by the way you telegraph a message verbally or with non verbal cues. If you look like a duck and quack like a duck YOU ARE A DUCK. Careful what you say daily.

  15. Wow. This article and the responses today have been excellent. I was the first to post a comment today. So its been great to see many of your viewpoints today. Like I said in my first response I go house to house all day long in my job. All my clients are seniors and so am I. Its interesting how many of them are preppers and they don’t even know what that word means. They just see the world around them “going down the tubes” . So even though they are ill and elderly they have that will to survive. So… they prep. So I tell them a little of what Ive been doing to prepare and we have a another way of bonding besides theyre health care Most of them haven’t got long to live They know it… but they still prep. I love my job! God bless and keep prepping until youre gone

  16. Good article. For too long the good men of this nation have operated in a fear-based methodology. One does not win wars by hiding and watching the enemy at work. Make no mistake, there is a war under way in America. Secrets are good if they keep the enemy from knowing you, as long as your friends remain in the loop. But misdirection that has the enemy thinking they know you, not only makes them overconfident, but when done right, inhibits their ability and desire to ferret out more info about you.

  17. Sowing the seeds of values and a self reliant mindset is a noble and commendable undertaking. However, I think you are inflating OPSEC to something that is referred to as Information Operations (IO). IO (according to US doctrine) is composed of OPSEC, Electronic Warfare (EW), Computer Network Operations (CNO), Military Deception (MILDEC) and Psychological Operations (PSYOP). Civil Military Operations (CMO) and Public Affairs (PA) are related activities. OPSEC is a continual process of identifying vulnerabilities, the risks of their exposure and either concealing or mitigating those vulnerabilities. As such it is basically defensive in nature. IO is broader it covers defensive and offensive actions. Your desire to inform and influence others is a classic mission of IO. Themes and messages are carefully tailored to a very specific select audience in order to further objectives. The concepts behind each of the above functions and related activities of IO has relevance to preppers. Be it concealing how much food you have stored (OPSEC) to anonymizing your internet browsing (CNO) to helping your neighbor improve the yield of his vegetable garden (CMO). [Doctrine Nazi mode off]

  18. Great picture of 3 men and a woman of Courage. It appears that only 1 of the 3 officers has his weapon drawn and the others have their arms connected to form a barrier to the East Germans. It’s amazing how powerful the idea “this white paint can not be crossed”, is.

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