REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - The head of Operations Security, Op Sec for the Army Aviation and Missile Command is Paul Quintel. It's his work, what he does every single day. "The protecting of sensitive, but unclassified information," says Paul
It's the sort of thing that almost all the thousands of people working at Redstone Arsenal see every day. The goal, get them to understand something. "Not to post things on social media. Not to post things on Twitter, Snap Chat, Facebook...talk about things at lunch or restaurants. You know, run into somebody at the store, and make a comment like...yeah, Tom is deployed again, but he'll be back for Christmas. Because you never know who's listening," says Paul.
The idea for operations security isn't new. Armies throughout history have worked to keep things secret. It was during the Vietnam war that Op Sec became an official thing. Because, just like now, people might be listening. One innocent detail complete a picture that wouldn't be innocent. "Oh you bet. Huntsville is probably one of the highest targeted areas for not just foreign intelligence threat, but any kind of espionage threat," says Paul Quintel.
So the threat is high at a time when Operations Security has become tougher. "Social media is the hardest thing to get our arms around because it is growing so fast and so rapid. And the younger generation, it's their lifeblood. They live and die by their social media sites," says Paul
The thing to remember; sensitive information is sensitive for a reason, and keeping it in-house is a big deal. "I mean lives depend on it. The one piece of the puzzle you might release could cost somebody their lives down range," says Paul Quintel.
Paul by the way, named the Op Sec Officer of the year for the Department of the Army for 2015. He knows what he's talking about.