January 22, 2018. That’s the big day.
As the 30th anniversary of the day President Ronald Regan signed National Security Decision Directive Number 298 into being, that’s the day we can all celebrate National OPSEC Day. Or, at least, we would if there were such an anniversary. Well, okay, for the sake of argument I suppose any day that something significant happened would be followed annually by an anniversary. But I’m not talking about just any day- no sir and no ma’am. I’m talking about a commemorative anniversary. One that celebrates all that is encompassed by the signing of this important document.
After all, it was an important document that was signed! It formerly established a National OPSEC Program and kept the entire process from being a simple vietnam-era experiment. It brought OPSEC into other arenas, which have since been applied to the private sector, neighborhoods, military units, law enforcement, domestic violence shelters, and more. It’s also the day that the Interagency OPSEC Support Staff (IOSS) was created, all by one stroke of the pen.
So why not a National OPSEC Day?
Aside from our formal holidays, most “National Days” are there to commemorate some date, and also – perhaps more significantly- to raise awareness about a specific subject. A few examples include Family Literacy Day, America Recycles Day, World AIDS Day, Human Rights Day, National Day of Play. That’s a very, very, very small sample of our “National Days.”
Other topics are so important that they merit an entire month: National Autism Awareness Month, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, just to name a few. In fact, in the United States, each month represents multiple important causes- on average, 11 of them.
On the other end of the scale we have literally hundreds of other “National Days” that are just plain ridiculous: Run It Up the Flagpole and See if Anybody Salutes It Day, Old Rock Day, National Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend Day, Blame Someone Else Day, National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day. And those are all contained in January – and that isn’t even all of them.
With this in mind how hard could it be to create a National OPSEC Day? Actually, quite hard indeed. A truly “National” day is literally an act of Congress and takes a lot of work. OSPA’s already reached out to the white house to request such a proclamation, but having heard nothing back it’s uncertain if National OPSEC Day- the 30th anniversary of this important program- will every be formalized. Together, we may be able to make it happen- if not formally, at least a day that we can all remember what OPSEC has done for our nation and in our lives.
So mark it on your calendar now: January 22, 2018, the 30th anniversary of our National OPSEC Program and the birthday of the IOSS, is National OPSEC Day.
Do you want to help make this happen? Then make it happen! Share the idea. Contact your congressman. Tweet. Retweet. Share. Plan your own events. Make it happen!