Family Communication During Deployment

Section One: What to Communicate

Consider your communication goals.

All family members share one common goal, to stay in touch. When other goals are different, they may conflict and lead to communication failure, causing frustration, disappointment, and stress. Think back to your pre-deployment planning and preparation. Did you and your Service Member specify some things that you did or did not want to know about during deployment? You will want to share information about daily life to help keep your Service Member connected to those at home, but may want to filter out some potentially distressing details.

There are things that you will want to avoid communicating.

Operational Security (OPSEC) is the process of protecting little pieces of information that could be grouped together to give the bigger picture to an enemy. For example, you should not discuss anything related to the Service Members’ travel plans in order to keep them safe. This includes information about when or where they will deploy and when their planned return date is. You will also want to avoid discussing port call dates or dates when personnel or equipment are scheduled to be at a port. Additionally, avoid talking about unit morale or personnel problems as this information can give the enemy information about weak links or challenges that could be exploited.