What information should be considered classified and who should have access to it? What information should you share with those in your community? What information should you share with friendly neighboring communities? Read on to find out.
This is a part of our Community Commander training for wartime military tactics.
Video - Identifying Classified Information
SMR (Special Missions Recon)
When I worked SMR, we always had several different missions going on at the same time. We might sit around talking crap about how close we came to getting busted or something of that nature. But we never talked about mission specifics.
Simply, if you were not read in on that mission, you didn't need to know. Even if others in the unit knew where we went, we never told them anything specific. Instead it was crap like, "Dude you should see the women over there!" or "It was so damn cold my soul is still shivering!" But never, "So first, we linked up with this guy called Marco at the Pink Lady in Juarez."
That stuff was none of their business. Amazingly, we all were cool with this. Even though the others held the same security clearance as I, they all knew the rules. We just didn't talk about mission specifics. And this didn't effect unit morale or cohesiveness in any way. It was ludicrous for anyone to get offended because they weren't in on every nitty, gritty detail. I want you to use this same train of thought when dealing with your community.
What information should you share with those outside of your community that are interested in joining? You have no reason not to trust them and you wish to grow your community. You also want to be as honest with them as possible. Yet, you worry about exposing yourself, your assets and other members to potential spies/enemies.
*Side Note* The public info is not going to be listed with any other status levels as this should be general knowledge already.
While you want to be very VERY careful about revealing the location of your community, any potential member needs to know if it's going to be possible for them to travel there.
Role tryouts are for anyone who wishes to apply as a Guard or Medic. (Members of the QRF, DAF, and your Commo guy should be well vetted. These guys can literally compromise the entire network.) They can be accepted on standby if your teams are already full after they pass the required qualification guidelines. (You will learn more about suggested quals for each role in the Community Commander course.)
While food status is important, don't worry so much about whether or not you can feed a new member. There is safety in numbers, and if you can trust them, find a way to help them.
Friendly Neighboring Communities
It is important to have allies when preparing for war. This gives you the ability to barter and trade with more variety. Not to mention it gives you backup and a fallback position should your community get compromised.
Your allied communities need to be able to radio in when they need assistance and vise versa. Make sure that their radio system works regularly. You will learn more about this in our communications course. They also need to know your location (and you theirs) so that they can fall back to where you are should they get overran. They also need to know your overall abilities in the event they call for help.
Members of Your Community
When you keep lots of secrets, you sow distrust. Yet, every smart man knows never to show all of their cards. Here we will have to break it down to the roles of each member and what it is that they need to know.
Even if you trusted every member of your community explicitly with your life, you don't want everyone knowing everything. This is a precautionary move in the event someone from your community is taken by the enemy and interrogated.
Information to Share
In order to cover this without making it completely confusing, I'm going to break it down into basic member roles. Keep in mind that this is a general outline. Your going to have to figure out what works for you. Don't worry about following this guideline down to the T. If one person figures out where some of the food is or finds a cache of medical supplies, it's not the end of the world if you trust them. The Classified section gets more serious with your DAF team, but otherwise its just information you don't go blabbing about unnecessarily.
The Community Commander
As the Community Commander, you have a huge responsibility and you better be well trained for it. You need to study up and meet the qualifications for EVERY role in your community. Should one need assistance, you need to be able to jump in and help.
*Dummy Check* Make sure your assets aren't in one spot. Caches are a great way to get started with storing food, weaponry and medical supplies in varied locations.
The Community commander knows everything that is going on and why. However, they don't control every aspect of the community member's lives. So if Bobby's daughter Sally get a ear ache and goes to the medical shack to receive treatment, the community commander doesn't need to know that. But what he really doesn't need to know is the DAF overall operational practices and plans. In this one area, the less the community commander knows, the better.
The DAF (Direct Action Force)
These are your covert operatives. The classified information on these guys are the most important. You DO NOT want their personal info or their mission objectives to get compromised. Be VERY strict about keeping everything about them classified. It may not even be safe for the community to even know who their family members are. It would actually be better if they didn't even live in your community.
These guys are also the ones bringing you food, ammo, weapons, intel, etc. Their main goal is to provide for the community and protect it from abroad.
They also need to be on their game with torture resistance training. If ONE even gets caught and they break too soon, the whole network could fall apart. You will learn more about this in our DAF course.
Again, you don't want every member of your DAF team to know everything there is about each other. This will take a lot of explaining, so you'll have to take the DAF course to find out why. I simply don't have enough space to share that with you right now.
It would behoove you to know that if one of your DAF members get compromised - you've got less than 3 days to evacuate your community before the enemy comes crashing down on you. (How to evacuate a compound is another lesson for the Community Commander course)
The QRF (Quick Reaction Force)
While every member in your community needs to have the ability to pick up a gun and fight (actually they should be carrying one at all times), they do not need to know where all of your weapons and ammunition are. Your DAF, Guards, QRF and anyone that has access to the main armory needs to keep strict reports to the Community Commander on usage and inventory. Furthermore, During an attack, this is who is protecting your community, so they need to know what is where so they can better protect it. *Side Note* HQ = Headquarters
These guys make up your first line of defense. They need to know what, how, and why to protect. Furthermore, they need to know your community's full capabilities so that they can assist the QRF in defending the community during an attack.
Communications & Radio Guys
The Commo guys are going to know more than they should. That's just the nature of the beast. They need to be trustworthy and tight lipped. They will be present during the majority of the DAF mission briefs and pretty much know everything going in and around the community compound. These are the guys that fix and monitor all radio traffic. They are also the ones that contact allied communities on a regular basis and can request assistance from them.
Your medics are going to be responsible for keeping track of medical assets and reporting back to the Community Commander daily/weekly. Furthermore, they are responsible for the overall physical well being of the community. But just remember that the first spy in the Revolutionary War was Dr. Ben Church, who fought so bravely at Bunker Hill.
Your cooks are going to be responsible for reporting back to the Community Commander on the food status daily/weekly. They need to keep track of the amounts of food in stock and how much is there down to the can. This way you can assess how long it will last you, if you can share with outsiders, or if anyone within the community is stealing.
You're going to have to follows this one at your own discretion as some teenagers may be more mature than others. Any soul that is able to responsibly carry a weapon, should do so. (Keep in mind that it used to be common for boys to carry around a rifle on a farm.) They need to be able to defend themselves and their families should the need arise. Bad things happen like lightening with war.
Keeping it Classified
As you can see, there are different levels of classified information. Each member of your community is going to have information that other members do not.
How to Explain Classified Levels
Obviously, you've got to tell your people what information that they can share and what information that they can't. But you've got to do it in such a manner that they understand why. Even the most loyal of subjects will let their mouth slip if they don't see the need behind secrecy. They will also resent not getting all the information themselves if they don't see why it should be classified.
So how do you keep that information from spreading all over the place? Be honest. Explain why they should have tight lips on everything. They need to keep their communication with each other as basic as possible and not delve into the deep details of each other's lives. (This is a good habit to have anyways as nosy neighbors and gossip always spread trouble in a community.)
Beware of Moles
Moles are people that try to join a community in an effort to gain information for the enemy (like a spy.) Be very careful because this is a very common wartime tactic.
There are three things you should watch out for:
- Super curious, asking way too many questions about the community's layout/setup.
- The pretty face (usually female) that takes an interest in individuals with status (Community Commander, Commo Guys or Team Leaders.) This is often referred to as the "honey trot."
- Anyone having an affair. This ALWAYS leads to information disclosure and security protocol violations. I've NEVER heard of it happening in which it did not lead to the leakage of sensitive information.
Lots of information to cover here, this is extensively covered in the DAF and Community Commander's course.
When you go through SERE, you are taught that if you can make it as a POW (prisoner of war) for 3 days, that all the information you disclose to the enemy is outdated. (It is not a matter of IF you are going to talk, it is a matter of when.) There are thousands of ways to gather information from someday, even if they don't realize they are disclosing it.
That being said, if your DAF guys are compromised or captured, you have 3 days to change EVERYTHING. While you may not be able to relocate the compound, you can change call signs, frequencies, guard rotations, personnel numbers, booby trap placements, claymore placements, landmine placements, travel routes, caches, etc. Then fortify your position and stand by for an attack. Be sure to move several caches outside of the compound in case you're overran. (This isn't something that just your community needs to do, but all of you're allied communities.)
One DAF guy can compromise the entire network to include informants. Again, you will learn more about this in our SERE, DAF or Community Commander course.