NEWS | July 19, 2021

Norfolk Naval Shipyard Celebrates OPSEC Warriors with Quarterly Awards

By Kristi Britt, Public Affairs Specialist Norfolk Naval Shipyard

Operations Security (OPSEC) is the systematic method used to identify, control, and protect critical information. It is a way of thinking and acting to ensure the safety of information from adversaries who hope to gather what they can to use it against the United States. At Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY), all employees are expected to do their part in protecting information by storing and disposing of it properly so that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. OPSEC Coordinators lead this charge at NNSY and serve as warriors ensuring that critical information is protected and their team is following standard operating procedures.

Since protecting our Nation requires a continuous effort, NNSY’s work ensuring OPSEC is year-round. Each quarter brings a friendly competition across the workforce to determine which shop or code showcases top excellence in the practices of OPSEC. Those who stand at the top of the leader board are recognized as Quarterly Excellence of OPSEC Award winners, and receive the OPSEC flag and pennant, as well as the Purple Dragon trophy named Violet to display in their code for the quarter. 

“The award is something that is given to those who excel in displaying good OPSEC principles in keeping America’s Shipyard safe,” said NNSY OPSEC Manager Teresa Coon. “We evaluate each code’s participation under OPSEC’s five-step analytical process to ensure that information is being protected. We perform thorough searches through shipyard areas, scanning for storage of information, checking trashcans, and speaking with members of their team to see how well they know OPSEC. We are excited to see everyone’s passion in working to keep our shipyard safe.”

A ceremony was held May 19 to celebrate the winners from both the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021: the Operations Department (Code 300) and the Process Improvement Department (Code 100PI). 

“Code 300 went above and beyond in the fourth quarter, leading the charge in OPSEC across the shipyard,” said Coon. She shared that the code had all required documentation posted at their workstations, and also ensured information was not shared through means such as social media. “In addition to the amazing work the code’s been doing, their OPSEC Coordinator Candice Guglielmo is always present at meetings and willing to assist other OPSEC Coordinators whenever they might need help. She has led her team to victory!”

Guglielmo said, “I’ve been with the OPSEC Program since Feb. 2019. My main goal is to increase security awareness and make sure everyone in my department is more knowledgeable and aware of OPSEC vulnerabilities. I’m very proud of everyone in our code for putting forth so much effort to ensure our information is protected.”

As for the other honored department, this marks Code 100PI’s second OPSEC award. Code 100PI OPSEC Coordinator Debbie Watkins said, “Code 100PI has a lot of pride in our teamwork and efforts towards upholding the OPSEC principles. The ability to display the OPSEC Award flag and Violet is a great honor. Our alternate OPSEC Coordinator Pat Davis and I will continue to work as a team ensuring that everyone in Code 100PI upholds the OPSEC principles. We have set a new bar for Code 100PI to maintain and surpass and hope to win again in the future.”

In addition to the awards received by the departments, the OPSEC Coordinators each received a Certificate of Achievement for their efforts in leading the OPSEC charge.

“I want to thank these teammates for their continued support in OPSEC as well as the shipyard workforce as a whole for helping to ensure our information is protected,” said Coon. “Security is everyone’s responsibility and we cannot be successful unless everyone chips in. Together, we are One Team serving One Mission.”