Codes & Ciphers are fun and fascinating forays into the shadowy worlds of clandestine communication, but more often than not have little real world practicality for the opper in the field. That said, when Opping with others there are myriad benefits to having (and using) various forms of covert communication. These can range from the simple to the complex (as can the scenarios in which they might be beneficial), but I am of the mind that when Opping with one or more persons at least some coded means of communication protocol should be established and well rehearsed (I.e. - familiar) to all in the Opping party.
Visual cues such as written codes or symbols, even simple directional arrows can be one of the most basic nonverbal means of conveying information within a group, but it has many limitations.
Visual cues such as tugging an earlobe or looking in a particular direction can be implemented to indicate such things as ‘run’, ‘all clear’, etc. and can be great real time relay systems for intra-party communication and can be done amongst members even in the presence of uninitiated outsiders like security guards, property owners, and/or law enforcement officers. For these to be effective however, they must be well rehearsed, practiced, and ingrained into each member of the group to the point that signals are clearly understood by all members even under duress.
Audio cues such as whistling, knocking, tapping, and more can be used to equal effect, but require the same proficiencies be developed as the examples above.
These are just a few of the most basic of ideas and a must confess I am hesitant to reveal too many here on so public a forum. That said, I am interested in establishing discourse on this topic and therefore would like to open discussion by asking if others have utilized clandestine communications during Ops? Were they used successfully, or catastrophically? What methods have others used and/or what other methods can you think of? There are no right or wrong answers, the ability to employ methods of covert communication is ultimately only limited by our own creativity and resourcefulness. I am interested in what other ideas, experiences, and/or insights others might share; and as this is a subject of some familiarity and personal interest to me, I may, if this discussion finds suitable traction feel encouraged to disclose more than I am presently comfortable with. Who knows? Let’s discuss and see where it goes!
There is no specific subject for this forum, talk about whatever you want.
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“For a while they stood there, like men on the edge of a sleep where nightmare lurks, holding it off, though they know that they can only come to morning through shadows.” —J.R.R. Tolkien, ‘The Passage of the Marshes’, The Two Towers