NOTICE TO ALL PERSONNEL
1. Purpose. This notice is circulated to all personnel, military and civilian, to advise them of the necessity for safeguarding such classified information as may become known to them, and to inform them of their personal and individual responsibility for preventing the disclosure of classified information to unauthorized persons. It is intended for informational purposes only. The provisions of instructions promulgated in AFR 205-1, "Safeguarding Military Information," apply to all personnel who are granted access to, or who have knowledge of classified information. The requirements of AFR 205-1 are in accord with the provisions of Executive Order 10501, "Safeguarding Official Information in the Interests of the Defense of the United States," dated 5 November 1953, contained in AFBul 23, 1953.
a. Classified Information - Official information, the safeguarding of which is necessary in the interest of national defense, and which is classified for such purpose by appropriate classifying authority
b. Classify - To assign information to one of the three authorized defense classification categories, "TOP SECRET," "SECRET," and "CONFIDENTIAL," after determining that the information requires protection as classified information.
c. Classified Matter (Material) - Classified information in any form or of any nature, including documents, products, or substances on or in which classified information is recorded or embodied.
d. TOP SECRET – Classification for defense information, the defense aspect of which is paramount, and the unauthorized disclosure of which could result in exceptionally grave damage to the Nation.
e. SECRET – Classification for defense information, and the unauthorized disclosure of which could result in serious damage to the Nation.
f. CONFIDENTIAL - Classification for defense information, the unauthorized disclosure of which could be prejudicial to the defense interests of the Nation.
3. Need for Classification. Military information is of varying degrees of value to foreign governments and enemy forces and therefore requires corresponding degrees of security protection. It is essential that official matter be examined and evaluated by proper authority, and, if safeguarding is necessary in the interests of the defense of the United States, classified in accordance with the degree of protection necessary for its security.
4. Examples of Classified Matter. War plans, intelligence studies, design details of new aircraft, performance data on tactical aircraft, cryptographic material, and combat capability of tactical units are examples of many types of military information which require protection as classified information and strict limitation on distribution or dissemination. Military publications used for training purposes in connection with tactics and techniques or as guides for servicing and repairing important materiel, such as radar equipment or aircraft engines, are examples of documents which may contain classified information and be given comparatively wide dissemination within the Air Force. Military correspondence including messages, which reveals information, the safeguarding of which is necessary in the interests of the defense of the United States, must be classified and accorded the proper degree of protection.
5. Command Responsibility:
a. In accordance with Executive Order 10501, the Secretary of the Air Force, as the head of a department within the Executive Branch, has ultimate responsibility for the safeguarding of classified information within the Air Force. Under the direction of the Secretary of the Air Force, the Chief of Staff, USAF, exercises control over all policies relating to the safeguarding of classified information.
b. Each commander is responsible for the preparation and execution of detailed programs for the safeguarding of classified information within his control or jurisdiction, consistent with policies prescribed in AFR 205-1. It is the responsibility of the commander to control and prescribe the distribution or dissemination to be made of classified information originated or received within a headquarters or unit, subject to the provisions of AFR 205-1.
c. A commander may delegate to other officers within his headquarters the performance of security control functions charged to him in AFR 205-1, but responsibility for the safeguarding of classified information within his command control remains with and rests upon him.
6. Individual Responsibility:
a. In accordance with Executive Order 10501, and as prescribed in AFR 205-1, responsibility for the protection of classified information rests upon each individual in the Department of the Air Force having such information or knowledge thereof, no matter how that information or knowledge was obtained or developed. It is the responsibility of all military and civilian personnel to familiarize themselves with and adhere to the provisions of AFR 205-1 and all other regulations which apply to them in the performance of their duties and which are issued for the protection of classified information.
b. All requirements of AFR 205-1 and related security instructions must be considered and observed by each person having knowledge of, or responsibility for, classified matter. It is the sum total of all elements of security policy applied by every person to his individual and official actions, regardless of position or grade, which results in adequate security of classified information and the military operations and other activities to which it pertains.
c. Persons who sign or otherwise approve classified documents are responsible for insuring that the classification assigned is the correct one and that the proposed distribution is necessary and authorized.
7. Dissemination of Classified Information:
a. Limitation. No person is entitled to knowledge or possession of, or access to, classified information solely by virtue of his office or position. The dissemination of classified information must be limited strictly to those persons whose official duties require such access in the interest of promoting national defense and only if they have been determined to be trustworthy.
b. Possession or Use. The possession or use of classified defense information is limited to locations where facilities for secure storage or protection thereof are available by means of which authorized persons are prevented from gaining access thereto.
c. Discussion and Access. Classified information may not be discussed either in public or in private with or in the presence or hearing of unauthorized persons, and the latter may not be permitted to inspect or have access to such information.
d. Determination of Requirement. Responsibility for determining whether a person's official duties require that he possess or have access to any element or item of classified information and whether he is authorized to receive it rests upon the individual who has possession, knowledge, or command control of the information involved and not upon the prospective recipient. The individual who has possession, knowledge, or command control of the information will not disclose it or permit access thereto, however, unless he is authorized to do so pursuant to the provisions of AFR 205-1.
e. Special Provisions for TOP SECRET. Particularly careful control is exercised concerning the dissemination of TOP SECRET information. A record is kept by the originator and recipient of each TOP SECRET document of all individuals who are afforded access to information contained in the document.
f. Limitations on Authority to Disseminate. In accordance with Executive Order 10501, classified information may not be disseminated outside the Executive Branch by any person or agency having access thereto or knowledge thereof except under conditions and through channels authorized by the head of the disseminating agency, even though such person or agency to which dissemination is proposed to be made may have been solely or partly responsible for its production. Classified information may not be released or disseminated outside the Air Force to the following persons or activities except in accordance with the policy and procedures promulgated in AFR 205-1: Private individuals, firms, corporations, and organizations, including contractors of the military departments; State agencies; Federal agencies, including other agencies of the Department of Defense, other departments and agencies of the Executive Branch, and agencies of the Legislative and Judicial Branches; and foreign governments and individual foreign nationals.
8. Assignment of Defense Classification:
a. The assignment of military information initially to a defense classification is a responsibility of command. Within a headquarters, as a general rule, the office which originates, develops, or otherwise has the primary interest in any information determines the classification required therefor, if any.
b. AFR-205-1 names the persons in the Air Force, by position, who are authorized to classify information originally as TOP SECRET and as SECRET. These persons are authorized to designate in writing additional individuals within their respective offices or headquarters to classify information.
c. Information may be classified as CONFIDENTIAL by any commissioned officer or key civilian employee, subject to the applicable provisions of AFR 205-1 and such restrictions as may be imposed by the commander of the headquarters or unit to which they are assigned.
d. The person responsible for preparing documents and other material which contain information specifically designated in AFR 205-1 as being TOP SECRET, SECRET, or CONFIDENTIAL, or which contain classified information copied or otherwise reproduced from other material is responsible for insuring that such material is marked with the proper defense classification.
e. When determination has been made as to the classification required, classified documents are conspicuously marked with the assigned classification in accordance with detailed rules prescribed in AFR 205-1. Appropriate rules also apply in the case of classified equipment and other materiel, and in event of changes in assigned classifications on any material.
f. It is essential that information be assigned the lowest classification consistent with its proper protection in order to avoid depreciation of the importance of correctly classified information, to avoid unnecessary expense and delay in the handling and transmission of documents and other matter, and to preserve the integrity of the individual classification.
9. Authority To Downgrade and Declassify. The authority that originally classified an item of information, or higher authority in the same chain of command, may downgrade or cancel the assigned classification whenever conditions warrant such action.
10. Preparation and Reproduction of Classified Information. Classified information may be prepared initially, copied, photographed, or otherwise reproduced only when necessary to satisfy actual military or other official governmental requirements. Special rules are prescribed in AFR 205-1 concerning the preparation of TOP SECRET documents, and the reproduction of such documents is not authorized unless specifically approved by the office of origin or in the case of Air Force information, higher authority in the same, chain of command as the office of origin.
11. Storage of Classified Matter:
a. When classified material, including documents, is not in actual use, it must be placed in safe storage or under armed guard.
b. Storage requirements for material classified CONFIDENTIAL or higher vary according to the security category and whether the material is registered cryptographic material or noncryptographic registered documents. Normally, TOP SECRET matter and all registered documents must be stored in a safe, steel file cabinet, or other steel container having a three-position combination lock and being of such weight, size, construction, or installation as to minimize possibility of physical theft or damage by fire or tampering. Nonregistered SECRET and CONFIDENTIAL material may be stored in the same manner as TOP SECRET material or in steel file cabinet equipped with a steel lockbar and an approved three-position combination dial-type padlock.
c. Unauthorized persons will not be permitted to possess the combination or keys to storage containers or have access to classified information in storage.
d. Persons who have custody of classified material are required to accomplish the necessary inspections within their respective areas to insure that all procedural safeguards prescribed in AFR 205-1 are taken to protect such material at all times. In each headquarters or unit, individuals are designated specifically to make inspections on a room or area basis at the end of, or after, normal duty hours each day to insure that all classified material has been properly stored and that all locking devices are secure.
12. Destruction Of Classified Information:
a. When destruction of classified matter is authorized it must be destroyed by burning, except as indicated below.
b. When authorized by a commander under conditions prescribed in AFR 205-1, classified documents may be destroyed by reduction to pulp.
c. AFR 205-1 contains detailed instructions regarding the destruction of classified equipment or other materiel and the destruction of any classified material In the event of all emergency.
13. Removal and Return of Classified Matter:
a. As a general rule, classified material may not be removed by any individual from the office or unit having custodial responsibility for the material unless specifically authorized or directed by the commander concerned or the person designated by name or office to act for him. Strict rules are prescribed in AFR 205-1 concerning the removal of classified matter by individuals to perform work at their places of residence, for use during visits to other stations, or for other similar purposes.
b. All classified material held by individuals must be returned to their respective offices or units prior to retirement, separation from the service or civilian employment change of duty assignment or revision to inactive status.
14. Transmission of Classified Matter:
a. Commanders are responsible for providing for the security of interoffice transmission of classified matter within their respective headquarters, subject to certain specific requirements prescribed in AFR 205-1 regarding special measures applicable to TOP SECRET matter, registered documents, and cryptographic material.
b. When transmission of classified matter outside a headquarters is authorized, the method of dispatch or transmission must conform with those authorized in AFR 205-1, which vary according to the degree of classification and the type of material involved. In general, TOP SECRET material is dispatched from a headquarters through TOP SECRET control channels by specifically designated and cleared commissioned or warrant officers or key civilian employees; it is never transmitted by mail channels. SECRET material may be transmitted by U. S. registered mail or by selected military personnel and civilian employees. CONFIDENTIAL material is transmitted in the same manner as SECRET matter.
c. Additional instructions are contained in AFR 205-1 regarding the selection of methods of transmitting registered documents and registered cryptomaterial, transmitting classified matter outside the United States, the shipment of classified equipment and other materiel, and the transmission of classified information by electrical means.
d. Whenever individuals are selected to act as couriers or messengers for the transmission of classified matter, transmitting authority will insure that such individuals are given proper instructions as to the security and delivery of the material. Failure to receive such instructions, however, will not relieve couriers or messengers of their responsibility for the security and proper delivery of the material.
15. Precautions Necessary for Safeguarding. The following rules are selected from AFR 205-1 as having general application to all military personnel and civilian employees:
a. Identification of Personnel. Before discussing, or permitting access to, classified information, the intended recipients must be completely and indisputably identified. If a prior personnel security clearance is prescribed as a prerequisite for access to the information involved, clearance of the intended recipients will be verified before discussing or permitting access to the information.
b. Advising of Need for Protection. When classified information is discussed with persons who are subject to military law or employed in the Executive branch of the Federal Government, such person will be informed of its classification. When classified information is discussed with persons in or out of federal service, other than those subject to military law or employed in the Executive branch, such persons will be informed that the information affects the national defense of the United States within the meaning of the Espionage Laws and that its revelation to an unauthorized person is prohibited by law.
c. Telephone Conversations. Discussion of classified information over the telephone is prohibited.
d. Correspondence. Classified information must not be included in personal correspondence. Official correspondence containing classified information intended for delivery to a specific individual in an office will be addressed in the proper manner to the head of the office or commander of the headquarters and marked for the attention of the individual in order to preclude the possibility of classified matter being forwarded through unauthorized channels or being disclosed to unauthorized persons in event of transfer, death, or other change in personnel status.
e. Publications. The inclusion of classified information in any commercial publication or in any personal article, thesis, or other product written for publication or distribution, or the contribution in any manner of classified information to other persons for such use, is prohibited.
f. Care of Documents in Use. Classified documents in use will be kept under the constant surveillance of the person responsible therefor. They should be placed in proper storage, covered, turned face down, or otherwise protected when visitors are present.
g. Rescission. Classified documents which have been rescinded or superseded will be afforded file protection required for their category until destroyed.
16. Loss or Subjection to Compromise:
a. Reporting. Any person, civilian or military, who has knowledge of the loss or possible subjection to compromise of classified information, or release or disclosure of classified information to any unauthorized person, is required to report such fact promptly to his immediate superior or commander. The latter individual will take further action as prescribed in AFR 205-1 to afford proper protection for the plans, operations, projects, or other activities which may be affected, and to insure that. a proper inquiry or investigation of the case is made.
b. Disciplinary Action. Violations of or failure to observe the provisions of security regulations be treated under disciplinary procedures authorized by law and prescribed in applicable regulations. The unauthorized disclosure of classified information by any individual, including key civilian executives and military personnel regardless of grade or position, may result in dismissal or prosecution under law, in the case of civilians, or trial by court martial in the case of military personnel.
17. Atomic Energy "Restricted Data." Except for certain additional rules prescribed in AFR 205-1 relating to marking, dissemination, and transmission, this notice also applies to "restricted data," as defined in the Atomic Energy Act of 1946, which is classified TOP SECRET, SECRET, or CONFIDENTIAL.
Attachment to AFR 205-1
U. S. Government printing Office 1953