other form that includes complete identification
of the materials, the number of copies destroyed,
and the date of destruction. The two officials
responsible for destroying Top Secret and Secret
materials will sign and date the record of destruc-
tion. Retain records of destruction for a period
of 2 years. An originators statement that a
document may be destroyed without report
doesnt change the requirement to record the
destruction. It only means you dont have to tell
the originator the document was destroyed.
The two witnessing officials will sign the
record of destruction when Top Secret and Secret
materials are actually placed in the burn bag.
When the burn bags are destroyed, appropriately
cleared personnel should again witness the
Appropriately cleared personnel may destroy
Confidential material and classified waste by an
authorized means without recording destruction.
Those personnel destroying classified material
do not have to meet any rank, rate, or grade
requirements. However, personnel must be
familiar with the regulations and procedures for
safeguarding classified information.
A command operating a central destruction
facility posts the security responsibilities of users
and assumes any unassigned responsibilities itself.
The central destruction facility may deny users the
right to watch the complete destruction of the
material or to check the residue after it is
burned. In such cases, the central destruction
facility is responsible for assuring destruction is
complete and reconstruction is impossible.
Methods of Destruction
Burning has been the traditional method for
destroying classified material because destruction
is complete and disposition of the remaining ash
is relatively simple. The remaining ash need only
be stirred to ensure destruction is complete and
reconstruction is impossible. However, pre-
cautions have to be taken to prevent material or
burning portions from being carried away by the
wind. Incinerators can destroy most types of
classified material, but the Clean Air Act has
restricted burning. In some areas, state or
municipal legislation prohibits burning.
Shredding machines are relatively quiet and
require little skill to operate. Shredders vary in
their degree of effectiveness, depending on the
mechanical condition of the equipment.
The Navy allows the use of two types of
shredding machines: the strip shredder and the
cross-cut shredder. The strip shredder cuts the
material into strips no greater than 1/32 inch in
width. The cross-cut shredding machine reduces
the material to shreds.
You may shred intermixed classified and
Unclassified materials to prevent recognition or
reconstruction of the classified material. You may
use the strip shredder to destroy classified material
and then handle the residue as Unclassified waste
except when destroying communications security
(COMSEC) and SCI materials.
Pulverizers and disintegrators designed for
destroying classified material are usually too noisy
and dusty for office use. The Navy authorizes the
use of some pulverizers and disintegrators to
destroy photographs, film, typewriter ribbons,
glass slides, and offset printing plates. It
authorizes the use of others only to destroy paper
Use wet-process pulpers to destroy classified
water-soluble material. Since pulpers only destroy
paper products, make sure you remove staples,
paper clips, and other fasteners to prevent
clogging of the security screen.
Destroy microform by using an incinerator
(where permitted by local environmental regula-
tions) or a shredder approved for the destruction
of classified microform. Aboard ships at sea, you
may also destroy classified microform (except
COMSEC and SCI materials) by cross-cut
shredding provided the shreds are no larger than
3/64 inch by 1/2 inch. You may then throw the
shreds into the ships wake.
Unclassified messages and materials, including
formerly classified materials that have been
declassified, do not require the assurance of
complete destruction. Normally, do not destroy
Unclassified materials by the classified material
destruction system. However, the commanding
officer or higher authority sometimes may
approve its use because of unusual security
factors or for efficiency. One exception is
the destruction of Unclassified naval nuclear
propulsion information (NNPI). If possible,
destroy these materials by methods authorized for
destruction of classified material. If not possible,
use an alternative that provides a reasonable
degree of control during and after disposal.
Specific methods depend on local conditions, but
the method used should protect against un-
authorized recovery of naval nuclear propulsion
Contrary to widespread opinion, no security
policy exists requiring destruction of Unclassified
messages (except NNPI). Some telecommunications