Video:What Is Security Clearancewith Rod Powers
Learn all about security clearance and what that means to national security. Here, see facts about security clearance and what happens during the process.See Transcript
Transcript:What Is Security Clearance
What's the Purpose of a Secuirty Clearance?A security clearance investigation is an inquiry into an individual’s loyalty, character, trustworthiness and reliability to ensure that he or she is eligible for access to national security information. The investigation focuses on an individual’s character and conduct, emphasizing such factors as honesty, trustworthiness, reliability, financial responsibility, criminal activity, emotional stability, and other similar and pertinent areas. All investigations consist of checks of national records and credit checks; some investigations also include interviews with individuals who know the candidate for the clearance as well as the candidate himself/herself.
Three Categories of Military Classified DocumentsIn the military, all classified information is divided into three categories:
- Top Secret
What Determines Security Clearance?For military personnel, two things determine the level of security clearance required - your MOS/AFSC/Rating (or Job), and your assignment. To have access to classified information, one must possess the necessary two elements: A level of Security Clearance, at least equal to the classification of the information, AND, an appropriate "need to know" the information in order to perform their duties. Many military jobs require access to classified information, regardless of where one is assigned. In other cases, the job itself may not require a Security Clearance, but the particular location or unit that the person is assigned to would require giving access to classified information and material.
The Department of Defense (or DOD) operates its security program separate from other government agencies, with its own procedures and standards. A TOP SECRET Clearance with the Department of Energy, for example, would not necessarily transfer to DOD.
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