higher than the material being destroyed. Destruction
will be recorded on a record that provides for complete
identification of the material being destroyed.
Destruction records must include number of copies
destroyed, date of destruction, and personnel
completing destruction. These records are maintained
for 2 years.
Secret messages must be destroyed following the
two-person rule, without a record of destruction.
Alternatively, one person may destroy Secret messages
if a record of destruction is made. The commanding
officer may impose additional controls for Secret
messages if warranted and if they reasonably balance
security against operational efficiency.
Confidential material and classified waste are
destroyed by authorized means. Personnel performing
destruction must hold an appropriate clearance and are
not required to record destruction.
If the material has been placed in burn bags for
central disposal, the destruction record is signed by the
witnessing officials at the time the material is placed in
the burn bags. Records of destruction must be retained
for 2 years.
All burn bags must be given the same protection as
the highest classification of material in them until they
are destroyed. Since several burn bags may accumulate
for burning, it is important to keep an accurate record
of the number of bags to be burned. Burn bags must be
serially numbered and a record kept of all subsequent
handling until destroyed.
As a Radioman, you will probably assist in the
burning of classified material. Every member of a burn
detail must know exactly what is to be burned and
should double-check burn material against an inventory
list before the material is burned.
To provide for accountability of the burn bags, the
supervisor of a burn detail must be sure that the bags are
numbered (or counted) before they are removed from
the workspaces. The supervisor of a burn detail must
have either a log or checkoff list that lists the number
of bags to be burned. At the destruction site, each bag
is checked off the list as it is destroyed in the presence
of the witnessing officials. Witnessing officials are
persons performing any destruction. They must have a
clearance equal to or higher than the material being
To ensure the complete destruction of bound
publications, the pages must be torn apart and crumpled
before they are placed in bags. All material must be
watched until it is completely consumed. The ashes
must be broken up and scattered so that no scraps escape
Crosscut shredding machines are relatively quiet
and may be used aboard ships where incinerator
facilities are not available. Crosscut shredders are
replacing incinerators in many areas where burning is
not allowed because of the Clean Air Act. Crosscut
shredding machines must reduce classified material to
shreds no greater than 3/64 inch wide by 1/2 inch long.
Crosscut shredding suffices as complete destruction of
classified material, and the residue may be handled as
unclassified material with the exception of some
COMSEC material. Not all crosscut shredders are
suitable for destroying microfiche, so make sure the one
you are using has that capability before attempting to
Pulverizing and Disintegrating
Pulverizers and disintegrators designed for
destroying classified material are usually too noisy and
dusty for office use unless installed in a noise- and
dust-proof enclosure. Some pulverizers and
disintegrators are designed to destroy paper products
only. Others are designed to destroy film, typewriter
ribbons, photographs, and other material.
Jettisoning or Sinking
Material to be jettisoned during emergency
destruction must be placed in weighted bags. The sea
depth should be 1,000 fathoms or more. However, if
water depth is less than 1,000 fathoms, the material
should still be jettisoned to prevent easy recovery.
Emergency plans provide for the protection,
removal, or destruction of classified material.
Commands holding classified material must develop an
emergency plan to fit their needs. The primary
requirement of an emergency plan is that it adequately
provide for the rapid and complete destruction of the
classified material. Emergency plans must cover three
areas of emergencies: