“Retired personnel, former DoD employees, and non-active duty members of the Reserve Components shall use the DoD security review process to ensure that information they submit for public release does not compromise national security.”

DoD Directive 5230.09 – DCMO August 22, 2008, as amended



Certain types of information must receive a security review before being referenced in literary works acquired through DoD experience and/or knowledge. These include information authored or presented by a current or former DoD official who, by virtue of rank, position, or expertise, would be considered an official DoD spokesperson. Other types include information that originates in the National Capital Region regarding sensitive political and military operations, has potential for national/international interest, affects national security policy, foreign relations, or on-going negotiations, concerns a subject of potential controversy among DoD components or with other federal agencies, or potentially contains technical data on defense articles subject to export controls under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.


There are a number of potential outcomes of a security review. The information may be deemed cleared for public release; cleared with recommendations; cleared “as amended” and containing mandatory changes; or, there may be an objection that contains appeal right procedures.


The timelines for conducting a security review ranges from 1 week to 4 weeks depending on the length and complexity of the document. To obtain a DoD security review, former officials can send the Defense Office of Prepublication and Security Review (DOPSR) a request letter, attaching what needs to be reviewed. The package can be sent in hard copy or electronically.


Protecting national security information is a life-long obligation. The DoD security and policy review process has existed for over 60 years, precluding the publication of inadvertent classified or sensitive DoD information.

Details are located on the DOPSR web site at    


For more information the security review process, see DoD Directive 5230.09, “Clearance of Department of Defense (DoD) Information for Public Release,” (August 22, 2008, as amended), DoD Instruction 5230.29, “Security and Policy Review of DoD Information for Public Release,” (August 13, 2014), especially Enclosure 3, and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations at 22 C.F.R. 125.4(b)(13).





Contact Information: 
Telephone: 703-692-9060



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