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DOD Initial Orientation and Awareness Training Answers

Welcome to the Department of Defense (DoD) Initial Orientation and Awareness Training. This training is designed to equip DoD personnel, contractors, and affiliated members with the necessary knowledge and tools to maintain and uphold the highest standards of security across the entire defense spectrum.

DOD Initial Orientation and Awareness Training certificate

Whether you are a new recruit, a seasoned professional, or an industry partner, this training will ensure that you understand the core principles of security within the DoD and are prepared to enact them in your daily duties.

The Defense Security Enterprise (DSE) is a comprehensive network of entities, protocols, and guidelines that collectively uphold the security standards of the U.S. Department of Defense. DSE integrates security practices across different domains – from personnel and information to operations and industrial aspects.

Components of the DSE include:

  • Entities: Various defense agencies, departments, and commands that are responsible for different facets of national security.
  • Protocols: Defined procedures and standards that guide actions in specific scenarios to maintain security.
  • Guidelines: Best practices and recommendations that help individuals and organizations align with security standards.

In essence, the DSE is the backbone of our defense security apparatus, ensuring that every aspect of our defense operations, from top-tier strategic planning down to the individual actions of a service member, is conducted with the utmost integrity and security in mind.

Importance of Security Awareness in a Defense Environment

The defense environment is unlike any other. The stakes are monumental, and the ramifications of lapses in security can be catastrophic on both a national and global scale. Security is not just the responsibility of a specific department or team; it’s the duty of every individual within the DoD.

Key reasons for emphasizing security awareness include:

  • Protecting National Security: Every piece of classified information or operational tactic is a puzzle piece for potential adversaries. By safeguarding information, we protect the nation.
  • Preserving Lives: Security breaches can put the lives of service members, operatives, and civilians at risk. Proper security measures ensure the safety of our people, both at home and abroad.
  • Upholding Trust: The American public, our allies, and partners place immense trust in the defense establishment. It is our moral and professional duty to uphold this trust by ensuring that we operate securely and transparently.
  • Countering Emerging Threats: In an era of rapid technological advancements and changing geopolitical landscapes, new threats emerge frequently. A sound understanding of security practices equips us to anticipate and counter these challenges.

As you proceed through this training, keep these foundational principles in mind. Each lesson you encounter is a building block in creating a more secure, robust, and resilient defense posture for our nation. We thank you for your dedication and commitment to upholding these standards.

DOD Initial Orientation and Awareness Training Knowledge Check Answers

Which Periodic Reinvestigation is required for continued Secret Clearance
Tier 3 R
A favorably adjudicated background investigation is required for access to
classified information.
Which of the following must be reported?Driving while intoxicated, divorce, issuance of a restraining
Which of the following levels of classified information could cause serious
damage to National Security if compromised?
The Classification Authority Block must be placed:on the face of the document
Working papers must be remarked within _______days as a finished document.180 days
Which form is used to record combinations of security containers?SF 700 – Security Container Information
SECRET material may be sent via certified mail.False
Which of the following methods are appropriate for destroying classified
Shredding, burning
A data spill is a ____.Security violation
Personnel who receive questions regarding classified information appearing in the
media shall be referred to:
Your Public Affairs and Security Office
Contractor personnel are cleared under which program?National Industrial Security Program (NISP)
The standard DOD-wide form of identification is the ______.Common access card
Intrusion detection systems are only used on the exterior of a facility or
OPSEC is a methodology that denies critical information to the adversary.True
How often must you receive a defensive foreign travel briefing?At least once a year, prior to travel

DOD Initial Orientation and Awareness Training Final Exam Answers

In order to receive course credit you must complete the assessment and earn a score of 75% or above.

1. Which of the following is responsible for the review of written materials for public release?

  • A) Public Affairs Office
  • B) Security Office
  • C) Defense Office of Prepublication and Security Review
  • D) Director of National Intelligence

Answer: C) Defense Office of Prepublication and Security Review [source]

2. The Tier 3 Investigation is designated for the following positions:

  • A) Non-sensitive
  • B) Non-critical sensitive
  • C) Critical sensitive
  • D) Special sensitive

Answer: B) Non-critical sensitive

3. Which of the following methods may be used to transmit Top Secret material?

  • A) Appropriately cleared courier
  • B) U.S. Postal Service Registered Mail
  • C) Commercial delivery
  • D) Protected facsimile, message, or voice

Answer: A) Appropriately cleared courier; D) Protected facsimile, message, or voice.

4. All of the following are examples of Adverse Information that must be reported EXCEPT:

  • A) Use of illegal drugs
  • B) Pattern of security violations
  • C) Criminal activity
  • D) Traffic violations with a fine under $300

Answer: D) Traffic violations with a fine under $300

5. In addition to foreign travel requirements, those with SCI access must:

  • A) Complete a foreign travel questionnaire prior to proceeding on travel
  • B) Write a report of foreign travel do’s and don’ts
  • C) Give a checklist of clothing items to supervisor
  • D) Complete a secondary questionnaire upon return

Answer: A) Complete a foreign travel questionnaire prior to proceeding on travel; D) Complete a secondary questionnaire upon return.

6. What form is used to record the opening and closing of the security container?

  • A) SF702, Security Container Check Sheet
  • B) SF701, Activity Security Checklist
  • C) SF700, Security Container Information
  • D) SF312

Answer: A) SF702, Security Container Check Sheet

7. You must obtain a defensive foreign travel security briefing prior to travel or at least once a year from whom?

  • A) Program Manager Office
  • B) Contract Office
  • C) Human Resources Office
  • D) Security Office

Answer: D) Security Office

8. Good Operations Security (OPSEC) practices DO NOT include:

  • A) Discussing sensitive information carefully in public
  • B) Guarding against calls to obtain sensitive information
  • C) Watching for and reporting suspicious activity
  • D) Removing ID badges when leaving facility

Answer: A) Discussing sensitive information carefully in public

9. The Physical Security Program is designed to:

  • A) Protect against espionage, sabotage, damage, and theft
  • B) Equip interviews with questions
  • C) Prevent unauthorized access to equipment
  • D) Safeguard personnel

Answer: A) Protect against espionage, sabotage, damage, and theft

10. Examples of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) include (Select all that apply):

  • A) Inspection reports
  • B) Classified information
  • C) Investigation documents
  • D) Personally Identifiable Information (PII)


  • A) Inspection reports
  • C) Investigation documents
  • D) Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

Personnel Security

A. Definition and Purpose

  • Why Personnel Security Matters: Personnel security serves as a safeguard, ensuring that individuals who have access to classified and sensitive information or critical resources are trustworthy and do not pose a risk to national security. It’s about determining and continuously validating the reliability and loyalty of individuals.
  • Link Between Trustworthiness and Access: Access to classified or sensitive information is a privilege, not a right. Trustworthiness is assessed based on various factors, and this assessment then determines the level of access an individual is granted. Trustworthiness is foundational; without it, no level of access to classified material is permissible.

B. Personnel Security Investigations

  • Types of Investigations: Various types of background investigations determine eligibility for different levels of access:
    • NACI (National Agency Check with Inquiries): Used for positions designated as low-risk or for non-sensitive positions with no access to classified information.
    • SSBI (Single Scope Background Investigation): Required for Top Secret, Q-level clearances, and access to Sensitive Compartmented Information.
    • Periodic Reinvestigations: Ongoing investigations conducted at intervals (e.g., every 5 years for Top Secret) to re-validate an individual’s eligibility.
  • Investigation Process and Timeline:
    • Initiation: Once an individual is identified as needing a security clearance, the process begins with submitting necessary forms.
    • Data Collection: Investigators gather information from various sources, including references, previous employers, neighbors, and more.
    • Interview: Often, the individual under investigation is interviewed.
    • Analysis & Review: All gathered data is analyzed and reviewed for any potential security concerns.
    • Decision: A determination is made based on the findings.

C. Adjudication Process

  • Factors Considered in Granting Security Clearances: Adjudicators consider the “whole person” concept, evaluating factors like loyalty, behavior, financial responsibility, and other aspects of a person’s life. The Adjudicative Guidelines include potential areas of concern such as allegiance to the U.S., foreign influence, sexual behavior, and criminal conduct.
  • Denial and Appeal Processes:
    • Denial: If unfavorable information is found, the applicant may be denied a clearance.
    • Appeal: Applicants have the right to appeal denials, requiring them to refute, correct, or mitigate the concerns raised.

D. Continuous Evaluation

  • Reporting Changes in Personal Circumstances: Personnel with clearances are obligated to report certain changes or incidents in their personal lives. This could include arrests, financial bankruptcies, or contacts with foreign nationals.
  • Importance of Self-reporting: Self-reporting is crucial for maintaining trust and integrity in the security clearance process. Proactively reporting allows the system to understand and address potential vulnerabilities or threats. Failure to self-report can be seen as a violation of trust and could jeopardize clearance status.

Informational Security

A. Definition and Importance

  • Differentiating Between Types of Information:
    • Classified: Information that has been determined to require protection against unauthorized disclosure for reasons of national security. It is categorized into levels such as Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret based on its potential impact.
    • Unclassified: Information that does not have a security classification but may still be sensitive in nature.
    • For Official Use Only (FOUO): A designation applied to unclassified information that requires a specific degree of protection due to the nature of its content.

B. Marking and Handling

  • Proper Labeling of Documents:
    • Every document that contains sensitive or classified information should be appropriately marked. This includes a header, footer, and, for longer documents, side markings.
    • Page markings should indicate the highest level of classified information contained within that page.
  • Storing and Transmitting Information Securely:
    • Information must be stored based on its classification level. For example, Top Secret materials require more stringent storage conditions than Confidential materials.
    • Secure methods, such as encrypted channels, should be used for transmitting sensitive information. Unauthorized methods or platforms must be avoided.

C. Electronic Data and Systems

  • Securing Digital Data:
    • Ensuring data is stored in systems that are regularly updated and patched.
    • Employing encryption techniques to protect data at rest and in transit.
    • Regular backups of important data and ensuring backup locations are secure.
  • Email and Communication Security Protocols:
    • Utilizing end-to-end encryption for sensitive communications.
    • Not transmitting classified or sensitive information over non-secure or personal email systems.
    • Being wary of phishing attempts and other email-based threats.
  • Risks Associated with Removable Media:
    • Removable media (e.g., USB drives) pose significant security risks. They can be easily lost or stolen and can introduce malware to secure systems.
    • Use of removable media should be restricted, and any used should be scanned and authorized.

D. Incident Reporting

  • Recognizing a Potential Information Breach:
    • Any unauthorized access, dissemination, alteration, or destruction of information.
    • Noticing unfamiliar or suspicious activity on systems, or encountering information that one shouldn’t have access to.
  • Steps to Report and Mitigate:
    • Immediately cease any actions that could exacerbate the breach.
    • Report the incident to the designated security officer or point of contact as per the organization’s protocols.
    • Preserve any evidence related to the breach, and follow directives given after the report.

Operations Security (OPSEC)

A. Definition and Scope

  • Identifying Critical Information:
    • OPSEC aims to identify and protect information that can be pieced together by adversaries to deduce intentions, capabilities, or activities. This is termed “critical information.” Examples include troop movements, technical capabilities, or upcoming operations.

B. Threat Assessment

  • Recognizing Potential Adversaries and Threats:
    • Understand that threats come in various forms – nation-states, terrorist organizations, insider threats, hackers, and even competitive entities.
    • Recognizing signs or indicators that may signal an adversary’s intent or capability. This could include unusual cyber activity, reconnaissance, or surveillance.

C. Countermeasures

  • Protective Measures and Actions:
    • Implementing measures to reduce vulnerabilities. This can include shielding activities, encrypting communications, or employing decoy operations.
    • Regularly evaluating and adjusting protective measures based on evolving threats and changing operational environments.
  • Maintaining Operational Unpredictability:
    • One of the primary goals of OPSEC is to prevent adversaries from predicting our actions. This unpredictability can be maintained by varying routines, employing deception when necessary, and ensuring that operational details are only known to those who need to know.

D. Awareness and Training

  • Keeping Personnel Informed:
    • All personnel should be aware of the critical information related to their operations and their role in protecting it.
    • Regular briefings on the current threat landscape, potential adversaries, and recent incidents or breaches.
  • Regular OPSEC Refreshers and Updates:
    • Given the dynamic nature of threats, periodic OPSEC training should be conducted to ensure personnel are updated on new methodologies and strategies.
    • Real-world incidents can be used as case studies to illustrate the importance of OPSEC and the consequences of breaches.

Insider Threat

A. Definition and Implications

  • Recognizing Potential Insider Threats:
    • An insider threat refers to harmful actions (like espionage, sabotage, theft, or cyberattacks) taken against an organization from someone within that organization. This person could be an employee, contractor, business associate, or any other individual with inside information.
  • Impact of Insider Threats on Operations and Security:
    • The damage from insider threats can be immense given the trusted access these individuals have. They can bypass security measures, leak critical data, or damage operations from the inside.
    • The aftermath can include loss of proprietary or classified information, financial repercussions, reputational damage, and potential harm to personnel.

B. Indicators and Red Flags

  • Behavioral Changes:
    • Unusual hours or accessing areas they don’t typically frequent, reluctance to take vacations, frequenting prohibited websites, or excessive downloading/printing.
  • Financial Stressors:
    • Unexplained wealth or living beyond means, frequent complaints about financial difficulties, or trying to access coworkers’ financial information.
  • More Indicators:
    • Conflicts with coworkers, expressing disagreements with organizational policies, exhibiting signs of disgruntlement, showing interest in matters outside their scope of duties, or trying to gain unnecessary security clearances.

C. Reporting Mechanisms

  • How and When to Report Concerns:
    • At the first sign of suspicious activity or behavior, it should be reported. Waiting or ignoring the signs can lead to greater damage.
    • Use designated channels, typically the security department or higher management, depending on the organization’s protocol.
  • Anonymous Reporting Options:
    • Many organizations have hotlines or online platforms where concerns can be reported anonymously. This helps protect individuals who fear retaliation or other negative consequences.

D. Mitigation Strategies

  • Vetting and Monitoring:
    • Regular background checks, not just during hiring, but also periodically throughout employment, can highlight potential red flags.
    • Monitor network activities and access logs to ensure there’s no unauthorized or suspicious access to data.
  • Policies to Reduce Risks and Opportunities:
    • Implementing strict data access controls, ensuring that employees only have access to data necessary for their job functions.
    • Regular training and awareness sessions for employees, emphasizing the importance of security, recognizing insider threat signs, and the implications of such threats.


Security is a collective endeavor, requiring the active participation of every individual. Whether you are a senior leader, a frontline worker, a contractor, or a visitor, the actions you take (or fail to take) can have profound implications on the safety, operations, and integrity of the organization. By being conscientious, proactive, and aware, every person can make a significant difference in fortifying the defense barriers against potential threats.

Complacency is the enemy of security. The landscape of threats, both external and internal, is dynamic and constantly evolving. This necessitates an ongoing commitment to being alert, practicing good security habits, and immediately reporting any suspicious or unusual activity.

Always remember that it’s better to raise a potential concern and have it be a false alarm than to remain silent and risk a security compromise. Encouraging a culture of open communication without fear of retribution is essential.

Security awareness doesn’t stop at the conclusion of a training session or the end of an orientation. It’s a continuous learning process. There are numerous resources available, both within the organization and externally, for individuals to further educate themselves on security protocols, emerging threats, and best practices. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Internal Resources: Utilize the organization’s internal platforms, intranet, or dedicated security portal for updated guidelines, training modules, and incident reports.
  2. Workshops and Training: Attend periodic security training sessions or workshops offered by the organization or trusted third-party providers.
  3. Industry Publications: Stay informed with trusted defense and security industry publications, newsletters, or journals.
  4. Security Associations: Join relevant professional associations focused on defense and security to network, share experiences, and learn from peers.
  5. Help Desks and Hotlines: Familiarize yourself with internal help desks or hotlines that can provide guidance, answer queries, or assist in reporting potential security concerns.

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