The DoD Security Specialist Course (SSC) course is administered in two phases: Phase I is the prerequisite eLearning courses/exams which provide a comprehensive introduction to common DoD security practices and Phase II is the virtual instructor-led course. You are required to register and successfully complete Phase I before receiving approval to attend Phase II, the virtual instructor-led session. See Registration Requirements below.

Description:This course provides a comprehensive introduction to common DoD security practices in the Industrial Security, Personnel Security, Information Security, and Physical Security disciplines and their interrelationships. Additionally, risk management concepts form the foundation of the course, and related content is woven throughout.

The DoD SSC VILT is delivered asynchronously via the Center for Development of Security Excellence (CDSE) Collaborative Learning Environment (CLE).

Learning Outcomes:
Module 0: Course Introduction

  • Recognize the Sakai tools that will be used in the course
  • Describe the overall structure of the Security Specialist Course (SSC)
  • Identify the purpose and audience of the SSC Course
  • Identify your role in the security field
  • Identify and understand the importance of Security Education Training and Awareness (SETA)

Module 1: Threats to DoD Assets and Risk Management

  • Describe the type of criminal threats
  • Describe the types of terrorists, their command and organizational structures, indicators, and tactics
  • Identify potential indicators of insider threats
  • Define risk management and identify the five-step risk management process

Module 2: Industrial Security

  • Identify the relationship between industrial security and risk management
  • List the steps in the contracting process and identify security considerations for each
  • Identify the purpose of DD Form 254 and key sections containing security guidance

Module 3: Personnel Security

  • Identify the relationship between personnel security and risk management
  • Recognize the purpose of the National Personnel Security Program
  • Identify the stages of the personnel security clearance process
  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of personnel involved in the clearance process
  • Identify the 13 adjudicative guidelines
  • Identify the nine adjudicative factors
  • Using adjudicative guidelines and adjudicative factors, make an appropriate interim security clearance eligibility determination for a scenario employee

Module 4: Information Security

  • Define information security and its purpose
  • Identify the relationship between information security and risk management
  • Correctly mark a derivatively classified document
  • Properly safeguard and prepare for transportation a piece of classified information
  • Identify the requirements and regulations that guide technology transfer
  • Identify unclassified controlled information and its protective measures
  • Identify the purpose and techniques for disposal and destruction of classified material
  • Identify responsibilities for personnel who handle and process classified information
  • Define and list requirements for classified meetings, including security manager responsibilities
  • Differentiate between oversight and inspection and identify the steps in the inspection process
  • Differentiate between security violations and infractions, and identify the process for handling security incidents
  • Recognize the fundamentals of Communications Security
  • Recognize the fundamentals of Technical Surveillance Countermeasures and TEMPEST

Module 5: Physical Security

  • Identify the relationship between physical security and risk management
  • Apply the five steps in the risk management model towards physical security planning, using a fictional installation

Module 6: Course Conclusion

  • Complete the final course exam
  • Review the role of the four core security disciplines in risk management
  • Describe the three primary characteristics of a successful security professional
  • Apply the knowledge gained to develop a Security Education, Training, and Awareness briefing

Delivery Method: Virtual Instructor-led

Length: 52 hours over eight weeks

Target Audience: Entry-level DoD and Federal civilian, military, and contractor security personnel.

Number of Students Per Course: 30 (Unless determined otherwise by the course manager)


  • Clearance Requirement: Secret
  • Attendance Requirement: Full-time attendance at all sessions and participation in practice exercises and discussion forums
  • Exam Requirement: Students must earn a 75 percent cumulative grade average on all practical exercises, discussion forums and exam.

Prerequisites: Successfully complete the Phase I activities identified in the DoD Security Specialist Curriculum Navigation GS020.NAV document.

Registration Requirements: Students must be enrolled in Phase I as a prerequisite for Phase II registration. To enroll in Phase I, students first complete the DoD Security Specialist Curriculum Navigation GS020.NAV document which assigns the required Phase I eLearning activities. This document also provides instructions to navigate the eLearning courses. These courses are bundled into four apportioned 'Modules' and are assigned in order of recommended completion.

Once enrolled in Phase I, students may register and reserve a tentative spot in the Phase II Virtual Instructor-led course on their desired date. Students are placed in a "Pending Approval" status while completing Phase I and are approved on a first come, first serve basis. Students are approved in the order they successfully complete Phase I. Students are placed on a waiting list once maximum capacity is reached for Phase II. If additional space becomes available or cancellations are received for Phase II, students from the waiting list will be contacted. Course reservations for Phase II are prohibited.

Credit Recommended/Earned:

  • ACE Credit Recommendation: (What's this?): 3 semester hours, upper division baccalaureate degree category
  • Professional Development Units per SPeD: 45

Additional System Requirements: Check if your system is configured appropriately to use STEPP.


CDSE courses are intended for use by Department of Defense and other U.S. Government personnel and contractors within the National Industrial Security Program.