reclassifying. The proper method of classifying a
document for the purpose of selecting the appropriate
file is to read it carefully and analyze it, considering the
The most important, definite, or concrete
The purpose or general significance of the
The manner in which similar documents are
requested by users of the files.
The subject identification code under which
previous-documents of a similar nature are filed.
Directives are not placed in the general
correspondence files except when copies of instructions
and notices are attached to or interfile in such files
when needed to complete a record or document.
Instructions are filed in standard three-ring binders and
are arranged as follows:
1. In numerical order of subject identification
2. By the originating office within each subject
3. By consecutive number (suffix number) for
each originating office.
Notices are usually not filed because of their brief
duration. Should recipients believe it necessary to file
a notice temporarily, it may be interfile with
Messages are filed by the data/time group number.
Normally, two files are maintained with one containing
incoming messages and the other outgoing messages.
DISPOSITION OF CORRESPONDENCE
Retention of obsolete and inactive correspondence
and records is costly. Such correspondence and records
should be destroyed or transferred in accordance with
approved records disposal instructions. If this is not
performed periodically, the volume of file space
required becomes excessive and the files become
unwieldy, thus inefficient. The destruction of records
is governed by law, which requires authorization by
proper authority. The authority for destruction of Navy
records is contained in SECNAVINST 5215.5, Disposal
of Navy and Marine Corps Records.
The provisions of SECNAVINST 5215.5 are
normally amplified by the issuance of local instructions
outlining the procedures as they apply locally. The SK3
or SK2 should become familiar with these instructions.
However, you should not take it upon yourself to
determine the proper destruction or transfer of records
not clearly defined in these instructions. This is the
responsibility of senior petty officers, chiefs, or
Not all material in the files have a record
characteristic. In fact, most printed matter found in the
supply department general files fall in the category of
nonrecord material. This includes documents that are
copies of those filed in the ships office or station
administrative department or material accumulated in
the process of producing records, but which never
acquire a record characteristic themselves.
SECNAVINST 5212.5 (part II for shore stations
and part III for ships) contains the retention standard for
naval records. Record materials are listed by broad
subject and the retention period is furnished.
Nonrecord material may be destroyed locally as soon as
it has served its purpose. Records material may be
destroyed upon completion of the retention period.
Unclassified records or nonrecords materials
authorized for destruction may be placed in
wastebaskets and disposed of in the normal manner for
trash. Classified matter authorized for destruction
should be destroyed by burning in the presence of two
All persons witnessing the
destruction of classified material must have security
clearances at least as high as the category of material
Classified matter may also be
destroyed by pulping, provided destruction of the
classified material is complete and reconstruction
TRANSFER TO FEDERAL RECORDS
Federal Records Centers have been established by
the General Services Administration in various
locations throughout the United States. Activities are
authorized to transfer records to Federal Records
Centers under certain conditions, including the
When the records are specifically designated in
SECNAVINST 5215.5 for periodic transfer.
When the records are designated in
SECNAVINST 5212.5 for permanent or