The classification line is the first line of
the text and immediately follows the BT that
separates the heading and text.
indicates the message classification and, when
applicable, special-handling markings, codes,
or flag words.
This line also provides the
For United States use, the three security
classification designators are Confidential,
Secret, and Top Secret. The acronyms FOUO
(For Official Use Only) and EFTO (Encrypt
For Transmission Only) are not classification
They are used with the
designation UNCLAS in the classification
Restricted Data and Formerly Restricted
Data are similar except that they are used with
You can find
information concerning the criteria and
handling of FOUO and EFTO messages in the
Telecommunications Users Manual, NTP 3.
Certain types of messages require special
handling in addition to that provided by the
markings are placed in the classification line
immediately following the classification.
Some of the more common special-handling
markings that you will see are the following:
l Special Category (SPECAT)
l Limited Distribution
S P E C A T m e s s a g e s c o m e i n t wo
variations. One type includes both the general
SPECAT and the SPECAT Single Integrated
Information (SPECAT SIOP-ESI).
The other type of SPECAT message is
SPECAT EXCLUSIVE FOR (SEF). SEF is
used only within the naval community for
highly sensitive matters, high-level policy, or
when politically sensitive information is to be
passed only to a particular individual. The
classification line would then contain the
name of that individual. For example, a
Secret message destined exclusively for
Admiral W. T. Door would read:
SECRET SPECAT EXCLUSIVE FOR
ADM W. T. DOOR //N00000//
SEF messages are reserved for use by flag
officers and officers in a command status.
These messages are not intended for use in
operational matters, and they may not be
readdressed nor referenced in other narrative
SPECAT messages are handled only by
those personnel who are authorized to view
them as approved in writing by the CO.
LIMDIS messages are associated with
special projects, cover names, or specific
These messages require limited
distribution within the addressed activity to
with a need to know and
who are specifically authorized by the
command to have access to the information.
Only classified messages qualify for the
special-handling marking LIMDIS. However,
the classification is still assigned according to
the subject matter.
The classification line of
a Secret LIMDIS message would read
S E C R E T L I M D I S . P E R S O N A L F OR
messages may be unclassified or classified
and are reserved for flag rank and command
status officers. Distribution of these messages
is limited to the named recipient (who may
direct further distribution). In PERSONAL
FOR messages, the classification line always
shows the name or title of the intended
recipient and may show the name or title of