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SecDef and DepSecDef Read Ahead Guidance
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SECRETARY AND DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE READ-AHEAD GUIDANCE
General Guidance on Read-Ahead Packages for the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary
This guidance covers read-ahead packages for all meetings, briefings, interviews, phone calls, and events involving the Secretary of Defense (SecDef) and Deputy (DepSecDef). It includes procedures and templates for standard read-aheads, Principal Committee/National Security Council (PC/NSC) read-aheads, talking/discussion points, phone call talking points, and foreign visits.
Military Assistants and Executive Officers will receive Read-Ahead taskings from the Office of the Executive Secretary by e-mail.
E-mail updates reflecting changes in the Secretary of Defense (SecDef) schedules will be sent as they occur.
Primary offices are responsible for coordinating with secondary offices and consolidating material so there is a single product for each event with no unnecessary duplication.
If you need guidance about specific topics that should be addressed in Read-Aheads or required coordination for the SecDef, please call Ms. Belinda Purifoy or Ms. Jessica Walker at 703-692-7122/7162, and for the DepSecDef to the Non-Commissioned Officers at 703-692-7150.
Submit an original Read-Ahead plus nine (9) copies for SecDef/DepSecDef meetings in accordance with the attached guidelines and templates.
Read-Aheads for the SecDef should be delivered to Ms. Purifoy in Room 3E880 and for the DepSecDef to the Non-Commissioned Officers in room 3E944..
Deadline is 1200 (Noon) two workdays prior to a meeting, briefing, interview or event. (e.g., if the prep session for a visit is at 1400 on Wednesday, the Read-Ahead is due at 1200 on Monday; if a meeting is at 1000 Monday, the Read-Ahead is due at 1200 on Thursday the week prior.)
For some meetings, SecDefs/DepSecDefs office may host a preparatory coordination meeting to ensure the agenda and materials are designed to best meet the objectives of the Secretary or the Deputy. In that case, Read-Ahead packages may be due earlier. Responsible offices will be informed accordingly.
Guidelines for Preparing Read-Ahead Packages for the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary
Use short, succinct, and clear language. Ask yourself what the Secretary needs to know and why.
Analyze and distill data so that salient information and the bottom line are arrived at clearly and succinctly.
Provide examples to illustrate complex points or processes.
Use of acronyms is discouraged. No acronyms unless they have been previously spelled out.
Bullets for the body are preferred with a limit of three lines per bullet.
Bold or underline key words and use bold subject headers to differentiate different topics as necessary.
(see templates attached):
should be the first item in the package (no more than two (2) pages).
should be the second item in the package.
Minimize the number of attachments
should include any documents that will be presented or referenced during the meeting and biographies.
1-inch left/right margins, 1-inch top and bottom margins.
Font should be 13 point, Times New Roman.
Double space between items, single space between bullets.
Include page number on all documents longer than one page.
Do not use room numbers, rather use: 1) SecDef Dining Room (for 3E918); 2) SecDef Conference Room (for 3E863); and 3) DepSecDef Conference Room (for 3E928).
Use 2-inch paperclips to fasten packages.
Use full names, not initials.
Refer to DoD 5200.1-PH, “DoD Guide to marking Classified Documents,” when classifying.
A Read-Ahead is considered
final once it is given to the Secretary or the Deputy
For revised Read-Ahead packages, note in the subject line or background paragraph that the submission is a revision. Underline or highlight the material that has been changed.
Ensure to address precisely what the foreign visitor is doing with respect to the Secretary’s and/or Deputy’s priorities (prevailing in current conflicts, preventing proliferation, preparing for and countering future challenges and threats, preserving the finest fighting force and core national security capabilities within current budget environment);
Anything else the foreign visitor is doing to support U.S. security objectives; and
Basic defense relationship and country information, as relevant.
Provide a 3.88 note card
Include classification at the top and bottom center, the Foreign Dignitaries name, and phonetic pronunciation.
4-5 main key talking points (full sentences not necessary, use bullets with key phrases).
SecDef and DepSecDef Read Aheads.pdf
Revised Guidance on Read-Aheads.doc
Standard Readahead Template.docx
PC-NSC binder cover sheet.docx
Phone call RAH Template.docx
3 88 notecards.docx
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