The NSA Badge
(From the NSA Handbook)
Even before you enter an NSA facility, you have a constant reminder of security--the NSA badge. Every person who enters an NSA installation is required to wear an authorized badge. To enter most NSA facilities your badge must be inserted into an Access Control Terminal at a building entrance and you must enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN) on the terminal keyboard. In the absence of an Access Control Terminal, or when passing an internal security checkpoint, the badge should be held up for viewing by a Security Protective Officer. The badge must be displayed at all times while the individual remains within any NSA installation.
NSA Badges must be clipped to a beaded neck chain. If necessary for the safety of those working in the area of electrical equipment or machinery, rubber tubing may be used to insulate the badge chain. For those Agency personnel working in proximity to other machinery or equipment, the clip may be used to attach the badge to the wearer's clothing, but it must also remain attached to the chain.
After you leave an NSA installation, remove your badge from public view, thus avoiding publicizing your NSA affiliation. Your badge should be kept in a safe place which is convenient enough to ensure that you will be reminded to bring it with you to work. A good rule of thumb is to afford your badge the same protection you give your wallet or your credit cards. DO NOT write your Personal Identification Number on your badge.
If you plan to be away from the Agency for a period of more than 30 days, your badge should be left at the main Visitor Control Center which services your facility.
Should you lose your badge, you must report the facts and circumstances immediately to the Security Operations Center (SOC) so that your badge PIN can be deactivated in the Access Control Terminals. In the event that you forget your badge when reporting for duty, you may obtain a "non-retention" Temporary Badge at the main Visitor Control Center which serves your facility after a co-worker personally identifies your and your clearance has been verified.
Your badge is to be used as identification only within NSA facilities or other government installations where the NSA badge is recognized. Your badge should never be used outside of the NSA or other government facilities for the purpose of personal identification. You should obtain a Department of Defense identification card from the Civilian Welfare Fund (CWF) if you need to identify yourself as a government employee when applying for "government discounts" offered at various commercial establishments.
Your badge color indicates your particular affiliation with NSA and your level of clearance. Listed below are explanations of the badge colors you are most likely to see:
Fully cleared NSA employees and certain military assignees.
(or Gold) Fully cleared representative of other government agencies.
Fully cleared contractors or consultants.
Employees who are cleared to the SECRET level while awaiting completion of their processing for full (TS/SI) clearance. These Limited Interim Clearance (LIC) employees are restricted to certain activities while inside a secure area.
Clearance level is not specified, so assume the holder is uncleared.
* - Fully cleared status means that the person has been cleared to the Top Secret (TS) level and indoctrinated for Special Intelligence (SI).
All badges with solid color backgrounds (permanent badges) are kept by individuals until their NSA employment or assignment ends. Striped badges ("non-retention" badges) are generally issued to visitors and are returned to the Security Protective Officer upon departure from an NSA facility.