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About Us

Frequently Asked Questions

The Defense Security Service (DSS) is an agency of the Department of Defense (DoD) located in Quantico, Virginia with field offices throughout the United States. The Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence provides authority, direction and control over DSS. DSS provides the military services, Defense Agencies, 32 federal agencies and approximately 13,000 cleared contractor facilities with security support services.
The Defense Security Service (DSS) strengthens national security at home and abroad through our security oversight and education operations. DSS oversees the protection of U.S. and foreign classified information and technologies in the hands of cleared industry under the National Industrial Security Program by providing professional risk management services. As Functional Manager for the Department of Defense (DoD), DSS provides security education, training, certification, and professional development for DoD and for other U.S. Government personnel, contractor employees, and representatives of foreign governments.

The Director of the Defense Security Service (DSS) administers the NISP (established by EO 12829) on behalf of the Secretary of Defense and user agencies. In conjunction with these responsibilities, DSS is responsible for assessing and monitoring the contractors, licensees, and grantees that require access to classified information. DSS Industrial Security personnel provide oversight and assistance to cleared contractor facilities and assist management and Facility Security Officers in ensuring the protection of U.S. and foreign classified information. DSS also facilitates classified shipments between the United States and foreign countries and implements foreign ownership, control and influence countermeasures.

The Center for Development of Security Excellence (CDSE) is located in Linthicum, Md., and provides security education and training to DoD security professionals through formal classroom and distributed learning methodologies (i.e., computer-based, web-based and tele-training).

DSS, formerly known as the Defense Investigative Service or DIS, was established on Jan. 1, 1972, to consolidate DoD personnel security investigations in one organization. On Oct. 2, 1980, the Defense Industrial Security Program was transferred to DIS from the Defense Logistics Agency and DIS began to train personnel through the Defense Industrial Security Institute. The Personnel Security Investigations (PSI) Program was transferred to the Office of Personnel Management on Feb. 20, 2005.

DSS authorized 990 personnel and a FY19 budget $783 million.

DSS Headquarters are located at 27130 Telegraph Rd, Quantico, Va. 22134. The Center for Development of Security Excellence (CDSE), is located in Linthicum, Md. DSS also has Industrial Security Representatives located across the United States in field locations spread across four geographic regions.
Mr. Daniel E. Payne was named director of DSS effective March 21, 2016. Read Mr. Payne's biography.
DSS is an agency of the Department of Defense, which reports to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD[I]).
DSS offers interesting and challenging work for people with an interest in contributing to the security of the United States. The workforce consists primarily of Industrial Security Representatives who interact with cleared contractors to advise, assist, and ensure that classified information is protected appropriately; information technology (IT) professionals who certify and accredit IT systems in industry which process classified information; and, counterintelligence (CI) specialists and analysts who provide CI support to cleared facilities. DSS also has jobs in support roles in such fields as information technology, security, financial management, public affairs, and administration.
See our Careers at Defense Security Service or view Job Opportunity Announcements.
Visit the CDSE FAQ's page.