U.S. Personnel Reliability Program (PRP)

Army Regulation 50-5: “Nuclear Surety; Nuclear and Chemical Weapons and Matériel” 1 August 2000. (PDF)

Q: Who does PRP apply to?

From the relevant section in AR-50-5:

c. In peacetime, the PRP applies to personnel who have access to, or control access to, war reserve nuclear weapons, nuclear weapon systems, SNM, positive control materials (to include transmission or receipt of nuclear release / execution orders) and nuclear reactor facilities. These personnel perform nuclear duties (also see para 2–4).

d. Although adherence to PRP procedures during the transition to war and during wartimes may be impractical, particularly in a combat theater, the intent of PRP policy shall apply.

e. It is DOD policy that only DOD military or civilian personnel who are U.S. citizens will be assigned to nuclear duty positions. However, in cases where such limitation is not in the best interest of the Army, MACOM commanders may authorize use of contractors to perform nuclear duties. DOD contractor employees who perform nuclear duties will meet the reliability standards of this chapter.

Q: What are personnel standards for PRP?

From the relevant section in AR-50-5:

Certifying officials will use the following PRP qualifying standards/requirements in determining an individual's suitability for the PRP.

a. Criteria. The following are the reliability standards expected of all PRP members.

(1) Physical competence, mental alertness, and technical proficiency commensurate with duty requirements.

(2) Evidence of dependability in accepting responsibilities and effectively performing in an approved manner; flexibility in adjusting to changes in the working environment.

(3) Evidence of good social adjustment, emotional stability, and ability to exercise sound judgment in meeting adverse or emergency situations.

(4) Positive attitude toward nuclear duties and the PRP.

b. Personal interview. The certifying official will conduct a personal interview with each candidate for PRP duties to look for evidence of the individual' s perception of responsibility, exercise of sound judgment, effective performance, and ability to adjust to changes in the work environment.

c. Personnel security investigation (PSI). A favorable investigation conducted in accordance with AR 380-67 should reflect an affirmative finding that an individual' s personnel security eligibility is consistent with the interest of national security.

d. Personnel records review. Look for evidence of the individual' s acceptance of responsibility, exercise of sound judgment, effective performance, and ability to adjust to changes in the working environment.

e. Medical evaluation. The certifying official must be totally confident that the individual being certified is both capable and reliable. To accomplish that, the Competent Medical Authority (CMA) (as defined in Glossary) must provide the certifying official an evaluation of the individual' s physical capability and mental reliability to perform PRP duties. All potentially disqualifying medical information must be documented in the individual' s health records and dental records. The CMA will provide the certifying official with sufficient medical information to make a sound judgment on an individual's suitability for the PRP.

f. Urinalysis testing. Personnel will undergo urinalysis testing per paragraphs 2-17 and 2-25.

g. Position qualification. The individual must have technical proficiency commensurate with assigned nuclear duties.

2-9. Disqualifying factors/actions on detection

Any of the following traits, diagnoses, conditions, or conduct are grounds for the disqualification of individuals from the PRP. The list is not all encompassing and contains only examples of disqualifying factors.

a. Alcohol dependent/alcohol abuser. Based on the circumstances, certifying officials will either permanently or temporarily disqualify (see section VI) any individual diagnosed as alcohol dependent or an alcohol abuser. A CMA will determine whether an individual is alcohol dependent or an alcohol abuser.

(1) An individual diagnosed as alcohol dependent, or already permanently disqualified for alcohol dependence, may be requalified for PRP duties only after meeting the following conditions:

(a) The individual successfully completes an initial intensive rehabilitation, if prescribed, followed by a one-year period of strict compliance with aftercare requirements, regular and frequent participation in meetings with Alcoholics Anonymous or a similar organization, and total abstention from alcohol for this one year period.

(b) A PRP qualification screening, including mental health evaluation and a favorable prognosis by CMA, has been completed and forwarded in the request for requalification. (See para 2-32 for guidance on the requalification process.)

(c) The responsible certifying official must determine that the value of the individual's presence in the PRP outweighs the risk from potential future alcohol-related incidents and must document that fact that he/she has full trust and confidence in the member' s reliability.

(2) An individual temporarily disqualified for alcohol dependence may have the temporary disqualification removed and be returned to PRP duties after successfully completing at least 180 days of the 1 -year aftercare program. A favorable prognosis by the CMA is required before an individual can be returned to PRP duties.

(3) An individual diagnosed as an alcohol abuser already temporarily/ permanently disqualified as an alcohol abuser, may be returned to PRP duties only after meeting the following conditions:

(a) The individual successfully completes a minimum 180-day rehabilitation program, or treatment regime, prescribed by the CMA.

(b) The individual demonstrates positive changes in job reliability and lifestyle.

(c) The CMA provides a favorable medical prognosis.

b. Alcohol-related incidents. Certifying officials will temporarily disqualify any individual involved in an alcohol-related incident. The certifying official will investigate the circumstances and request a medical evaluation. An individual not diagnosed as alcohol dependent/abuser may be returned to PRP duties when the certifying official determines the individual to be reliable, based on results of the investigation and the medical evaluation.

c. Drug abuse.

(1) Except for the category of individuals identified in subparagraph 2-9c(6) or otherwise provided in this regulation, any use, admitted or otherwise disclosed, of illicit drugs such as heroin, heroin derivatives, cocaine, "crack," phencyclidine (PCP), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), "ecstasy," or other "designer" drugs, amphetamines, barbiturates, or other narcotic drugs not prescribed by proper medical authorities, and anabolic steroids will render an individual ineligible for admission to or retention in PRP duties. Certifying officials having any doubt on the status of a certain drug (illicit, illegal, or controlled) will consult the CMA. Additional assistance may be requested from the MACOM or supporting legal office. If the substance is deemed illicit, illegal, or controlled, the individual will be permanently disqualified for the PRP.

(2) Inadvertent overdose of prescription or over-the-counter medication that does not result in a long-term side effect should not necessarily require the individual to be permanently disqualified.

(3) Any individual suspected of using illegal drugs while in the PRP will be temporarily disqualified and referred for an Alcohol Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Program (ADAPCP)(ASAP) evaluation or one provided by a private accredited substance abuse counseling service. Upon receipt of the evaluation, the certifying official will either initiate permanent disqualification action or reinstate the individual into the PRP as appropriate.

(4) Any individual found to have been involved in unauthorized trafficking, cultivation, processing, manufacturing, or sale of any narcotic or dangerous drug such as those mentioned above, or marijuana or cannabis-based products, will be ineligible for PRP duties. Such individuals will be permanently disqualified.

(5) Any individual found to inappropriately use other substances to alter perceptions or mental faculties; such as sniffing glue, aerosol fumes or any other substance not intended for human ingestion, will be permanently disqualified.

(6) It is not the intent of this regulation to automatically render ineligible for the PRP any individual who before 25 May 1993, has disclosed pre-Service/pre-employment drug abuse, or who has not yet been asked to make such disclosure and who is currently certified for PRP duties after having been formally screened in accordance with then-existing guidance. Further requalification of such individuals for future PRP status will be in accordance with this regulation, except that previously disclosed and considered drug abuse and pre-service/pre-employment drug use not required previously to be disclosed, will not be the sole grounds for denial of requalification or mandatory disqualification.

(7) Pre-service/pre-employment marijuana, hashish, or other cannabis-based products used on an experimental or infrequent basis does not necessarily render an individual ineligible for consideration for, or retention in, a PRP position. It is incumbent on the certifying official, with CMA consultation, to determine the degree to which the pre-service/pre-employment use impacts the reliability of the individual. An individual being screened for the PRP (having disclosed pre-service/pre-employment use of marijuana, hashish, or other cannabis-based products) may be certified in the program if a CMA' s medical evaluation establishes no cannabis dependency, and there is no additional information that would cause the certifying official to doubt the individual's reliability. If the pre-service/pre-employ-ment cannabis use is discovered after an individual is already in the PRP, and there is no other information that would cause doubt about the individual' s reliability, the certifying official, with CMA consultation, may retain the individual in the PRP. If the certifying official has reason to doubt or suspects the individual' s reliability for PRP duties, the certifying official will—

(a) Temporarily disqualify the individual.

(b) Conduct an evaluation of the individual' s drug abuse involvement and current and past duty performance.

(c) Initiate a PRP qualification screening, including a complete medical evaluation.

(d) Justify and document any decision to retain the individual in the PRP. The documentation will include a determination that retention is in the best interest of the service and national security, and statements by the reviewing and certifying officials that the individual' s reliability is not in doubt.

(e) Permanently disqualify individuals determined to be unsuitable for retention in the PRP.

d. Negligence or delinquency in performance of duty. Because a good indication of reliability is past performance, the certifying official will review the PRP candidate' s job or duty history for evidence of desirable traits such as dependability, flexibility, and good judgment. In determining reliability, the certifying official must evaluate all aspects of an individual's actions. For example, clear instances of youthful indiscretion are not necessarily proof of negligence or unreliability.

e. Conviction of, or involvement in, a serious incident. A PRP candidate' s background will be reviewed for behavior patterns that show or suggest a contemptuous attitude toward the law, regulations, or other duly constituted authority. Serious incidents include, but are not limited to assault, sexual misconduct, financial irresponsibility, inordinate number of traffic tickets, and child or spouse abuse.

f. Medical condition. Any significant mental or physical medical condition substantiated by a CMA or aberrant behavior considered by the certifying official to be prejudicial to reliable performance of PRP duties may be considered as grounds for permanent disqualification from the PRP.

g. Hypnosis. The CMA will evaluate personnel treated with hypnotherapy and make a recommendation on their suitability for duty in the PRP.

h. Serious progressive illnesses. Certifying officials will be notified immediately of any individual being considered for, or currently performing in a PRP position who has been diagnosed with a serious progressive illness, to include Acquired-Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) or testing positive for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

(1) The certifying official will take the necessary actions to screen the individual both medically and psychologically. However, individuals with AIDS or who are HIV positive will not be treated differently than other individuals with other serious progressive illnesses solely on the basis of being diagnosed with AIDS or testing HIV positive.

(2) Specifically, HIV-infected personnel who do not demonstrate progressive clinical illness or immunological deficiency during periodic evaluations will not be involuntarily reassigned away from surety positions solely because they are HIV-infected.

(3) As with all potentially disqualifying medical conditions, the certifying official must decide each case on the specific medical and other pertinent evaluations of the individual involved. The primary consideration in all determinations must be that of personnel reliability.

i. Poor attitude or lack of motivation. Any display of poor attitude or lack of motivation as evidenced by aberrant attitude (arrogance, inflexibility, or suspiciousness), behavior (impulsiveness, destructiveness, or suicide threats), or mood (unusual happiness, sadness, or agitation) may be grounds for permanent disqualification.

j. Suicide attempt. Any suicide attempt, disclosed and considered after the date of this revision, will be cause for permanent disqualification.

k. Protective equipment. Inability to wear personal protective equipment required by the assigned position (i.e. security guards).