Career AdviceSecurity Clearance Process

Ask Your Career Questions – Part 2

By popular demand, a place to ask questions on defense careers. All topics are open, including: career advice, salaries, best places to work, company research, interviewing, resume help, and more. Ask your questions, but please do not identify yourself or post your email address. If you have questions regarding security clearances, or security clearance investigations, see the thread below. Thanks

Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    I will be going through a security background check soon. My boyfriend is Arab and lives in an Arab country. We keep regular contact via the phone and online. My question is whether this is going to be a big problem. If so, since we have no plans of getting married and will likely break up at some point because of the distance, is it better to break up now or is this not necessarily a disqualifier for Secret clearance?

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    Do I have to list on the SF85 form about mental health history that I was hospitalized for an eating disorder as a minor?

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    Here is a link to the SF 85 and SF 85P form you will need to fill out. You can see what you will need to indicate on the form.

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    Having contact with any foreign national will be looked at thoroughly. Since you are in a relationship with this individual and even though you only have telephone and online contact with him there will be many questions that an investigator will ask regarding you association with him.
    Breaking up with him is a decision you will have to make on your own but being in a relationship with any foreign national will slow down the security clearance process.

  5. Avatar

    Is it possible to negotiate a higher GS and salary with DoD and their agencies? I hear they are in need. I have an offer right now but would be taking a paycut to move to a more expensive area. The HR person told me they do not negotiate, but the people I interviewed with told me to negotiate if it was only money holding me back. The position is for a scientific engineering position and I am currently ABD and will complete my dissertation in a year.

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    Salaries – You should be able to negotiate up front before landing the job. Once you are in the position, future movement will probably be at structured/set levels, but up front, you should have some negotiating power. Good luck

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    A company is offering a Conditional Offer of Employment dependent upon TS/SCI w/poly. I don’t become an employee until clearance is received. Two questions:

    1. Does the COE become a job offer when temporary clearance is received or full clearance is received?

    2. What happens if I break the COE while waiting for clearance (i.e in 6 months when another job offer comes along)?

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    If a COE is based on receiving clearance, is it based on receiving interim or full clerance?

    What happens if you accept a COE and find another job during the clearance process?

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    COE – answers below:

    1. Does the COE become a job offer when temporary clearance is received or full clearance is received?

    It depends on what your COE says. It can go either way, depending on the employer and their needs. In most cases, you can get a job offer if you obtain an interim clearance.

    2. What happens if I break the COE while waiting for clearance (i.e in 6 months when another job offer comes along)?

    The COE ends at that point.

    3. If a COE is based on receiving clearance, is it based on receiving interim or full clerance?

    There should be text that discusses both. In most cases, if you receive an interim clearance, you will receive a final clearance.

    4. What happens if you accept a COE and find another job during the clearance process?

    The COE ends at that point, as will your clearance investigation.

    Good luck!

  10. Avatar

    Thanks. Sorry for the double post.

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    What is the best place to live in the DC/MD/VA area for someone with TS/SCI w/ poly clearance, for greatest flexibility in changing jobs without having to move for each job?

  12. Avatar

    If you agree to a COE and it takes 1-2 years to receive clearance, is salary negotiable again? In 1-2 years, a lot could happen (promotion, yearly raises, inflation).

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    Being cleared before you took the job would give you more negotiating power. Remember, the company sponsored you for the clearance so you can bet they want something in return–ie… a cleared/good worker they sponsored. A new negotiation sounds like something you will have to just try on your own and hope for the best.

  14. Avatar

    What I am wondering, as a small business owner and prospective employer, is how to verify the security clearance of someone who claims they have gone through the process and obtained one. This would be for sensitive, but not classified work requiring a great deal of discretion and honesty.

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    What negotiating power do I have with a company offering a position requiring clearance? I have an active Top Secret/SCI. Other than qualifying for the job, can I negotiate for increase salary like you would for having retired health care?

  16. Avatar

    Lou – you probably have some wiggle room regarding salary. Take a look at and download the reports. If you have other questions, drop them here and we will try to answer them. Thanks

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    Dick T – Unless you are a cleared facility (FCL) you most likely can’t verify someone’s clearance. Cleared facilities have a Facility Security Officer (FSO) that has access to a database of DoD cleared candidates called the Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS) which allows them to lookup candidates by SSN to determine clearance status. If you are working as a recruiter or subcontractor to a prime contractor, you’d send the candidates you sourced to the prime and their FSO would verify the clearance. Check out for info on how to get your company cleared with an FCL.

  18. Avatar

    Where To Live:

    If you want to make best use of the poly, the majority of poly jobs are located in Maryland, not DC or Virginia. Fort Meade is a great employer. Lots of contractors working there and plenty of open positions. You could easily live somewhere else and commute, but living and working near Fort Meade is a great choice. Its a nice area, but not cheap to live. Thankfully, salaries in and around Fort Meade are some of the highest in the country. Good luck

  19. Avatar

    Six weeks ago I submitted my clearance paperwork electronically. Two days ago I was asked to got and have my fingerprints done again. They said the ones that had been sent were not certifiable. What does that mean? Would they be already in the midst of my clearance or would that mean they haven’t even really started it yet? Thanks

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    Interesting. I would have thought otherwise. According to the salary survey, the highest places are in VA and DC.

    Is Fort Meade the only agency with poly jobs in Maryland? If so, that seems restrictive if you come in at a low salary. That would mean that you would have to switch to another company at Fort Meade to make a significant jump since there aren’t other agencies around.

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    This means the prints you supplied were not done to standard. They need a number of points of reference with the prints. In laymens terms, the prints were done improperly, which could be many reasons. Not a big deal, just get a new set and send them in.

  22. Avatar

    I got an offer from DOD, I am worried because I Have About 8 misdemeanor all from driving. Will this affect me getting a clearance.

  23. Avatar

    1.what is the percentage of getting security clearance for the Non-US citizen from Department of Energy?

    2.How much time does it take?

    3.What is the general process?

  24. Avatar

    Krishna –

    1. 0%

    2. Infinite

    3. You must become a US Citizen first.

    “Can a non-US citizen obtain a security clearance?

    According to the United States government, only legal United States citizens can obtain security clearances. In rare instances, individuals with highly specialized skills and experience may also be considered for the clearance process. ” (On the first page of google results for your question)

  25. Avatar

    My employer(Shaw-Areva Mox Services) said it takes 55-70 days to get the clearance/background check. I do not know exactly the difference between them. I filled out a form which says ” Request for Foreign Visit/Assignment ” .

    I modify my question : What are the chances of my “request for foreign visit/assignment” getting approved from DOE??

    Thanks CE for the reply, but I have seen that PDF file which comes in the google search.

    Thanks in advance for the replies to come.

  26. Avatar

    Krishna –

    Ah. It is not a clearance. If you are visiting a cleared facility or require access to export controlled information I believe you go through a type of background check yes. I’m no expert but here is what I found:

    “Reference NISPOM 10-506. A Request for Visit (RFV) is submitted to DISCO, to the International Branch at fax # 614 827-1651, phone 614 827-1650. A format is contained in Appendix B of the NISPOM. DISCO transmits the request (and verifies the visitor’s clearance) to the U.S. Embassy in the foreign country to be visited. Our embassy provides it to the country’s Ministry of Defense.

    Additionally, international visits require government specific lead times. For the most current information on lead times and requirements associated with international classified visits contact the DISCO International Branch.” (DSS)

    NISPOM Appendix for RFV (Request for Visit)
    “This appendix contains the instructions for the completion of a Request for Visit (RFV) for international visits. The visit request must be submitted through the FSO to the applicable clearance agency….”

    It must take at least ~20 days (depending on country) according to the NISPOM manual.

  27. Avatar

    Krishna –

    Oops. I forgot you said DoE. The quotes above are for DoD.

  28. Avatar

    Thank you very much for the information.

    Now I believe that I need to get through a background check from the US embassy(or DOE ) to issue me a foreign visit/assignment clearance with reference to my employer who has already got a Security Clearance(which I know for sure). Is it correct??

    Do you have any information regarding the background check to issue a Foreign Visit/assignment?. What will be the general process??

    I have never committed any crime/offence or any sort of law infringement back in my country of citizenship and in US. I am quite confident that all the references I gave would give positive feedback. I have a very good driving history. I have few unpaid credit card bills( for which I am making payments according to the card agreements without missing any payment).

    Is there any other criterion which will be looked in?

    Can you tell me the chances of getting my request approved??

    thanks a lot!!

  29. Avatar

    Reference : 10-507 applies to me. because I am a foreign national visiting US contractor facility.

  30. Avatar

    I have a few questions directed towards the IC.

    First, is the NSA hard to get into? I currently hold a Phd and have an offer from them pending the clearance. Will they negotiate a higher salary for me if I qualify for a higher grade? And if I don’t YET qualify for a higher grade, a 6 month investigation, once completed, will mean I qualify for a higher grade.

    Second, does anyone know the process with the NSA? I filled out my SF86 and now waiting.

    Third, if I am a remote candidate, how often will I have to travel to Ft Meade during the process?

    Fourth, why is it so secretive with the NSA?

    Fifth, if I decline this offer, will that “blacklist” me later if I decide I want to work there afterall?

    Finally, do they have sites or other cities you can work for them other than Meade that aren’t “public knowledge” (ie they told me Texas and a few other places are “public knowledge”, so I imagine they have others they do not release info on).


  31. Avatar

    Engineer Phd:

    1) NSA can be harder to “get into” simply because the security clearance process weeds out candidates. Everything in life is negotiable, even if they tell you otherwise.

    2) You receive a COE (Conditional Offer of Employment) which is contingent upon receiving your clearance (and suitability). The clearance process can take as quickly as 5 months to as long as 2-3 years. Also note the IC does clearance/suitability different than generic collateral clearances for the DoD so other info on this blog might not be applicable to you unless it’s NSA-specific.

    3) You will have to travel to Ft. Meade potentially several times depending on the complexity of your investigation.

    4) It’s secretive because it is the largest spy organization on earth.

    5) I don’t believe so. If you withdraw they may invite you to resubmit your paperwork later on. It might not sound the best in a later interview though.

    6) The NSA used to have a small navy (see Body of Secrets/Puzzle Palace) so they definitely have classified locations and your assignment may depend on your specialty (but most likely in Maryland).

    Disclaimer: Am not/was not a NSA employee, just my 2 cents based on what I’ve read.

    Good luck!

  32. Avatar

    I dont know if my first question was posted. I got an offer from DOD,and I am worried because I Have About 8 misdemeanor all from driving. Will this affect me getting a clearance?
    And how long will the clearance take? Please reply as soon as possible.

  33. Avatar

    So I need an idea of what to expect salary wise.
    I’ll be graduating in May09.

    TS/SCI full scope since Dec. 2007
    2 years of experience(Internship contractor badged inside Meade) on a high profile tech support contract(From interstate to desktop including small scale HPC)
    2 years of internships before that, 1 with the government, other for a contractor. Mostly hands on non-technical
    GPA – 3.2 (My Achilles heel I know…)
    CS – Information Systems – degree from a small(5k) state university
    Minors: Business Administration, Public Administration, Political Science
    Honors in general education and part of 2 honor societies(Freshman and Computer)
    Also have gone to multiple technology conferences as a student worker

    So I’m pretty much guaranteed a job, I’ll probably aim for a systems engineer or a network engineer, but I’m not 100% dedicated one way or the other. I’ve got a few people at the VP level who want my resume when I graduate. The problems lies in that I have no idea what kind of pay scale I should be looking at. My professors have thrown around the 50k figure, but that doesn’t take into account the clearance. And who should I ask to help me choose an offer. I have a father in the industry and a close manager.
    Would it be unprofessional to ask some business acquaintances out to lunch and get their opinions on job offers?

  34. Avatar

    You will probably have to be a bit more specific on about your charges to get a good answer. As for how long it takes, I submitted my sf-86 back in early March or late Feb. and Im still waiting although they are done with the investigation.I guess my case is in adjudication now. They seem to be getting them done faster though. Do you need Top Secret or just Secret?

  35. Avatar

    Senior –

    A CS degree with a clearance can get you 65-75k out of college with a contractor. Government is obviously a lot less (50k-ish?). And investment banking type work can have you making over 100k as a fresh CS grad (e.g. Citadel Investment Group).

    I would not show business acquaintances your offers as that would be unprofessional.

  36. Avatar

    Senior – the kind of tech work you are looking at would pay around 65k right out of school with your clearance/poly combo. Stick to the Ft Meade area to maximize your salary. See for more info. Agreed with the poster above, don’t show your offers to anyone. I’d avoid personal connections as they probably aren’t necessary in your case, and may cause uncomfortable situations if you switch jobs soon, get fired, perform poorly, etc.

  37. Avatar

    Thanks for the advice and quick response.

    One of the hardest things to do as an intern is learn the different ways and protocols for the working world.

    Right now I’ve had a lot of trouble finding a good guide/tutorial on how to select a job. Almost every guide talks about applying, resumes and trying to get your foot in the door. Very few talk about the progression from resume to job offer.

    Any suggestions on sources that will walk me through a typical hiring process, like when you are commited to work for a company, how long offer letters are good? etc.

    Once again, thank you. Hopefully other students/interns won’t be afraid to ask questions like I was for so long.

  38. Avatar

    Senior – can’t think of any resources offhand other than sites like

    The hiring process usually lasts 2-4 weeks. Offer letters are usually good for a week. Feel free to post questions and other info here.

    Before you interview, rehearse some Q&As. Good luck!

  39. Avatar

    Senior –

    Here are some thoughts as a recent CS grad:

    The smart ones start looking for jobs before their senior year even begins. Some schools have their first job fairs the second week of classes. If all goes well you should have a job lined up before winter break. Some students wait to look until the second semester of senior year, but they’ve missed many opportunities by then. It sounds like you’re getting a good head-start on the hunt.

    Job fairs are the best way to get your foot in the door. You can meet the representatives directly, give a good first impression, and give them a paper resume. Even if companies say that you can only apply online (like a certain defense contractor ahem ahem) you can still try to give them a paper resume and if they like you they may accept it.

    If you don’t have access to many job fairs try using connections with former co-workers and friends. Avoid nepotism, but if they can put your resume in anyone’s hands they’ve helped you enough.

    Obviously, would be a resource (considering the blog we’re posting on).

    Now, as far as progressing from resume to job offer. Many companies do things differently. Some do on-campus visits, then offers. Some do campus visits, then site visits, then offers. Some do phone screen, site visit, then offers. Some even do 2 rounds of site interviews. I’ve found the typical timeline is 1-2 months from submission to offer. It can take a little longer to schedule if they do round robin type events where lots of applicants go through the process in one giant event. Government applications are generally 1 month before you hear anything. Don’t expect out of the blue submissions to CIA, NSA, NRO, NGA, military, etc. websites to turn up anything.

    One thing to keep in mind in interviews is to not capitulate too much to what you think they are looking for. Often they ask “So why X Corporation?”. You should have an answer that plays to your true interests. Regurgitating job posting descriptions in the first person will make you unhappy in the long run. Many questions they ask in the interview aren’t so much to weed you out as to see what your interests are so they can place you in the best department/project.

    ALWAYS NEGOTIATE. You can always get 5% more than what they offer, no matter what.

    ALWAYS LOOK AT BENEFITS. Benefits can give a 5-10% boost in effective pay.

    ALWAYS EXAMINE THE COMPANY/DEPARTMENT’S STRATEGIC PLAN. If the company has laid off people recently, has a high turnover rate, has moved offices many times, it may be a sign that it’s too unstable and you may not have a job a year from now.

    Ask about typical paths of advancement. Do all experienced employees end up in management? Do you have to have a MBA?

    Do they give tuition assistance? Flexible working hours? Vacation time?

    Do the employees hang out after work or are they strictly professional?

    REMEMBER YOU WILL QUIT YOUR JOB AT SOME POINT. Everyone moves around, and it’s a natural part of how the workforce operates. It’s not a bad thing. Don’t expect to be somewhere forever. If you don’t move up within 3 years something is wrong.

    Good luck!

  40. Avatar

    Senior –

    Few extra thoughts:

    Offer letters are generally good for 1 week, sometimes more. If you don’t know, just ask the HR representative. It can be difficult to time your offers and you may have to take calculated risks and decline offers b/c they don’t give you enough time.

    Reneging on an offer is a very serious thing. It’s not illegal, or even unethical, but it’s not nice. But the job market is a dog-eat-dog world. If you get the dream offer after you’ve accepted another one, you can reneg on your offer, but then you’ll never be able to work for that company again. It’s best to not burn bridges.

    Reneging on an offer with a company that is processing you for a security clearance (probably not a deal in your case) is a big no-no.

    Let me know if you have any more questions!

  41. Avatar

    CE – When you say not to negotiate with the company processing security clearance, does this include government. I recently negotiated a 10% increase with a salary over $70K. I found that gov positions with the IC once offered, are serious and they will fight for you because the work is so hard to find people who can do what the IC needs them to do.

    Senior – A bit more of advice. You will get many offers rapidly with you background (clearances and a CS degree). Filter out quickly. It may go against what people say (to sit on an offer for a few days), but if you know for sure you don’t want an offer or its too low, say no right away. This means you don’t have to have the unpleasant call back of saying no and also he company knows you want more and they may likely ask “what if I can give you $15K more a year?”

    Also, bide your time. For about 2 years, nothing will happen usually. After 2 years, expect to move and get a nice increase in salary (or 18 months). This is typically and don’t think twice about how it will look to potential employers. New grads stay only 1-3 years max. Never let your feelings for an organization get in the way of you leaving either. For example, you may love your boss and feel like you are leaving her at a bad time, but you have to do what is best for you. I see too many younger people get caught in this. I’ll give you an inside bit of information, the organization is going to always do what is best for them, so you shoudl too (ie they won’t think twice about laying you off or moving you if it will benefit them more).

    Just wanted to give my two cents since you are looking at my arena. I’ve never worked directly for the govnt before, but many contractors (who always hire people on a conditional “as long as contract comes” basis).

  42. Avatar

    Engineer Phd –

    I said not to “reneg” on an offer with a company processing a security clearance. Accepting an offer, signing on the bottom line, then accepting a different offer later (before you start work) and canceling is bad form because real money was spent on you already.

    I agree you should always negotiate.

    Also, good tips for Senior!

  43. Avatar

    I already hold a clearance and will soon be delving into the job market in a few months. Where are the best paying job opportunities on the west coast and will I get special priority seeing as I already have my clearance? thanks

  44. Avatar

    Already Cleared – It depends on what you do. What’s your specialty?

    See for some info.

    To answer your question, yes, you can earn more with an active clearance. The higher the level, the more the earning potential. This is in comparison to someone doing the same job as you outside of the defense industry without a clearance.

    Give us some details and we can answer better.

  45. Avatar

    I’m a military officer working in the intelligence field (intel analysis) with mostly supervisory experience. I’m about to get out of the military and I’m looking for a civilian intelligence job but I want to stay on the west coast, and most of the large intel organizations are located on the east coast. I don’t really know how competitive I can be when hunting for a job. For example, could I use it as a leverage to justify a higher salary, or would companies rather find someone without the clerence and conduct their own backround investigation in order to alleviate paying more for a person who already holds a clearence? Thanks for the help.

  46. Avatar

    already cleared – per your comments above, don’t forget – intel work isn’t something a contractor can hire someone off the street and get them a clearance for. Any serious intel professional is going to have an active clearance.

    Check out for a list of contractors that do intel work. Contact each of them separately.

    There are some open CA intel jobs, but you are correct – most are on the East coast. Is Arizona a possibility?

  47. Avatar

    Question about relocation packages.

    The IC will not pay relocation expenses involved in real estate. While they do pay relocation of goods, they do not pay anything else. They will pay this for current federal employees though.

    So, can I negotiate a sign on bonus or do you think they will pay for the relocation package they offer other fed employees? This is the only thing holding me back at this point.


  48. Avatar

    Yes, Arizona would be a possibility but I really have my heart set on Colorado or to stay near southern CA (though a good job offer can give someone a change of heart). As you said, the intel profession can’t really use a clearance as leverage because it really “comes with the territory”.
    That being said, that prompts another question. Are there contracors that would hire a person soley based on the fact that they already have an active clearence? I’m not entirely sure I want to stay in the intel community so I might venture to other areas. Is experience always neccessary?

  49. Avatar

    Already cleared,

    I have friends in the Intel community who feel the same and they were able to land other type work with a clearance and the background. There are quite of few prior Intel Folks in my business.

  50. Avatar

    Engineer PhD

    Anything is negotiable. Just had a friend move to accept a job and requested a bonus to cover relocating expenses. If I were a betting man, a person with a PhD in engineering has alot of room to negotiate.

  51. Avatar


    I have question on applying for clearance jobs.

    I’m looking to apply for IT Security jobs with Lockheed. Most of the position they have with TS,S & Public trust clearance.

    1. Will they accept my resume and call for interview though I don’t have any clearance?

    2. I’m Permanent resident in US and applying for US citizen next year. Will that disqualify me for applying jobs that required security clearance? I heard some where even Non-Citizen (permanent resident) can get clearance?

    3. what is the process if I got the job with lockheed martin? Do I need to wait till I get security clearance?

    4. Is this correct? I can’t get security clearance on my own. Employer has to apply security clearance on my behalf.

  52. Avatar

    Kumar –

    Not being a U.S. citizen is a big negative when seeking jobs with defense contractors. There are some unclassified positions but in their mind it limits your potential because you will not be able to move positions as easily. That said, you can still try, you have nothing to lose by submitting your resume online.

    1. Yes. Thousands of people are hired without a clearance. The process of interviewing will differ from site to site.

    2. You will not be hired to jobs requiring a security clearance. Once you are a U.S. citizen, however, you can then apply to positions requiring security clearances. Non-U.S. citizens cannot get a clearance but there are some situations where there are partnerships with European defense contractors (i.e. BAE) where some information is exchanged with non-U.S. citizens.

    3. You can have a job with Lockheed Martin and never have a clearance but I believe it is rare. Defense contractors do defense, obviously, and thus prefer everyone be cleared so they can move personnel easily.

    4. Correct. You cannot get a security clearance on your own. You must be sponsored by a cleared contractor/government organization first.

    If I were you I would not pursue a defense contracting job at the moment. Wait until you are a U.S. citizen, then apply to any position you want. The only jobs that will not be available will probably be those requiring a TS/SCI (Top Secret/Special Compartmented Information) clearance, for which all family members must also be U.S. citizens.

    Good luck!

  53. Avatar

    Thanks CE for giving clarification. It is very helpful!

    Just a followup questions..

    1. Suppose I’m US citizen and got offer from Defense contractor. When do person actually start the job?

    After employer got the security clearance? Should the person continue working on his old job till everything is clear and start on his new job with contractor.

    2. Can these employer usually wait for such long period 6m-1yr after giving offer?

    3. Follow up on this.
    >>>The only jobs that will not be available will probably be those requiring a TS/SCI (Top Secret/Special Compartmented Information) clearance, for which all family members must also be U.S. citizens.>>>

    Do you mean TS/SCI jobs will not be available if I apply now or when I will be US Citizen?

    My kids are already US citizen. My wife and I hold PR and will apply for US citizen together next year.

  54. Avatar

    1. This depends. Companies prefer that people are already cleared but they frequently hired uncleared people such as yourself and have you work while you are being cleared. They generally have an unclassified section of the office/site that you can work in while your clearance is being processed. The timeline for clearances is 6months to 2 years, so one option is to work in an unclassified position for that duration while you are being investigated. Once you receive your clearance you can then move onto other projects with the same department.

    2. Yes, if they want you enough. Contractors hire lots of fresh college graduates, most of whom don’t have a clearance, so it’s common.

    3. The citizenship requirement for SCI defines it for all close family members. This means mother, father, spouse, siblings, and children must all be U.S. citizens before you can receive SCI eligibility. Note: you can still get a “collateral Top Secret” clearance if some of your immediate family aren’t citizens, just not SCI. SCI is just an additional qualifier to protect certain special projects/agencies.

    ” e. Immediate Family –The spouse, parents, siblings, children, and cohabitant of the individual requiring SCI access.”

    “Criteria for security approval of an individual on a need-to-know basis for access to SCI are as follows:

    a. The individual requiring access to SCI must be a US citizen.

    b. The individual’s immediate family must also be US citizens. ”

    From DCI 6/4

  55. Avatar

    To be more specific all six of my misdemeanors are from driving on a suspended license. these activities are two and half years old. will that deny my secret clearance from DOD?

    I spoke with HR, they told me I am currently going thru adjudication, could someone please tell me what is the meaning of adjudication.

  56. Avatar

    Dame –

    It is best to post your questions in the clearance questions thread, not the career thread.

    Adjudication means the investigation part (interviews, record checking, references, etc.) is done. An adjudication facility is now reviewing the files your investigators collected and they are making a decision. Adjudication takes 1-3 months usually. If you haven’t heard back in 3 months, your security officer (ask HR) can contact them and ask for a status update.

  57. Avatar

    Greetings All. I have 4 years (non-intel) military service (90-94). I graduated in 2005 with BA PoliSci 3.3gpa from University NC. I just started an online degree with AMU in Intelligence Studies. I have no language proficiency to speak of. I am currently a GS-10 with the govt (non-intel)(no clearance). I applied once for an intel job right when I graduated with FBI got all the way to poly and came back inconclusive and that was the end of that, feel confident I can pass if given a chance.

    My question, I am beginning to resume my search for an intelligence analyst position and was interested in any thoughts you may have. I am about to start shooting my resume to all agencies and job postings that I can qualify for in the MD,DC,VA,NC area. I was considering putting in for overseas assignments like UK, Germany, Italy but unsure how long you have to stay there and if you have to pay for housing.

    Thanks and look forward to any knowledgeable help you can give.

  58. Avatar

    Does anyone know how the DoD tuition reimbursement works? Either for the CIA, DIA, NSA, or a like agency?
    Further into the question, is how long do you owe them if they reimburse? Is it a 100% reimbursement? Is there a maximum amount they can give you per year total? How hard it is to get reimbursed?


  59. Avatar

    EngineerPhd – Sorry, don’t know the answer to your question offhand.

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    David – The degree will be helpful. You might also want to start taking language courses at night where you are living. They will come in handy in an intel career.

    Aside from posting your resume on, I suggest you apply both for Federal intel jobs as well as contractor intel jobs. Some of the contractors have excellent intel positions open and the pay is usually better than the civil service positions. However, you may want to stay in government which is good too.

    Some overseas jobs will pay housing. It is totally dependent on the position. We find that intel jobs in less desirable locations tend to usually pay housing and have other fringe benefits, whereas intel jobs in more western countries like Germany and the UK do not.

    Good luck – main goal should be to post your resume asap.

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    Thanks for the insight!

    I began about 2 months ago taking Russian lessons from a native speaker here where I live but I am far from claiming it as a tangible skill.

    I have looked at before but was under the impression that they required a clearance prior to applying and most jobs seem to be for the experienced whereas I am breaking into the intel field.

    I will post it right away.

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    I am going to need to be eligible for a secret clearance. I filed for a bankruptcy three years ago and it cleared close to 3 years ago. I have not made any late payments since then. I have had credit card debt since then, never a late payment but my balances are 0 or extremely minimal. I had a drunk in public while in the Navy 9 years ago. I had to pay a 25 dollar fine. I have two traffic tickets. Will I automatically be denied a secret clearance because of the bankruptcy. That seems so harsh. My wife got out of the military and was unable to find employment. The debt mounted and we were unable to sustain. We learned our lesson and I am down a little that I will not be able to get the job because of it. It was nearly three years ago and i do not have one late payment since. Thanks for any advice you can offer

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    Keith – this thread is for career questions. You might want to post in one of our Clearance Questions threads.

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    Engineer Phd

    Its actually different for different DoD entities. Talk to the HR person, which you should have a final interview with after your clearance is done to set a start date and stuff, and they will be able to tell you. I can imagine having a Phd already though may deter some tuition, but then again, the DoD is all about their people’s education.