Comment Archive

  1. Avatar

    Hi everyone. Any help on this issue would be appreciated. I have been denied interim clearance due to a recent bankruptcy and foreclosure proceedings. I have been told by several people that my local congressman may be able to help. I have contacted my congressman and the congressional aids say they have never heard of such thing. Is congressional assistance possible in a case like this? If so what is the procedure or path to follow. Thank you in advance.

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    I “had” a TS-SCI last May of 2007, as I was a Background Investigator for OPM. I found better employment, but would like to continue doing BI’s part-time as a contractor. Does anyone know the process of re-activating a TS-SCI if it’s been under one year??? Would I require an full SSBI, or could the Security Office simply perform and update?

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    I’ve recently accepted a job with a federal agency which will involve a background check, and possibly a future security clearance investigation. About 5 years ago I published a handful of essays on the web of a political nature. Though I wouldn’t stand by everything I wrote then, I wonder if this could be an issue (some of these essays were critical of various government policies, such as the war in Iraq, etc.). I’m probably being overly paranoid. 😉


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    In your essays did you ever threaten to do harm to any one in the federal government, any agency in the federal government or to any branch of the federal government?

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    No, certainly not!

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    I believe the only time a congressman’s office can be of assistance is when the agency you are dealing with fails to follow proper procedures. There was one person on this forum who reported that he successfully had the adjudicative agency reconsider him for an interim clearance by submitting information that mitigated the security concern, but I think this was a very rare situation.

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    Legally voicing your criticism of the US government and it’s policies is your consitutional right and should never be an issue in a security clearance investigation. However if a person advocates unlawful action against the government, they cross over into unlawful speech and sedition. You never know how others might characterize your writing or other speech, so don’t be surprized if you are questioned about it. If asked properly, the questions will only try to establish whether or not you stepped over the line.

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    I have a couple of questions in regards to my past problems. I was looking for an honest answer as to whether you believe I would get a clearance or not.

    1. I was charged in 1990 for vandelism. I did some graffitti when I was 18 years old. The charges were dismissed after I did some community service.

    2. I was with some friend in the mountains in 1992 having some beers in my car. The two friend I was with left the car briefly and when they returned. They returned with a womans purse. They coerced me to go to a bank teller window so they could cash a check. I only the drove the car. While at the teller window I got scared and chickened out and left the bank. They got my license plate number and in the end of it all my two friends admitted i had nothing to do with the crime and nothing ever happened to me. I did have a warrant out but thats all my record shows. The court filings show a dismissal of the case and reference that I had nothing to do with it.

    3. I was charged with illegal discharge of firearm in 1993. The charges were later dismissed after I did one year probation of a conditional discharge.

    4. I was with a friend in 1993 in my car. My friend had a large amount of cocaine in my car that I was unaware of. We got pulled over and it was found in my car. The end result was my friend admitted to the crime and said i had nothing to do with the crime.

    I know this is a lot of negative information, but I am wondering what you think woud be the end result. I am a realistic person and i have asked family, friends and even teh two investigators. They have all said not to worry about anything, but I just do not see how this could be.


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    I recently waited 2 years from the point at which I was given my initial Conditional Offer of Employment from an intelligence agency. When I spoke to my recruiter 3 weeks ago, she told me it was only a matter of months before I was in and that there were “no red flags” on my file so that was good. When I was taken in in November 2007 for my personal interview I was told that the reason it was taking so long is because they were concerned about my history of contact with Israel. I have some relatives there with whom I have not even spoken in over a year that did not seem, to me, to be a problem. I figured I explained the situation well to my investigators and hoped I was in the clear.

    Last week I got a letter (not even a phone call) saying that the agency had rescinded their initial COE. The letter said that “Although we cannot provide you with the specific reasons for our deicison, many situations or circumstances that cause a person to be determined as unsuitable for Agency employment may be mitigated by the passage of time.” It also said that “Since this decision is based on your suitability for Agency employment rather than security considerations, on future security applications you may affirm…that you have never had a security clearance denied.”

    How has my “suitability” changed? What happened to the position? Does this indicate that I did actually fail a clearance but they are being nice and giving me a second round in a year? Why is there no recourse to appeal if its not a security denial? If they offer you a COE I thought the point is that the position is allocated and set for you, provided you can pass a clearance…

    Any insight into this issue would be greatly appreciated. I am only 23 and two whole years of my life was a long time not to go abroad, meet any foreigners, etc. I even gave up a prestigious graduate program at LSE to wait for this…

    Thanks for your responses in advance.

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    m b:
    If you are required to complete an SF85P, you will not have to list any of these incidents on the form, because they all occurred more than 7 years ago. For an SF86, you will have to list item 3 because it involved a firearm and possibly items 2 and 4 if you were charged with a felony. Additionally for item 4, if you were charged with a drug-related offense even if it was only a misdemeanor, it must be listed. Consider the questions regarding “Your Police Record” on the application form carefully, and answer them accurately. Do the same if you are interviewed. You must answer all questions honestly and completely, but you are not required to volunteer information.

    Taken individually these incidents may or may not become security/suitability issues, depending on the type of clearance and type of investigation required. Taken together they can become an issue, but given how long ago they occurred, you should be able to fully mitigate them due to passage of time. I think that if you review the applicable questions on the clearance application form and Guidelines E (Personal Conduct) and J (Criminal Conduct) of the Adjudicative Guidelines, you will feel more confident about your chances of getting a clearance.

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    Thank you and this is for a DOE “Q” clearance. I have already done all of the paperwork as of October 2006 and my case is currently in adjudication. I am wondering though why it has taken so long as the investigation was done January 2007. From your experience do you think my past will be considered a negative?

    I am only curious as I have been at this laboratory for 5 years, I am in information technology and I have a family. So, I need to prepare in case the worst happens and I am denied.


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    m b:
    You were lucky. OPM average investigation time for an SSBI opened during FY 07 was 222 days plus 111 days for other processing. There was a push on at OPM to complete cases opened in Oct 06 as quickly as possible so they could be included in their stats for their Feb 07 report to congress.

    Because it’s been at least 14 years since your last problem, I doubt that you would ultimately be denied a “Q” access authorization.

    If your case has actually been in adjudication since Jan 07, that’s much too long. It’s time to get someone to make some inquiries and get your case unstuck.

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    Hello… My ISSA evaporated after a job change more than a decade ago — angry boss, I suspect. Left for a job where I work still–TS/SCI with CI poly every 5 years. “Crossed over” this way and *something* prevents me crossing back. Soon after, applied for a job that required ISSA and was told “Those tickets are dead and gone and can’t be revived.”!! Later, someone from my own company called, was told it had “expired.” Recently spoke with an attorney, who said it is an access, not a clearance; that a company had to submit me for this and receive a formal response, go from there. Makes sense, but that’s not how it works! Someone makes the phone call, the database is checked…and at that point it’s over. Worked on programs requiring ISSA for years… I am near retirement and in a miserable job…want to make a change, and this would give me a leg up. Any advice? Thank you in advance.

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    Updating a previous post I made:

    I was arrested and charged in January of 2000 for marijuana possession and maintaining a common nuisance.

    I also smoked marijuana on 2 occasions in 2002.

    I plan on consulting a lawyer to verify, but I believe that my 2000 arrest falls under the Federal Controlled Substances Act since I agreed to a plea bargain and was told my record would be expunged upon completion of my one year probation. (Which I completed successfully)

    With that said, if I am ,in fact, not required to disclose this incident, I then feel as if I’m trying to hide something if I dont disclose it on my form . Does anyone know what will actually be revealed during the investigation if this case is truly expunged? Does anyone recommend I disclose this incident in the comments section?

    I already feel I may be in trouble because I smoked marijuana on 2 occasions following my initial probation period, I don’t want to compound that by appearing to be hiding another incident.

    Thanks in advance.

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    The above post is for a secret security clearance I will need at a defense contractor and my concerns on the SF-86 form.

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    I’m not an attorney, but I believe that if a person is arrested by a federal agency and charged in federal court, then the exception for expunged records may apply. However, for most offenses involving possession/use of illegal drugs, people are arrested by state or local police and charged with violation of state law. I’ve never heard of a state or local court citing a federal law as authority to expunge a record.

    If your offense was handled strictly as a state or local matter (not involving 21 USC 844 or 18 USC 3607), I strongly recommend you list it under question 23 of the SF86. There is a DOHA case I used as an example( in my book. It shows a case involving the use of marijuana, complicated by initial falsification of the SF86, and later full disclosure by the applicant. What is noteworthy is how readily the judge disposed of the marijuana involvement, then had to reached to the “whole person” concept to overcome the falsification issue.

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    I’ve got a question. What kind of questions are you asked during a NSA Lifestyle Polygraph? I have heard that considerations not covered on the SF86, or during the actual SSBI, that could come up during the lifestyle polygraph can be reasons for clearance denial. I have also heard the failing a Lifestyle polygraph is generally cause for suspension/revocation of DoD Collateral clearances and any existing SCI accesses. Is this true and can you provide examples?

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    I have been married to my Japanese Wife for 3 years. I currently hold a DOD Secret. She has been in country for over 10 years. My clearance does not get re-investigated for 10 more years. Am I in danger of losing my clearance? How high of a clearance can I get? Should I be worried?


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    Mr. Henderson,
    I just submitted my SF-86 for a job that requires a TS clearance. However, they need somebody onsite right away so my boss requested an interim secret for me since that would be adequate for me to at least start working on classified data. The only concerns I have is that as a juvenile in 1997, I was arrested for Burglary and Conspiracy to Commit Burglary in the 2nd degree, both of which are felonies. I was 17 at the time and was eventually convicted of lesser misdemeanor charges contingent upon a trouble free probationary period of at least 1 year. I served the probationary period and have not been charged with any crime in the 11 years since the incident. The records were sealed and eventually expunged in 2005. I disclosed as much info as I could of course. I have read that this may be enough to get my interim secret denied. I have perfect credit and literally no debt and have never been late on any payments. I had couple parking tickets that I forgot to pay. I bought, owned, and sold a house while never missing a payment and I graduated college in 2004. I have lived an exemplary life (in my opinion) since the incident. What are my chances of getting the interim clearance? I am pretty sure that the 11 years of crime-free clean living will mitigate my juvenile record, however I don’t want to get my hopes up. Thanks in advance for any input that you can provide.

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    I am currently an analyst for an Intelligence Community agency holding a TS/SCI with no poly. I am looking at other job opportunities in the IC, but I’m concerned that not having a poly will hurt my chances (especially w/contractors). If I apply for positions that require a CI poly, about how long would I expect that process to take? Since I currently hold TS/SCI, my understanding is that I would not need a new investigation. I realize that the full-scope poly process is different and can be much more time-consuming… but it seems to me that getting a CI poly complete and adjudicated could be quick. Am I wrong? Does it vary agency to agency?

    Does anybody else with TS/SCI but no poly have any experience in this area? Or am I the only member of the IC w/o a poly (it sounds like it reading the job requirements at defense/intelligence contractors)? My security office apparently only initiates CI polys during the investigation if serious red flags show up.

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    Interim Secret clearances are tricky, because adjudicators can only rely on the information presented by the applicant in the SF86. For final clearances adjudicators have much more information on which to base their decisions. I believe that for a final clearance your offense can be fully mitigated by passage of time regardless of whether it was charged as a felony or only a misdemeanor. I don’t know how you presented this information in your SF86, so I can’t give you an opinion about an interim Secret clearance.

    You indicate that your were arrested for offenses that were considered felonies. Were you formally charged with felony offenses or were the offenses charged as misdemeanors? If you were charged with misdemeanors, you probably wouldn’t have had to even list the offense on your SF86. In any event, decisions for interim Secret clearances are made by DISCO in a matter of days, so you won’t have to wait long for an answer.

  22. Avatar

    Quick question about an interim clearance. I have been given a job offer for a company and employment is contingent on me getting an interim and secret clearance. My record is absolutely squeaky clean except a one time use of marijuana in April of 2001 (6 years and 11 months ago!) I personally don’t even remember it at all but a friend at the party claimed it was true. I have never tried it since nor do I want to, but I want to be as forthcoming as I have to be about the situation. It is essential that I get my interim clearance, so I don’t want to mess this up. First, is this one time use almost 7 years ago enough to get my interim denied?
    If so, how stringent are they about “7 years”. I am guessing that 6 years 11 months isn’t good enough and I should mention it. It probably happened during April some time. Should I see if I can delay filling it out until April 1st and then omit it? Or do I wait for May?

    Incidentally I have already done the eQIPS form for another government agency (it was a background check, but not for any kind of clearance). Will this make the process any easier for me to get an interim?

    Please help because I am very stressed out about this. Thanks!

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    Mr. Henderson,

    I recently filled out the SF-86 for a TS and had a meeting with my investigator last week. On the form and at the meeting I said that I had never been had any legal problems involving alcohol. However, I just remembered that in 2000 I got a ticket for underage consumption while in college. Is the best option to call the investigator and tell him abut this? What should I do to mitigate this? Thanks so much for your help.

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    Contact the investigator as soon as possible and explain why you forgot about it. He will want to talk to you face to face. The only way to mitigate the omission is to correct it by disclosing this information before being confronted about it and offerring a plausible reason for having forgot.

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    I have been married to my Japanese Wife for 3 years. I currently hold a DOD Secret. She has been in country for over 10 years. My clearance does not get re-investigated for 10 more years. Am I in danger of losing my clearance? How high of a clearance can I get? Should I be worried? Can I get a SCI ?Mike

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    Thanks, Mr. Henderson. I left a message for him and emailed him this morning explaining what happened. Since the meeting was only last week and I’m putting everything out in the open, do you see this being a problem with getting the clearance? Thanks again.

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    List your use of marijuana. Use the comment section to explain why you didn’t use it after Apr 01, whether you bought it or it was given to you, whether you used it alone or at a social gather, city & state, whether knowledge of the incident could never be used to coerce you. One time use of marijuana is pretty minor stuff, but it’s better to provide a complete explanation on the security form.

    Because the requirements for an interim Secret clearance are very limited, having been previously investigated by the US Government isn’t going to make it occur any faster or improve your chances.

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    If clearances were denied because of an underage drinking citation, the military wouldn’t be able to recruit 1/4 of the people they need to fill all the jobs that require security clearances. As far as the omission is concerned, since it was an honest oversight–no problem.

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    I can not tell you what the questions are. However, standard polygraph procedure is to go over the questions with you immediately before the exam. If you don’t like the questions, you can decline to take the exam.

    There are factors listed in the Adjudicative Guidelines that are not covered in the SF86, but are covered during the Subject Interview. Eligibility for collateral clearances and SCI are based on the same Adjudicative Guidelines. The only difference is the degree to which foreign preference and foreign influence can be mitigated. If any previously undisclosed potentially disqualifying information (as defined in the Adjudicative Guidelines) surfaces during any phase of the exam, the agency conducting the exam can advise all other concerned governmental agencies. See Paragraph 1e, Annex F of DCID 6/4.

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    The Adjudicative Guidelines for Confidential, Secret and Top Secret clearances are exactly the same, only the investigations are different. Adjudication for SCI eligibility is a little different. Periodic reinvestigations for Secret clearances occur at 10-year intervals. I don’t understand why you are asking this question if you were just reinvestigated and have been married for 3 years.

    DoD regulation requires that you self-report to your security manager marriage to a foreign national.

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    Would currently being on probation for a single DUI constitute denial of a final TS clearance if the arrest and judgement(sentencing) was disclosed on the E-QUIP? My interim was denied, obviously. I am up for early termination of probation shortly, but the scheduled discharge of probation(on the police report) is a few months away and I am already 3 months into the investigation and I just am curious as to whether “currently being on probation” is in itself a ticket to denial or if the “whole person concept” applies to this as well.

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    So, I’ve been thoroughly reading this forum and believe I present a unique question/problem, I might just be the worse case scenario.

    I have been a defense contractor for almost 5yrs, I’ve never had a need to work on classified material. However, recently my employer made me apply for a Secret clearance. I submitted my SF86 and just found out today that I was denied for the interim.

    Back in 2000 I committed the worse mistake of my life (three times), my girlfriend ( now she’s my wife) was pregnant at the time and we really needed money. A friend came by my house and asked me If I wanted to make $500. All I had to do was drive a car with some people across the border. I knew from other’s that they didn’t put people in jail for that, they just release you. So like an idiot, without understanding the consequences, i did it and got away with it, and then did again and was caught. I tried two more times and was caught both times, for a total of three times within a 3-4 month period. I was fingerprinted every single time. I know it sounds like I’m a horrible person, but I just got caught up in a moment of desperation and my youthful ignorance didn’t help (not trying to make excuses).

    On top of that during that same time, I had horrible credit issues and a car repo, however, all of those things have fallen off my credit report and i only have a few 30 lates from last year (wife was laid-off) showing on my credit report. As a result of the repo I was sued and am currently making payments to satisfy that debt.

    Wait… there’s more:
    I was arrested in 2001 for domestic battery, which was later dropped and my arrest ruled a detainment. then I was arrested in 2003 for suspscion of a dui, in which I was also not charged, it went away once my blood test came back and as It turned out I wasn’t under the influence. Lastly, as If things couldn’t look worse, I was in a small altercation at a local watering hole, which resulted in me being put in 12hour hold, kind of like the drunk tank. even though I have absolutely no issues with abusing alcohol or any other substances.

    I’m really unsure of what to expect, but I’m preparing for the worse, If it wasn’t for the first think I listed I wouldn’t be nearly as worried. any advice would surely be appreciated.

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    After almost 10 years of employment with a federal agency, I received a letter indicating that (1) I was being considered for access to NSI and that (2) issues had arrisen during the course of my background consideration. I have been provided an opportunity to respond to a series of questions before a decision is rendered.

    The questions appear to focus on percieved discrepancies between statements made during an unsucessful polygraph exam – that I took almost 8 years ago (while applyig for a job with a different agency). In short, during the polygraph process, I started off by stating that I had used marijuana once (as was stated on my SF86, but later acquiesed to 3 to four times. Why I made such an admission, I’m not sure – perhaps it was the stress of the moment and the fact that I knew I was allowed as many as 15 uses to still qualify. In any event, I cracked like an egg and took responsibility for the additional uses that never happened. Having had the polygraph experience, I’ve been able to look back and see it for what it is… and ever since, I have continued to always state that I’ve had a single use of marijuana in my life… a use that dates back almost 18 years now.

    But back to the letter I recently received asking me to explain the discrepancy. Does anyone have any advice. I suspect that any response I give will seem incredible.



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    If you have elligibility for TS/SCI you are required to report your marriage to a foreign national to the security manager and submit her for a NAC investigation. SF-86C I believe is the form.

    If you do not have TS/SCI elligibility you are supposed to report it to your security manager. The army CAF says if you dont have TS/SCI, they dont need to konw about it. Only your security manager.

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    I would just like to clarify a litte, from my previous post. All of my credit issues are more than 7yrs old. At this time when I check my credit report, on all three bureau’s I have no delinquent accounts showing. What I meant by I have some 30 day lates was that I was late on a couple of credit cards early last year, but I’m all caught up and paying as promised. Also, the amount of my current debt is really insignificant, less than $800. I’ve made great efforts to clean up my credit the past 3yrs.

    My major concern as mentioned above are the times I was detained at the border.

    Thanks for your help.

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    Cristian – Wow, that is some story. Based on the information you provided, it isn’t surprising you were denied the interim clearance. My thought is that the recent credit issues are causing you the most harm. However, any adjudicator would take a look at all circumstances (“whole person” type of concept) and probably not give you a very favorable review. At this point, having a solid, consistent approach to paying off debt and working to keep a clean police record are your best bets. Good luck.

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    Being currently on probation is a potentially disqualifying condition, separate from the DUI conviction. It is possible to mitigate this issue under the “whole person” concept. Since you’re in for a TS, you will have an interview with an investigator before your investigation is completed. At that time you need to tell the investigator when you anticipate completing your probation. The important thing is to complete all court requirements as soon as possible.

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    Mr. Henderson:

    I definitely second that notion. Myself, not having been involved with substances (was not cool in the 80s) yet,in another case, I still don’t think I’ll get a NOPA. Why.. because the jurisdiction is such that they won’t allow a comment. I went to the Golden State (which I believed in) and got took. I am not kidding myself enough to think I will get a notice of proposed action. >> Instead, I’ll be taking another pt test. –Its not right, but that’s is what my guess is, that will happen. Time contraints, still not gonna spoke any dope though. My time ran out.

    Thank You.

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    Did you change the number of times you used marijuana from 1 to 4 during the pre-test phase of the exam? If so, was there still “deception indicated” after the exam? If not, why do you refer to it as an “unsuccessful” exam? What was the other issue?

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    Thanks for the follow-up. I believe that both tests were ultimately deemed “inconclusive” as they are referred to in the letter I recently received. My characterization of “unsuccesful” is esentially because I never got the job and was rejected from further consideration. As for exactly when during the polygraph I made the change from 1 to 3-4, I am not sure… it has been a long time. It certainly wasn’t at the begining… but maybe an hour or two into the process. My first polygraph went very long – about 4 1/2 hours from the time I walked in until the time I walked out. That was really an eternity to cover 7-8 relevant questions.

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    Mr. Henderson,

    Forgive me for bieing confusing. I immediately disclose all and everything to my security officer. Even when I started dating her. When I reported to my security officer he started laughing. He said “so what” Japan is a Class-A country.

    I guess I would just like to know is


    Thank you.

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    I may have an opportunity to get a clearance with my current job. I have heard many people get denied because of past drug use. I am concerned about drug use while in college 01-05. My use of marijuana was more then experimental use. I have no credit problems, criminal record, and no problems with past jobs. What are my chances of getting approved? I will be completely honest about it, but don’t to waste my time if I have no chance.

    Thanks for any response.

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    Basically no. There is a provision for a waiver/exception. This is covered under paragraphs 5 & 6 of Director of Central Intelligence Directive (DCID) 6/4:

    “The affected SOIC or specified designee may grant exception to the standard requiring
    US citizenship for the family members of an individual proposed for SCI access. . . . Exceptions to the US citizenship requirement for individuals to be accessed to SCI and their immediate family members shall require certification of a compelling need. This exception should be based upon a specific national security requirement and a certification of compelling need.”

    Although your security officer was correct in his assessment of the Japan; neither the applicant nor the security officer should decide which countries present a problem and which don’t.

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    I was going to suggest that you request an exculpatory polygraph exam, but if your prior exam was inconclusive, I’m not sure if a new exam would be any different. At this point after 8 years, I don’t think this is a very big issue. Just answer the questions as honestly as you can. It is not unusual for people to modify their responses to questions on the SF86 during a polygraph exam. It is also not unusual for an exam to be inconclusive.

    By NSI I’m guessing that you mean classified National Security Information.” If this is the case then you must have submitted a new SF86, an investigation was conducted, and you have received what is generally referred to as a “Statement of Reason” or a “Letter of Intent.” If you received an SOR or LOI, look at the mitigating factors under Guideline E: Personal Conduct of the Adjudicative Guidelines to get a better idea of what you need to address in your response.

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    I’m reposting this to see if anyone on this discussion board can enlighten me about my situation…

    I am currently an analyst for an Intelligence Community agency holding a TS/SCI with no poly. I am looking at other job opportunities in the IC, but I’m concerned that not having a poly will hurt my chances (especially w/contractors). If I apply for positions that require a CI poly, about how long would I expect that process to take? Since I currently hold TS/SCI, my understanding is that I would not need a new investigation. I realize that the full-scope poly process is different and can be much more time-consuming… but it seems to me that getting a CI poly complete and adjudicated could be quick. Am I wrong? Does it vary agency to agency?

    Does anybody else with TS/SCI but no poly have any experience in this area? Or am I the only member of the IC w/o a poly (it sounds like it reading the job requirements at defense/intelligence contractors)? My security office apparently only initiates CI polys during the investigation if serious red flags show up.

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    Not that many people are denied a security clearance for simple use/possession of marijuana.

    Regular use is defined as once a week or more. Frequent use is defined as one to four times a month.

    Abstaining from marijuana use for more than two years after using it regularly (one year for frequent use) is generally sufficient to mitigate this issue, provided there are no complicating or aggravating factors. Of course future intentions are also important.

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    Thank you Mr. Henderson. This is a great thing your doing. I appreciate it.

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    I got the same letter, and I am not completely sure of the reasons either. During my process, they mentioned that they hire several people for one position, and they implied that the individual who makes through the investigation first will be hired.

    Suitability is different than a clearance, so you have not failed the clearance.

    As the letter states, you have no rights to appeal.

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    I have a current TS. I was provided SCI access a few years ago. Does SCI access automatically expire/lapse and/or does it require periodic renewal to remain current?

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    I had a DOD before and it was suspended due to drug trafficing and admitted use prior to. I was recently granted another one late last year. I know a TS SBI is a lot tougher, is there a time period that your background must be clean for before you are usually granted an SBI? Thanks.

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    Sorry i ment, i had a DOD secret clearance before…

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    I have a Secret clearance granted by the US Army in 2001. Will that be of any value if I apply for a job requiring a Secret or TS clearance from a civilian agency, or it it “Your Army clearance and $1.50 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks”? I understand that a military clearance is different from a civilian clearance, but does having the former help the latter in any respect? Thanks!

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    I have interum secret clearance for 18 months,How long do i have to wait for final clearance.

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    I’m a greenhorn “outside the Beltway” consultant so I apologize for the naivety of my question.

    Two years ago, I did work for the GSA and was required to complete the SF-85 and submit to fingerprinting in order to be granted a building access badge.

    What is the name for this access? I have been asked by other Washington-based consulting companies about my “clearability” and would like to give them a more intelligent answer!

    Thank you –

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    Umm, please make that “SF-86” 😉

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    I was recently denied a TSC this year, through my civilian employer. The reason given was that my integrity was in question and the government had concerns about entrusting me to work on TOP SECRET PROJECTS.
    Some of the reasons listed appear borderline to me and I’ll admit that some of the confusions was due to my error. I will list the issues and would like to get some advice on how to direct my appeal which is already in progress. I am currently a military reservist officer with an active secret clearance.

    1. The investigator said I left off family members and some jobs that I had in the past. I have been an IT consultant for the past 10 years and I know there may have been a job or two that I may have missed. I did in fact disclose this to the investigator. I’m not sure what family members they are referring to because that never came up during the investigation interviews.
    2. The question was asked (during the security investigation) “If I ever have any problems with regards to employment while I was in the military”. I answer no. On the denial letter, the investigator states that in 1992 when I was enlisted active duty, I received an article 15 for returning late from leave when I was stationed in Korea. Yes I did receive an A15 in 1992 for returning a day late from leave. My issue is that investigator never bought up this fact during the investigation. I would have agreed with this fact. Secondly I would not have in a million years correlate receiving a summarized article 15 as having employment problems while in the military. I felt that the investigator should have given me the opportunity to address this incident if it is and has been a factor in deciding to deny my Top Secret Clearance.

    3. The final incident involve an CID investigation in which I file a claim for lost property in 2000 while on TDY, took and failed a lie detector test and was denied my claim. I admitted that the night before that myself and some of other LT’s went out celebrating and drinking because we had just completed and graduated from our Officer basic course (OBC). I did not remember all the facts regarding the theft because I was a little hung over (due to drinking) at that time. Apparently that correlated to me lying and my claim being denied by the CID officials. In any event, I told the commandant of the incident and of me failing the lie detector test. Unbeknownst to me, CID had forward the report to his office the same day I failed the lie detector test. He could have ended my career as an officer right there on the spot. As any officer (or enlisted or any upstanding citizen knows) that integrity is one of our core values and without it, anyone will have a difficult time getting very far in life. The commandant did believe me and allowed me to graduate and grow and develop to what I consider myself to be, a fine officer. I guess my question is, what is the best way to approach this and the other incidents in my appeal? It did occur and I have not denied it. Will this be used as a rope over my head for the rest of my life in my attempt to get a Top Secret Clearance. Please advise.


  57. Avatar

    J.B. – your military clearance will do just fine in the defense contracting world. As long as you’ve had a job in the past two years that required use of the clearance, you are set. After the two year window, federal contractors can’t easily employ someone. The unofficial defintions that HR folks use are:

    Active – your present job requires use of a clearance

    Current – you have had a job in the past 2 years that required use of a clearance

    Expired – it’s been more than 2 years since you had a job that required a clearance

  58. Avatar

    If a job responsibility has changed and no longer requires polygraph: 1. Is the employer required to let you know that it is being removed? 1b. Do I get debriefed? 2. When a task will require it again, what is the process to get it back? 3. Can I still say that I have an active poly on my resume? 4. How can I check my clearance?
    Note: My FSO is no help at all.

    Thank you for any info.

  59. Avatar

    A fellow co-worker told me he holds a “duck” clearance, that I have reason to believe is a compartmentalized, “three letter agency” acronym / codeword. Do you know what this person may be cleared for, what this clearance entails, or projects he/she may be working with?

  60. Avatar

    I retired from the Navy after 26 years in 2006 with an Active Secret clearance and was hired as a contractor providing training and consulting services. During the course of employment my SIPR system had issues and I submitted a trouble call. Weeks went by without help desk actions and I finally got an email from the Chief Systems Administrator to provide my logins and passwords so they could fix my SIPR problems. Not thinking I replied on the NIPR email the SIPR logins and hit send.

    Not 10 minutes passed and I was called into the directors office with the SA explaining why I violated security. To make a long story short, I explained I was responding to the SA email to send it.

    Due to that occurring the Chief SA demanded and insisted that an incident report be submitted and posted in JPAS which it was, and my access to classified info was removed until the investigation by OPM was completed.

    That was in last April 2007, and I was let go in May because the project had to move forward and I could not work on it anymore.

    However, in the system my clearance was still active and was hired at my current job since last July. In August OPM sent a letter to my employer stating to remove my access to all classified info until final investigations have been completed. December the investigation was completed and forwarded to adjudicators for TS.
    I know my current employer who paid to have a new TS investigation started, is growing impatient with the system.

    Based on my story above, do I have anything to worry about as far as the outcome from OPM?

  61. Avatar

    I am a Navy reservist and work as a DoD contractor. I am concerned about my TS/SCI clearance. I had a DUI 11 years ago prior to obtaining this clearance. Unfortunately, I had two alcohol related incidences this past year that I am concerned about. The first one was on AT with the military. I took a cab back to the base after being out drinking with some other military personnel. The gate guard misconstrued the whole thing because I thought I lost my military I.D. I was sent home from school early and my captain had my SSO office suspend my clearance. 10 months has passed and I am still under investigation. On the civilian side, I was arrested and charged with DUI end of Dec. I had the worst year of my life and obviously didn’t use good judgment. I have made some major changes to ensure that this never happens again. I love my military and civilian careers. Big question is…what is the likelihood of obtaining my TS/SCI again or at a mimimum a Secret? I hope to regain the TS as I am up for reenlistment and would like to sign another contract and continue doing Intel work with the Navy.

  62. Avatar

    SCI eligibility does not expire or lapse provided the underlying investigation is current (SSBI-PR every 5 years) and any additional periodic program specific investigative requirements are met. You can be “read on” and “read off” of different programs repeatedly without it having any affect on SCI eligibility.

  63. Avatar

    The adjudicative standards for Top Secret and Secret are the same. If you currently have a Secret clearance, there is no waiting period.

  64. Avatar

    A Secret clearance granted by the Army can easily be converted to a contractor clearance, provided there has not been more than a 2 year break in service and the underlying investigation is not out of date. Investigations for Secret clearances are good for 10 years.

  65. Avatar

    18 months is a long time for a Secret clearance. What does your security manager say about the status of your investigation/clearance?

  66. Avatar

    If you no longer require access to an SCI program, you should be debriefed from the program. The underlying SCI eligibility is unaffected, provided you undergo an SSBI-PR every 5 years. When you need access to an SCI program in the future, you will have to meet any additional investigative requirements for program access, if any. Individuals are not authorized access to the security clearance databases (JPAS, SII, DCII, CVS, and Scattered Castles); you can only get information about your clearance through a security officer with access to these databases.

  67. Avatar

    Get a lawyer. I don’t believe you are at the appeal stage yet. It sounds like you are responding to an SOR/LOI. If you are unsuccessful in your rebuttal of the SOR, a Letter of Denial will be issued. Then you will reach the appeal stage. If you are dealing with DOHA, appeals can only be based on procedural errors. So the stage you are now at is very important. If you are denied the TS clearance, you will probably lose your Secret clearance with the Army. You can not continue as an officer in the Army unless you are eligible for a Secret clearance.

  68. Avatar

    If you ask a specfic question, I’ll try to answer it if I can, but I can’t respond to a request to comment on a situation.

  69. Avatar

    A single unintentional security violation (absent any other misconduct or foreign influence problems) rarely results in a clearance denial or revocation.

  70. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    I’ll try to be as specific as I can. It just struck me odd that they had to remove my interim secret. It’s been 22 months since the clearance paperwork was started. Just last month the adjudicator asked for a copy of my naturalization certfificate eventhough the investigator’s already seen it and that she will put that in her report. Have you ever heard cases similar to mine. Should I start looking into clearance lawyer?

  71. Avatar

    Mistakes were made. My best guess is that your original investigation was terminated for over a year before corrective action was initiated. I’m surprised they didn’t have you complete a new SF86. They used parts of your original investigation for the new one, but since your Subject Interview was more than a year old, it had to be done again. The second adjudicator did not agree with the first adjudicator regarding your interim clearance. This could have happened because in the original investigation they were unable to locate your Naturalization record or because of your family situation. There are some other possible scenarios depending on the agency and clearance level involved.

    The bottom line is that because of the mistakes things have not gone smoothly in your case, but I don’t see any reason at this point for you to contact a lawyer.

  72. Avatar


    I am a DOD employee. I have deployed twice to Iraq as a civilian volunteer. Both times i deployed with an Interim Security Clearance. This last deployment I was deployed for 28 months with an Interim. I came back to the States in Oct 07 and then was accepted for another deployment position in Jan 08. Unfortunately, nothing had been accomplished on my security clearance for the past 31 months. I was told it is currently in adjudication. And the timeframe to get my final clearance was a minimum of 30 days. I was also told that Army CCF would no longer support me having an Interim Security Clearance. Because of this problem the position i was slated for was given to another individual. I suppose my question is why would i be denied an Interim Security Clearance. Especially, since i was already slated to deploy, had deployed twice with an Interim, and due to no fault of mine Army CCF or OPM had not finailized my clearance. When i ask this question of my security manager he just shrugs his shoulders and tells me that they will not give a reason.

  73. Avatar

    Did an investigator ever talk to you about your SF 86 form? If you were in Iraq for 28 months they did not get to talk to you during that time frame. The rest of your investigation was probably completed the best that it could be but without the PRSI a big portion of it is missing. If there were any issues on your SF 86 that needed follow up information by talking with you this could have caused the problem.

  74. Avatar

    I stumbled onto this site today while trying to figure some things out and come to find out that i am in a pretty good place. My question is, I was placed into an EKMS/Security Manager billet about a year ago which ultimately landed me a TS/SCI clearance. I am due to EAS from the Marine Corps in a few months but am wondering what i would be able to do with my clearance and limited Experience in the Southern California Area. I have no degree and am very unsure about what to do with the clearance or even how to go about it. The decision to stay in or get out has been a huge stress and any answer would definitely be GREATLY appreciated.

  75. Avatar


    Thanks for your reply. I needed to be reminded of that possibility. I was concerned it was because of something I’d done during the process and I’ve been racking my brain to try and figure out how I could have been flagged as unsuitable.

    Unfortunately, the government probably loses all too many stellar candidates with actual international and cultural experience this way, because, ironically, these are the individuals who take longer to clear. A flawed process indeed…

    Best of luck with your career.


  76. Avatar

    I joined the military in 1996, had an ETNAC-Secret. Got out of the military in 2002. Went back into the Reserves in 2005, and also within that same month I got a job with Defense Shipbuilding Contractor. I was required to have a Secret clearance working for the contractor and was granted such in 2005. I deployed for all of 2006 to Iraq.I sat in during classified security briefings and mission planning.It shows in my military record that I possess a Secret clearance, and although my military job does not require me to have one at my current pay grade. I will need it to get promoted to the next rank. Is my clearance DOD wide? Can I use my civilian contractor obtained Secret with my military career progression? Now, fast forward to the present. A few months ago I took a job as a civilian firefighter in the DOD/Federal system. Is my Secret clearance good for this position as well? Am I wrong to believe that once you are granted a level of clearance it is good Agency/Department wide? Thanks!

  77. Avatar


    Yes they did talk to me, last December. I was told that they would have the information submitted to OPM within a week. You are correct in that they needed to talk to me. It is unclear as to why they never tried to contact me while i was in Iraq. I would have been more than happy to meet them during one of my several trips back to the US on R&R. The reason they contacted me once i got back from Iraq is that i had inquired the status of my clearance. Then within a couple of days i had an email asking for my address and phone number. Once i got back it still took over 2 months for them to get hold of me even though they knew i had come back in October.

    I do appreciate your immediate response and does explain some of the hold up on the clearance.

  78. Avatar

    I would like to know how to request a re-open / reconsideration through the Sec of Defense. I have 4 years experience adjudication of clearances as a PSS 0080-11 with the Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA). I had a alcohol incident in 2005, my clearance was denied in 2006. I have letters of recommendation from the DOHA Dept Counsel, PSD Chief and 20 or 30 other team leaders and co-workers.


  79. Avatar

    I have 4 years experience adjudication of clearances as a PSS 0080-11 with the Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA). I would be glad to help with some of the questions…. ????


  80. Avatar

    My employer will be submitting me for a TS/SCI with both CI/Lifestyle polygraphs. My question: Are each of typically adjudicated separately? In other words, is it possible for me to end up with the TS/SCI with CI poly if successfully complete and pass the SSBI and CI poly but do not successfully complete and/or pass the lifestyle poly. I ask because I am interested in getting the highest level clearance that I can but I wonder if I should try to get each part incrementally just in case I do not pass a particular part of it…even if that means getting a job that first only requires the TS…then a job that requires the TS/SCI…etc.


  81. Avatar


    There is no way to have your previous clearance denial reconsidered.

    You will have to apply for a position that requires a security clearance and a government agency or cleared contractor must sponsor you for the clearance. You will be starting from scratch. When people who were previously denied a clearance reapply after one year, their application must contain full information about the prior clearance denial.

  82. Avatar

    Hey, Iam from Canada, I have been give conditional discharge from the court with probation and some community service a year ago. Iam engineering student and recently, iam giving interviews for my work. Some work places do require the security clearance. I have given interview to federal agency a week ago are there any chances of me getting the security clearance or I will not get the clearance untill the record is destroyed? Any help will be appreciated.

  83. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    I hope you can answer some questions for me. Here’s a brief description of my background: I’m turning 20 years old next month. I was born here in the US but when my Dad retired in 1994, we moved to an island in the Visayas region of the Philippines and lived there until 2001. My parents, brother, and I are all US citizens. My Mom and I had dual citizenship with the Philippines but we renounced our Philippine citizenship last year when the Navy required me to take an exam. We’ve been living here now since 2001 but I traveled back to the Philippines to attend a university there from 2003 to 2004. I’ve been since attending a college here in the US but I traveled again to the Philippines in the summer of 2005, summer of 2006 and in the fall of 2006, I took a one semester break from college and decided to go back to the Philippines for a couple of months. When I came back to the US in early 2007 I decided to enroll again in college and I’ve been attending a local community ever since.

    And my questions is that I enlisted in the Navy as a Crypto linguist and the job requires me to have a Top Secret security clearance. Will my traveling and living in the Philippines disqualify me? Ever since I got back here, I do not have any contact with anyone there except for a childhood friend who sends me an e-mail every couple of months to say hello. And my Mom doesn’t have any communication with her relatives there except for her mother who sends my Mom a letter twice a year to ask for a small amount of money (usually around $50-$100).

    Another concern I have is that I used amphetamine in the Philippines in 2003 while attending a university there. I used it about three times but I never used it again. I do not have any contact or saw those people I took it with again. Also, during that same year I did a lot of drinking there but I do not drink anymore now. Will any of this be a disqualification? I am also concerned about what my neighbors there will say about me because it’s a small town and they gossip a lot about everybody as well as make up a lot of things about their own neighbors. It’s a huge part of their culture.

    I’ve never been arrested and I don’t have any criminal charges against me. I never had a job here or in the Philippines but while living there in 2006, I did some print modeling for an international beauty company, should I list this under the employment part in the Form SF-86?

    Also, I’m planning to go to Mexico this summer for 4 weeks with our Spanish class as part of a study abroad program. Should I go or will this look bad? I was hoping to go so I can enhance my Spanish and take a proficiency test when I get back to add another language to my file.

    After boot camp, I will be attending the Defense Language Institute for a year as part of my training and after that, I have another 5 months of cryptology training. I hope I don’t get denied a TS. What do you think my chances are of getting denied a TS?

    Thank you Mr. Henderson.

  84. Avatar

    I just wanted to update everyone with my experience. I started a new position Jan 1st and submitted my SF86 for a secret at the same time. My interim was processed within 24 hours and I just got word that my final approval has gone through end of February. So this was pretty fast. I’m sure it was speeded up by not having anything negative on the app, however I have lived many different places during the last 7 years.

    One question-I only got an email notifying me of this by our security administrator saying that the approval was final from DISCO. Will I get some sort of official documentation in the mail, or is there some sort of reference number associated with the clearance?

  85. Avatar

    I recently read that when DISCO is aware SCI eligibility is required, it is their procedure to forward the completed investigation to the appropriate CAF without adjudicating a TS eligibility. If this is true what is the process after the other CAF adjudicates for SCI? Do they also adjudicate for the collateral clearance or do they communicate their decision to DISCO, so DISCO can then adjudicate for the collateral clearance?

  86. Avatar

    I posted a couple of weeks ago and was hoping to get some feedback on my situation, i have ommitted my credit problems, because they are all fixed and my credit report is clean.

    Back in 2000 I committed the worse mistake of my life (three times), my girlfriend ( now she’s my wife) was pregnant at the time and we really needed money. A friend came by my house and asked me If I wanted to make $500. All I had to do was drive a car with some people across the border. I knew from other’s that they didn’t put people in jail for that, they just release you. So like an idiot, without understanding the consequences, i did it and got away with it, and then did again and was caught. I tried two more times and was caught both times, for a total of three times within a 3-4 month period. I was fingerprinted every single time. I know it sounds like I’m a horrible person, but I just got caught up in a moment of desperation and my youthful ignorance didn’t help (not trying to make excuses).

    Wait… there’s more:
    I was arrested in 2001 for domestic battery, which was later dropped and my arrest ruled a detainment. then I was arrested in 2003 for suspscion of a dui, in which I was also not charged, it went away once my blood test came back and as It turned out I wasn’t under the influence. Lastly, as If things couldn’t look worse, I was in a small altercation at a local watering hole, which resulted in me being put in 12hour hold, kind of like the drunk tank. even though I have absolutely no issues with abusing alcohol or any other substances.

  87. Avatar

    I have been granted an interim TS, which builds on a previously-adjudicated Secret (i.e. I am not going from nothing –> TS). If I were to switch jobs PRIOR to me TS being adjudicated, what happens with respect to my interim TS?

    1. Basically I’m trying to figure out if I’m “stuck” with my current employer while my TS is being investigated (but again, keep in mind that my interim TS was approved).

    2. While on this subject, what exactly are the differences between an interim TS and full TS? That is, what am I limited to with just an interim?

  88. Avatar

    Dear Sir,

    I have a question regarding the DoD TS/SCI process. I was recently selected for a fellowship and told that I would undergo a SSBI investigation. After filling out the paperwork they sent me to D.C. to have a security interview. At this interview we discussed my SF-86 made some changes, recorded info on any foreign friends, and went further in depth into my history past the time frame of the SF-86. In the end we submitted my official SF-86 and they took fingerprints.

    They had mentioned that an interim clearance can be granted after an interview with the security office. My question is this, is there s separate interim clearance interview (what I think I did) and a separate SSBI security interview involving the poly? Not worried, just curious.

  89. Avatar

    Hi Everyone!

    I recently accepted a position with a contrator for DHS which requires a clearance. Up until last week I was waiting on my EOD (entry of duty) determination and learned it was denied. My company seems relatively unmoved by that determination, I am still in their offices working until I am able to go on site. I know that I will be given the chance to address whatever negative was found, although I think I know what it is. No criminal history, but when I went back and looked at my eQIP archival copy, I noticed that I left 2 credit items off of the form!!

    One is a tax lien, that was filed in error and is paid, the other is a bogus judgement that I have a letter from the company stating the error. Both of these things are easily explainable, but I left them off of the form by pure mistake.

    I called the DHS Security Office with what I had found, and of course, was told it was too late now that a determination has been rendered. I have yet to receive the certified letter with the results, but will this hurt my chances to have the decision reversed? It was an accident, I knew these things would show on a credit report- I just don’t know what I was thinking!! This position requires this EOD and subsequent clearance because of the nature of the work.

    Sorry for the long wind, any thoughts please!!!

  90. Avatar

    I’ve transfered to a new agency within the same department – DHS. Based upon issues arising from a security clearance at my prior job, I am now going through a “suitability determination” with the new job (which does not require a security clearance)… and providing answers to a few questions to assist the adjudicator make his suitability determination.

    My questions: What is the difference between a suitability determination and a background clearance determination? I recognize that only the latter deals with access to classified information… but I don’t understand where the adjudicative standards are similiar and/or different. Is there any resource to look at in considering “Suitability standards.”

    My concern? Having lost my bargaining rights by taking/transfering to a new job and being SOL after a decade of service. Their concern? Small discrepancies between current SF-86 and statements made during pre-employment polygraphs with different agencies almost 10 years ago. They appear to be concerned that I haven’t been candid as compared with polygraph reporting.

    Thanks in advance Mr. Henderson

  91. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    I currently hold a DOD SECRET. I am being upgraded to a TS. I’m about to do the EQIP. Question: In 2006 I crashed my motorcycle. I was orginally charged with DUI but it was changed to Reckless Driving.

    I’m hoping I dont have to bring up what almost happened right? I dont have to tell everyone I almost got a DUI? I have asked around and was told that I dont need to disclose that as the charge was dropped to Reckless Driving.

    Your input please.

  92. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    What are the consequences of failing a life poly when you currently hold a SECRET OR TOP SECRET clearance?

  93. Avatar

    I have 3 questions. I need to be able to obtain a secret clearance. My “spouse-like” is from Brazil and I am “close” friends with at least one other Brazilian. I have also traveled to Brazil twice this year because my girlfriend is terminally ill and wanted to see her family there. I went for 3 weeks in Sept and 2 weeks in Jan this year.

    On another issue, I was very depressed back in 2002 and elected to see a psychologist because of it. My visits spanned from Feb to August… probably twice a month. I never took any medication… it was basically me listening to my therapist talk about herself. Anyways I’m great now and have been since those visits. Basically just figured out that my job was horrible, left that to go to college, and have graduated with flying colors. I’m just worried about this because I initially did experience suicidal thoughts… it was a real low for me. I know they will see these records and I’m sure the records will show that by my 2nd visit my deep depressive thoughts were already gone. I think I was just lonely and needed to talk to someone. Will this ruin my chances for a secret clearance?

    Lastly, if I am “close” friends with a Brazilian who married for documents only, if they investigate that person and discover this, does that mean immigration would then become involved? I really don’t want to ruin anyone else’s life because of a job that I want. I have been extended an excellent offer that is contingent upon my getting a secret clearance and I must decide whether to try for it or not. Please help soon. Thanks very much! 🙂

  94. Avatar


    I was submitted for a Top Secret/SCI with a Lifestyle Polygraph back in April 2006 and all I can tell you is that you have to disclose everything. My background is pretty similar to yours e.g. foreign relatives in the Philippines, Former Resident, Non-US citizen Filipino Friends, etc. When I did my initial security clearance interview, I just disclosed everything to my security officer. Currently, my file is in the adjudication stage and so far, my foreign contacts and foreign residence hasn’t caused any problems *cross fingers*. In regards to your question, foreign travel and contacts can delay the process but, it shouldn’t be an automatic disqualification for a TS/SCI. On the other hand, your previous drug use can be a mitigating factor so, I suggest you disclose it and provide a good explanation in your SF-86. If you need more information in regards to the adjudication guidelines, go to click on careers. scroll down and click on adjudicative process. By the way, I don’t think you have to include your previous modeling job in your SF-86 because you were not technically on the payroll. You should ask your security officer if you have any additional questions and I hope Mr. Henderson can provide some more advice on this. I hope it helps 🙂

  95. Avatar


    The last I knew, was that DISCO does not have the authority to grant SCI. So, they would forward the Investigation to the appropriate CAF for adjudication. DOHA does have the authorization to adjudicate, so most of the SCI cases would be forwarded to DOHA/other CAF. Once a SCI eligibility is granted, a TS would be also be eligible to be granted.

  96. Avatar


    First question: Yes, you will have to notify all, it is an alcohol related incident. I hope you told your FSO and EQIP/Investigatior? You will be questioned about the incident. If you did not notify all concerned (FSO, EQIP etc.) it would not look good on your behalf. As this type of incident should have been reported and investigated.

    Second question: Failing a Poly is an ugly thing in the security clearance world (you arent telling the truth). It may not be an automatic disqualifying factor/action but you can bet it will be looked at in-detail and any other dishonesties would carry huge weight on all access (past, present and future investigations).

    I hope this helped?

  97. Avatar

    In 2004, I was convicted of midemeanor larceny. I am currently a candidate for a Masters Degree in Industrial Technology. I have completely changed may life around and I am only 23. At the time of the conviction I was 19yo. I am always open and honest with the conviction and I has not stopped me from getting a job yet. I am not applying for a job with a Government contractor that requires a Security clearance. Will this problem stop be from obtaining Security Clearance?

  98. Avatar


    The adjudicative guidelines are the same. Suitability is just that, your position does not require access to classified material. Small discrepancies between your current SF-86 and statements you made during pre-employment polygraphs with different agencies although almost 10 years ago. And they appear to be concerned that you haven’t been candid as compared with polygraph reporting. This could be a problem, as these reports, investigations and/or poly’s do not go away and are usally (almost always) obtained by the adjudicator. Time could be a mitigating factor in your favor but, anytime there appears to be dishonesty or lack of being fully candid, is not a good thing.

  99. Avatar


    Just to clear up some things i said on my previous post in regards to your previous drug use, what i meant on the mitigating factor is that you stopped using it. On the other hand, it can also be an aggravating factor because you tried it. Just disclose it, explain your side, and pray. That’s my best advice. hope it helps 🙂

  100. Avatar


    feel free to tell me (or email) to shut the heck up!

    If you feel li’m giving bad advice.

  101. Avatar

    1. If you switch jobs and both contractors process their clearances through DISCO, ownership for your case should easily transfer from one contractor to the other without any effect on your status or investigation, if the gaining contractor’s FSO does everything properly.
    2. An interim TS is based on the completion of minimal investigative requirements. The investigation for a final Secret clearance is more than sufficient to grant an interim TS. There are certain categories of TS information, such as COMSEC and NATO, that can not be accessed with only an interim TS.

  102. Avatar

    An interim Secret clearance can be granted following a favorable review of your SF86 and the submission of your SF86 for an investigation. An interim TS requires more and usually takes one to three months. I believe the interview you had was a pre-screening interview for SCI. There is no requirement for an interview prior to being granted an interim Secret or an interim TS clearance. It was probably just easier for them to explain the process the way the did.

    There will be an interview later by an investigator as a normal part of your investigation (SSBI). Not all SCI programs require a polygraph examination.

  103. Avatar

    It sounds as if an EOD is based on an interim clearance. There is no right to appeal the withholding of an interim clearance. Depending on the type of clearance and investigation involved you will probably be interviewed by an investigator as part of the investigation and will have a chance to explain everything then. There is no policy regarding the submission of supplement information to have the adjudicator reconsider the granting of an interim clearance. There was one person who posted to this forum that he was successful in getting his interim clearance favorably reconsidered through DISCO after mailing them supplement information that mitigated their security concern. Adjudication for interim clearances are based on very limited information. Adjudication for final clearances are based on completed investigations and do not rely on the preliminary finding that an adjudicator makes for an interim clearance, so they don’t really reverse or affirm the earlier decision.

  104. Avatar

    Suitability determinations are made for two purposes: 1) suitability for federal employment and 2) suitability for a Public Trust position. Many federal agencies use the same Adjudicative Guidelines for national security clearances and Public Trust positions. Suitability for federal employment is different than suitability for a Public Trust position. Reasons for disqualification from federal employment can be found somewhere in the Code of Federal Regulations. The Adjudicative Guidelines are available at my website on the “resources” page under “about security clearances.”

  105. Avatar

    I agree with edge141. If your Reckless Driving conviction resulted in a fine of $150 or more you must list it on the SF86 anyway under 23f. I would classify your arrest and conviction as being alcohol-related, so I recommend you list this as an alcohol-related offense (23d). During your Personal Subject Interview for your TS clearance, you will be asked about it and you will have to explain exactly what happened, regardless of which question you answer “yes” (23d or 23f).

    With a polygraph exam the results are either “deception indicated” (DI), “no deception indicated” (NDI), or “inconclusive” with regard to relevant questions. When you use words like, pass or fail, what you really mean is whether or not the results of the exam are favorably acceptable to the agency conducting the exam.

    If you DI on a question that is adjudicatively significant for security clearance purposes, the agency conducting the exam may pass this information to any other federal agency who has granted (or intends to grant) you access to classified information and the other agency(s) may use the information to reevaluate your suitability to have access.

  106. Avatar


    DOHA was given the authority to adjudicate and grant SCI eligibility within the last year (early 2007). I would guess since DOHA has mostly all senior adjudicators. We started with the State Dept cases.

    The SCI would be adjudicated first and then TS would just carry over with its collateral eligibility.

    Prior to 2007 we would send the investigation to whatever CAF that was requesting SCI access. If SCI was denied then we DOHA would adjudicate the TS or whatever eligibility was requested.

    DOHA was also adjudicating Position of Trust eligibility for DISCO etc.. (Blue Cross Blue Shield, TriCare just to name a few).

  107. Avatar

    Neither DISCO nor DOHA has the authority to grant SCI eligibility. Only Senior Officials of the Intelligence Community (SOIC) as listed in 50 USC 401a(4) have that authority.

    My question had to do with the granting of collateral TS eligibility by DISCO/DOHA when the applicant is also being considered for SCI eligibility. Who adjudicates first DISCO/DOHA or the SOIC? If the SOIC adjudicates first for SCI eligibility, do they also adjudicate for collateral TS eligibility on the same case or do they refer the case back to DISCO/DOHA for adjudicating collateral TS eligiblity?

  108. Avatar

    DoD established the policy (in writing) of using the Adjudicative Guidelines for both security clearances and Public Trust positions. Not all other federal agencies have done the same.

  109. Avatar

    I welcome and appreciate your taking the time to answer questions here. I’ve never been an adjudicator and as far as I know, no other adjudicator is contributing to this forum. Your perspective is valuable.

  110. Avatar

    I think they used this

    50 USC 401a(4)

    (L) Such other elements of any other department or agency as may be designated by the President, or designated jointly by the Director of National Intelligence and the head of the department or agency concerned, as an element of the intelligence community.

  111. Avatar

    In 2004, I was convicted of midemeanor larceny. It was a minor incedent, but I was caught stealing some $10 earings (I know VERY stupid). I am currently a candidate for a Masters Degree in Industrial Technology. I have completely changed may life around and I am only 23. At the time of the conviction I was 19yo. I am always open and honest with the conviction and I has not stopped me from getting a job yet. I am not applying for a job with a Government contractor that requires a Security clearance. Will this problem stop be from obtaining Security Clearance?

  112. Avatar

    No. A single misdemeanor offense, absent any other problems or complications, is not a potentially disqualifying condition.

  113. Avatar


    Did you not see my questions or am I just not being patient enough? I just really need to decide soon about accepting a job that is contingent on my getting a secret clearance. I believe that I could get one due to some other info I’ve seen on the net about people who have been treated for depression. I’m confident that the doctor’s records will show that I’m fine and what I went through is common. Plus it was in 2002. Anyway what I am most concerned about is a very close friend (who is a roommate of ours) getting in trouble with immigration because of my trying to get a clearance. (See above). I don’t want to risk getting this person discovered for having a false marriage. I would feel horrible about it and would rather not go through with accepting the job offer. I’ve been told that the investigators would not pursue this person even if they discovered this, but I want to be as sure as possible. Thanks for your help.

  114. Avatar


    Question one:
    Foreign travel is mitagatable by reporting all travel (be prepared to verify with your passport). So, the travel in it’s self is not a problem. Your spouse-like / close friends could be a problem (depending on the legal status, your affiliation and your actions about them).

    Question two:
    The treatment in 2002 would be up to the adjudicator and your mental health records/professional. (How you responded to treatment, your prognosis and your status presently according to your mental health professional)

    Question three:
    Any illegal actions would not be good for your case. (Again, how you respond to the actions) Any situation that could put you or the government in a “risky situation” would/could be a killer for security clearance eligibility. Any illegal information could be reported to the authorities.

    Foreign Influence
    Sharing living quarters with a person or persons, regardless of citizenship status, if that relationship creates a heightened risk of foreign inducement, manipulation, pressure or coercion.

    With that said, Brazil is not a current country of concern. However, the illegal actions could be.

    Your actions by my understanding through this blog, could be mitigated for the most part. My concern is it appears that you are leaning towards the illegal actions of others (over the government) that could put you and the government at “Risk”. The government does not like being put in a situation that would/could place it at “Risk”.

    This would most likely be a lengthy adjudication and possibly looked unfavorably on your part.

    I hope this helps
    Good luck

  115. Avatar


    I am a newly-hired contractor who is currently in-process for a DHS “public trust” position (completed SF85P via eQIP) as well as a DoD Secret clearance. I have not heard anything regarding the DHS investigation but found out via a friend with access to JPAS that my interim Secret from DISCO was denied. Given my investigatory history, I am frankly not surprised. I would like an adjudicator’s opinion on my situation, which is as follows:

    I have two SSBI investigations on my record from previous job applications w/in the IC. Both of these resulted in “unsuitability” determinations. The first SSBI involved two Full Scope polygraphs. After the first exam, I was told by the examiner that I still had “unresolved issues” and would return the following day for another exam, which I “passed” (again, from your most recent postings, this appears to be a somewhat vague area, and I have no idea whether my answers were classified as “DI”, “NDI” or Inconclusive). Regardless, the IC agency elected to start their full field portion of the SSBI, including a PSI w/ a DSS investigator and field interviews. Around 3 months after this started, in April 2005, I recieved a letter indicating I had been found “unsuitable for employment” but that I could reapply in one year as the “passage of time can mitigate circumstances which cause applicants to be determined unsuitable.” I never did reapply.

    The most recent application denial letter, in reference to an SSBI conducted after I recieved a COE as an FBI Intel Analyst, cited “comments I provided regarding my personal conduct during my application processing” as reasoning behind the unsuitability decision. The two major “red flags” I can think of from the Bureau’s perspective were two discrepancies b/t what I’d disclosed during my previous IC agency polygraph and my FBI processing (I simply forgot about them since it was 2+ years since my previous poly and the one incident I was called on for totally failing to disclose occurred 10 years ago while I was a freshman in HS…difficult to recall, frankly). I provided the requested clarifications and details during follow-up phone calls to a Special Agent during the FBI’s adjudication phase. During those, I said I did not think that the high school incident could be used as grounds for coercion since it occurred so long ago and was truly an isolated “youthful indiscretion,” completely unindicative of the mature person I am today. Regardless, I suspect that either this nondisclosure, or the combination of the six personal conduct issues I raised voluntarily during processing, were considered an indication of untrustworthiness and unreliability, and grounds for dismissal from the process. Do you think this might have been the case w/ FBI?

    Also, after recieving the denial letter, I spoke with a contact of my former boss’s who was a Supervisory Special Agent w/ FBI for over 20 years. I discussed the specific personal conduct issues I know FBI was concerned about (since I recieved those clarification phone calls from the Bureau) and he emphatically suggested that I write a letter requesting an appeal of the unsuitability determination even though no formal avenue for one was offered in my rejection letter (which was signed by the chief of the Applicant Adjudication Unit). This retired SA said nothing we discussed “jumped out at him” as justifiable grounds for their decision (granted, he, as far as I can tell, did not participate in the adjudication process while at FBI). I have written the letter, which mentions this SA conversation and lists the six conduct issues I know are of concern (fyi, I have no LE record whatsoever), and explains, as best I can remember, the process by which they were disclosed to FBI during my SSBI. Would you recommend, from an adjudicator’s perspective, sending this letter to that FBI chief adjudicator? Do you think it will simply be tossed in the trash? Might it do more harm than good?

    Finally, for these current DHS and DoD investigations, I have disclosed the previous applications and dispositions on my SF85P and SF86. I am wondering whether this investigative history, which I sincerely hope I will have a chance to explain during a security interview, will seriously hinder my chances at being cleared by DHS and DoD at their respective levels? The DoD investigation is NACLC in scope. I’m going to be completely forthright with investigators (if given the opportunity during an interview) in disclosing the conduct issues I believe were at issue during my previous investigations. I can only hope and pray that my forthright cooperation and honesty will, when taken together with the “whole person” concept (FYI, I’m a volunteer firefighter and EMT-Basic, Eagle Scout, etc.), might curry favor with an adjudicator. Or, in your opinion, will my two “unsuitability” determinations, coupled with this most recent instance of nondisclosure, completely scuttle my chances at being cleared in the near future at a DHS Public Trust/Suitability and DoD Secret level? Any insight you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

  116. Avatar


    Thanks for the insight. I have opted to go with the job offer that does not require a security clearance. I don’t want to take any chances so I’m going the safe route. Thanks again.

  117. Avatar


    First, I would send the letter. It may not do any good but, again it may and you have tried. You also get a chance to tell your side – again. In all likely hood they will not re-open or consider but they will read it…
    Second, anytime you have two “unsuitability” determinations, coupled with this most recent instance of nondisclosure (THAT’s the BIG ONE — your most recent actions show dishonesty STILL), all compiled together would most likely scuttle your chances at being cleared in the near future at a DHS Public Trust/Suitability and DoD Secret level. This tells me (without adjudicating your case) that you have not been truthful and candid during any of your investigations. Personal Conduct of this nature is not good. And, most likely would be adjudicated as;
    Personal Conduct G/L E (a),(b),(c),(d(1,3))

    *The failure to cooperate, ommision, or concealment.
    *Deliberatly providing false or misleading facts
    *Creditable adverse information that supports a whole-person asssessment of questionalbel judgement, utrustworthiness, unreliability, lack or candor unwillingness to comply rules and regulations, or other characteristics indicating that the person may not properly safeguard protected information.
    *Untrustworthy or unreliable behavior;
    *A pattern of dishonesty or rule violations

    So, (in my opinion) things are not looking good for your SC on the information that you have provided to me.

    All the good things that you mentioned in this blog are very good but, remember “it only takes one Aw Shucks to wipe the slate clean”. And your most recent actions carry the most weight.

    I hope this helps
    Good luck

  118. Avatar


    Yes, if your employer submits you for a TS clearance, you will be the subject of an SSBI and that investigation will be used as the basis for granting a TS clearance. If your employer later submits you for an SCI program that does not require a polygraph, your previous SSBI will be readjudicated for SCI eligibility. If your employer later submits you for a specific SCI program that requires a polygraph, you will be approved for access to that specfic program based on your earlier SCI eligibility and successful completion of the polygraph exam. If deception is indicated in the polgraph, that information can be shared with all concerned agencies and can be used as the basis to readjudicate your SCI eligibility and TS clearance.

  119. Avatar

    List the employment. Don’t worry about the foreign travel. There is no requirement for a polygraph for a Cryptographic Technician Interpretive (CTI), unless you wind up at Fort Meade or some special assignment. There are only a few things that will definitely disqualify a person for a clearance and/or SCI access. None of them apply to you. Everything else will be judged in the context in which it occurred. The purpose of a background investigation is to gather information from which an adjudicator can try to predict future conduct based on past conduct. When multiple potentially disqualifying conditions exist, no one can tell you your chances of getting a TS/SCI without seeing your entire investigative report. Almost all potentially disqualifying conditions can be mitigated, and for most people they usually are.

  120. Avatar

    You will not be given any document that proves you have a clearance. The proof of your clearance resides in a government database accessible to authorized government and contractor security personnel. It will remain in the database for at least 15 years. There is a case control number assigned to your investigation (not your clearance). If you want, you can request a copy of your investigation under the Privacy Act.

  121. Avatar

    What happens in this scenairo?

    You have a TS/SCI clearance working with a govt contractor. You are in the middle of your 5 year PR. You are laid off from your govt contractor. Would others employers be able to hire you to do TS/SCI work (while waiting for yoru PR to finish)? My understanding is that you wouldn’t be able to get your SCI access until your PR is complete. Is that correct? Would you still at least have the ability to do work that just requires a TS while waiting for the PR to finish?


  122. Avatar


    Wow. Thanks for your honest assessment of my situation. One point of clarification: My first IC agency unsuitability determination letter said nothing about my “personal conduct” as reasoning for their determination. They said they could not reveal why I was determined to be unsuitable, but that I could reapply after one year. As far as I can tell (and again, I have no idea), dishonesty was not at issue there because I disclosed EVERYTHING during their polygraphs and they STILL saw fit to start their field BI. If they were so concerned with what I’d disclosed, wouldn’t they have simply dropped me after the polygraph?

    As for FBI, I realize I really screwed up with that, and will most likely pay for it in the end with an SC denial. In the event that I do recieve an SOR or LOI from either DHS or DoD, do you think I will have an opportunity to present my case in an adjudicative court hearing? (I’ve read on other portions of this site about people who’ve literally done cocaine, presented their cases and been granted clearances…NOTHING I’ve done even remotely RESEMBLES that level of criminal activity). If so (and working from the assumption that I’ve disclosed EVERYTHING to investigators during these two new investigations about how my previous investigations proceeded, at least from my perspective), might the “whole person” concept be enough to sway the judge in my favor? Or is that fact that I failed to disclose issues to FBI relatively recently simply too damning? This process has been unbelievably frustrating because I feel like the few instances in my life where I admittedly exercised poor judgement will be used to smear me as a completely reckelss and irresponsible individual, which, in my case, and as that retired SA said, do not accurately portray who I am as a person. I realize I’m reaching and venting a bit here, but I just do not believe I deserve to be labeled as such given the positive ways I’ve given of my time and talents. Any insight would be appreciated.

  123. Avatar

    I was recently notified that my TS was approved in late Jan 2008. My SSBI was completed in Aug. 2007. I had been working with the NGA last year, but my position was cut from the contract before the SCI portion could be approved. I am also no longer working for the gov’t contractor who staffed me at the NGA.

    I have two questions;

    1) Is there any way for me to see when my TS would potentially become inactive if not sponsored? I read prior posts, but I am so confused as to what my reality is, and have heard many conflicting stories on the topic.

    2) What is the ideal way for me to word my resume? Currently I have;
    Top Secret awarded January 2008
    Background Investigation completed August 2007 (SSBI)

    Does it make sense to add “SCI Eligible”? Does that even mean anything?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  124. Avatar


    I’m sorry for the dishonesty tag. That was how I was reading your scenario or question. Usually they will continue on with an investigation to ensure due process. They normally only stop an investigation when a loss of jurisdiction occurs. Keeping you on is up to the employer and your access eligibility. Or, the ability of the employer to have you still employed without giving you access to certain materials or areas.

    I am not an expert with DHS cases, I do know with DoD cases, you will have the opportunity to present your case or mitigating factors in writing to a DOHA adjudicator (if it’s determined by the adjudicator that you have not mitigated the disqualifying factors), then in person at before a DOHA Administrative Judge.

    I may not be totally clear on your issues, but remember that any type of misleading information or dishonesty on these government forms is a FELONY. You may or may not be charged for a crime but, the government will and could look at it as just that. With that said, it is usually mitigated with being totally candid and time.

    The “Whole Person” concept is in effect, if you were deceptive in the past and you are still not being totally honest and candid now, that normally ends up not well. The good things or accomplishments you have done would be reviewed, as would the disqualifying ones. If you can not be totally truthful and candid, the government would most likely still feel it would not be in the best interest of the government and national security to take a chance or risk.

    If you are being totally truthful and candid, you should not have a problem. Everything in the past is in the past. So just tell them, and then show them who you are now.

    I recommend while completing these forms, you take a few extra minutes to double check your answers. Even go as far as to verify the answers with your own documents and/or your old investigations or reports.

    I hope this helps
    Good luck

  125. Avatar

    I am currently in the Navy. I got selected for a new job and I have to be eligible for a SC. I don’t needed it to go to school. What if when I finish school i can’t get a secret? I have few credit issues that happend before i got in the Navy and I have not pay yet. I hired a law firm to dispute the collection.If I can’t get the SC I will loose the job. Will they discharge me or will they give the chance to choose another job (Rate).

  126. Avatar


    If I have this correct, you have or had the eligibility and another employer would be able to pick you up and request the investigation re-continue. Here again, depending on the time between the LOJ and the time the case is reopened would be another thing (if portions need be repeated or if they outdated for a PR).

    I would guess most employers would be able to pick you up with atleast a interim TS. Depending on the time frame, the TS should/could be picked up quickly on the prior investigation.

    I hope this helps
    Good Luck

  127. Avatar

    I am currently slated for a position with the National Guard that will require a Secret clearance and will most likely require a TS in the future. My wife is from Costa Rica and is a permanent U.S. resident and will be a U.S. citizen by June. While we have done everything to make sure we “play by the rules”, her parents are another story. They came up to the States over three years ago and have overstayed their visit. Their visas have obviosly expired and while we were NOT the ones that sponsered them we do still maintain contact withthem. Will this jeapordize my chances of getting any type of CLearance?

  128. Avatar


    I recently left the service with a TS-SCI clearance and an honorable discharge. My background is spotless. Finding a civilian job in the area proved difficult so after a few months out I took the first office job which came along (even though I was overqualified for it). Very quickly it was evident that I was not getting along well with my coworkers who were decidedly anti-war and were very rumor driven. Also I didn’t have much aptitude for that job and learning it on part time wasn’t easy.

    Ironically, soon after starting at that job I was offered a far better position with a different employer which would better use my skills and utilize my clearance. So I turned in my letter of resignation and quit. My boss verfified my reason for leaving being that I had “found a better job” and put the letter in my employee file.

    After having quit, I learned the following week from my old boss that a few of my former female coworkers had complained to him that I had glanced at their low-cut clevege and one of their male friends said he had also seen me do so. I strongly denied the allegation and told him it was complete slander and gossip maliciously designed to make me look bad and/or get me canned. In a nutshell he told me not to worry about it and to concentrate on my new job. I’m fairly sure (but not certain) there is nothing in my employee file on the matter because I was never consoled about it while employed there. He is aware that I will be re-upping my TS clearance in a few years and said to refer all future employers to him. I don’t want to make a big deal out of things so I haven’t contacted the company since then.

    Bear in mind I was employed at this place for mere weeks before moving on to a much better job. As mentioned before, my entire background is both spotlesss and exemplerary. My concern is how this situation will look when RI time comes in a few years. I wasn’t fired, I quit for a better offer. Should I be concerned about the allegations? How should I explain the situation on my SF86? Should I even bother?

  129. Avatar

    ManTech MSM was sponsering my clearance for the OPM contract. As you may know, ManTech dropped the OPM contact in August. So, my clearance investigation is idle in e-QIP. I followed up with CACI who was interested in picking up my clearance investigation. I provided them with my investigation request # and social. CACI’s S/O said there is no record of my investigation in e-QIP. What gives?

  130. Avatar

    I am in the middle of applying for a TS security clearance. I met–and married–my wife in 2005. Although I have a fair amount of debt, it’s not unmanagable, and I have only been seriously delinquent on about $500 of dental bills.

    However, my wife has a substantial amount of debt. Before we married, we signed a prenupital agreement to keep our credit separate (so her debt is hers, mine is mine, save for shared debt incurred after our marriage (of which we have none)). Will this prevent me from gaining TS security clearance?

  131. Avatar

    I am a drilling reservist and have an active TS/SCI Clearence through my Navy Reserve Officer Commission. Upon returing from activiation in Iraq to my civilian employer, my employer transfered me to a Joint-Interagency Task Force. The JITF requested my SSO “permcert” my clearance with them. The Navy SSO has refused, saying my Navy Clearance is not to be used outside of the Navy. That seems logical, but I am not working for the Navy at the JITF, and this has been made abundantly clear. Appeals to reason have met with no results and JITF has no access to JPAS. I have also presented the DNI’s 2005 and 2006 memos (on reciprocity) to the Navy SSO and my Navy Chain of Command which has been met with yawns and shoulder-shrugs. Any thoughts on how to break this log jam and enable my JITF to aquire proof of my current clearance?

  132. Avatar


    I am not totally clear on what the Navy will do. From my experience (with the Army and the DoD DOHA), I would say that if you were found not eligible for a SC, the Navy would find another job or reclassify you.

    Financial issues are big disqualifying factors through out the security clearance world. I would recommend you take care of them head on. Many creditors are more then willing to work with you on payment plans etc… The most important thing I have found on these types of issues, are your actions and they usually don’t just go away.

    I hope this helps
    Good luck

  133. Avatar


    I would recommend you obtain a copy of your credit report from all three credit agencies. Then determine if her bad debts are on your report. If you only have the one bad debt, it should not be a problem as it can be mitigated very easily (the amount is fairly low – below most thresholds, many medial bills are easily mitigated also).

    I hope this helps
    Good Luck

  134. Avatar


    Here again, I am not an expert with the Navy. Most SC’s are able to be converted over but, the Navy could be correct if your access is in the “Special” type (Special Access Program, etc…) these types are for special purposes/accesses only and can not be converted.

    I would guess, if you have one type of eligibility, it would not be too difficult for your employer to obtain whatever eligibly that is required.

    I hope this helps
    Good luck

  135. Avatar

    Mike NY

    It sounds like to me, that your investigation may have fell through the crack some where. (ManTech, OPM, e-QIP etc… or all of the above).???

    The investigation may need to be requested again.

    I hope this helps
    Good luck

  136. Avatar

    Syracuse Steve

    I would not worry too much about this incident.

    1) You only worked for the employer for a few weeks (most investigations are only required to do an employer check for employment of periods over 90 days or more).

    2) You stated that no discipline actions were taken against you.

    3) You resigned under good standing. (No threats of dismissal, etc…)

    4) Even so, one bad reference would not reflect to be true or warranted. And most likely would not reflect you as the “Whole person”.

    5) Just be truthful on your sf86 and it will work out in the end.

    I hope this helps
    Good luck

  137. Avatar

    Syracuse Steve:

    In an SSBI-PR all employment since the last investigation is verified (usually by a review of the employment records). Additionally employment references are interview at all places where you worked for six months or more since the last investigation. This is the minimum requirement for employment checks.

    It seems to me that there is nothing you have to list on your SF86 regarding this. If it comes up during your next Personal Subject Interview, just explain what happened.

  138. Avatar

    Edge141, William, thanks a million. Thats a load off my mind!

  139. Avatar

    I have a current DOD secret clearance with the National Guard and will be starting a new job with DOS, which requires a secret clearance. For some reason my current DOD clearance does not carry over to DOS and when I resubmitted my SF86 my interim clearance was denied because I’ve fell behind on my child support, and I have an article 15 all of which are listed on the SF86. I met with the investigator and answered all his questions and show him proof that I was paying off the debt. I also explained my article 15 involved alcohol. My questions are: 1. Why won’t my current DOD clearance transfer over to DOS? 2. I have $120,00.00 of debt, all of which is in good standing except for $2000.00 I was behind on my child support but showed proof that I sent 1200.00 in February, will this amount of debt affect my clearance? 3. The article 15 is not listed in my military record and is the only negative incident I’ve had in my 15yr military career but I failed to put down on the Sf86 that it involved alcohol, not intentional, but later told the investigator that it involved alcohol, will this be seen as acting deceptive? 4. Will my large debt load and article 15 make me ineligible for a secret clearance with DOS?

  140. Avatar

    Baghdad Bob:

    Is your employer a cleared federal contractor or federal agency? Is the JITF a federal entity? If yes to both questions, I’m curious why they don’t have JPAS access. Anyway, If your employer is a cleared federal contractor or government agency, they can write a letter to DoNCAF on their letterhead stationary and request information about your clearance. I don’t know why your SSO thinks your Navy clearance can not be used by other federal agencies–a clearance is a determination of eligibility, not access to information. In JPAS these are known as owning and servicing relationships–one agency owns and another services. I have a friend who is a reserve navy intel officer and an OPM investigator–one investigation, one adjudication, but eligibility at two agencies.

  141. Avatar

    There is a two-year window between the 5-year and 7-year anniversary of your last SSBI or SSBI-PR, during which a new employer can hire you and your TS/SCI eligibility can be reinstated provided you submit an SF86 for a SSBI-PR. There is also the requirement that you do not have a break in service of more than 2 years. Also, remember SCI eligibility and SCI access are two different things. Some SCI programs have additional investigative requirements for access, such as polygraph.

  142. Avatar

    Something doesn’t seem right. If you were submitted for a TS/SCI, when the SSBI was completed it would have been adjudicated for SCI. If you where granted SCI eligibility, there would be no further adjudication for the TS clearance, because such adjudication would be unnecessary. With SCI eligibility it is understood that a person is also eligible for TS. Only when the SCI is denied, is a separate eligibility determination made for the collateral TS clearance.

    Regarding your questions: You have two years from the date you left your job at NGA, after that your clearance can not be reinstated and you must start over from scratch. I can’t advise you regarding your resume, because I don’t clearly understand what happened during the adjudication of your SSBI.

  143. Avatar

    The only time the conduct of someone, other than the Subject of the clearance, is taken into consideration is when that someone is in a position to influence the Subject’s actions. So if you can not be influence directly by your in-laws or indirectly through your spouse, there is no security concern.

    The greater issue is the possible foreign influence of your spouse. There is a presumption that all spouses and other immediate family member can influence a Subject, until proven otherwise. Since she is becoming a US citizen in June, this should not be a problem. Hopefully neither of you have significant financial interests outside the U.S.

  144. Avatar

    Hey guys,
    Two years ago, I interviewed with government agency #1 During my security interview, I failed to disclose that I had taken drugs while in college. A few weeks later, I interviewed with government agency #2 and disclosed the information to them. I then received an offer of employment from government agency #1. A few months ago, I was called to the security office because government agency #1 had come across the previously undisclosed information from government agency #2. My case was readjudicated and I was told to either resign or I would be terminated. I resigned and my security clearance is still intact. I am now applying for jobs which require a clearance. My concern is whether or not my security clearance file will state what has occurred and if it does, if companies and agencies will deem this unfavorable.

  145. Avatar

    Thankyou for your reply and the peace of mind that it has provided. While we hope to one day retire to a tropical beach paradise in my wife’s native country we do not have any financial interests outside of the U.S.
    Thanks again.

  146. Avatar

    Hi – If submitted my clearance information via e-qip about a year ago. I have since left the company that was sponsoring my clearance. Can I obtain the status of my clearance process?


  147. Avatar

    Sorry, I don’t think I’ve provided enough information. Let me provide a timeline of what’s happpened, and perhaps that will clear this up;

    Oct. 2006 – I began working for the NGA.

    April 2007 – I submitted the SF86 for a TS/SCI clearance with the NGA.

    July 2007 – My position on the NGA contract was eliminated, but I remained w/ my employer and security sponsor as a “casual” employee and contractor.

    August 2007 – I believe this was around the time that my Interim Secret was granted, and my security sponsor is saying that this is the “SSBI” date as well, but I am not sure what that means.

    January 2008 – Still a “casual” employee of my security sponsor, my TS is granted. Security Sponsor says that the NGA cannot keep me in the process for my SCI if I am not actively working the contract (which I was not).

    According to your response, my TS should be active until July 2009. Correct?

    Do you think that I should also have the SCI as part of my clearance? Or, do I need to start that part over with my next employer? This is very important to me, as I’m finding many, many jobs require the full TS/SCI.

    Thanks in advance for your help.


  148. Avatar

    To whom ever that might be able to solve my puzzle. Help, please.

    I work for a Defense contractor in Iraq, I was granted interim Secret in Nov 2004 to go to Iraq for an Intel position, at that time my investigation started for my secret clearance, then in October of 2005, i was told that i needed to upgrade to a TS/SCI. I took my CI Polygraph the same month. My SSBI investigation for my TS started on April of 2006, i had my subject interview done in August of 2006 after they interviewed my family and friends. I was told that they cancelled my Secret investigation and started my SSBI investigation, My SSO informed me that they closed my SSBI investigation and waiting adjudication on March 30th 2007 and that it would take from 3 to 4 months to get it adjudicated and get MY TS/SCI, well it’s been a year after it closed, no one knows what’s going on with my paper work, OPM says that they sent the information to DISCO, DISCO says that OPM still has the file, MY QUESTION IS for someone who knows, who has my file and where is it suppose to go and from where??? Why is it taking so long to get it adjudicated?? i was told the wait is for the Investigation not for the adjudication and that it would only take 3 to 4 months to get it adjudicated once they get the file to their office, what can i do to acquire about my file and whom to talk to or call? It has been a long time for me in Iraq, i served my country to the best of my ability but it seems that i cannot get a job state side on an Interim TS. They all require a Finished TS/SCI and no one would talk to me till i get my final TS/SCI, even the people that i worked with in Iraq, once they rotated back state side, they no longer know me and recognize that i worked with them, all because of the clearance situation. I guess i was good enough to work on an interim in Iraq but not in the U.S. Please help.

  149. Avatar

    Amount of debt is meaningless without knowing how much discretionary income you have. Delinquent debt can only be evaluated based on why it is delinquent, for how long, and what you have been doing to permanently correct the problem. Conduct is important. Outcomes are much less important. An Article 15 is an outcome, not conduct. I can’t comment on your situation based on the information you provided.

    One of the exceptions to reciprocity is if potentially disqualifying information is known. If an incident report was submitted through security clearance channels because of your Article 15, when JPAS is checked to verify your last investigation and clearance, the incident report would apparent, and this would be grounds to not reciprocally accept your clearance.

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    Whether or not the information is in your security “file” depends on what type of clearance you had, the exact investigations that were conducted, the agencies involved, how this information surfaced two years later, and if an incident report was submitted. If it is in the file, it will be view unfavorably.

  151. Avatar

    Bob F:
    The status of your clearance process is “Loss of Jurisdiction.”

  152. Avatar

    I’m sorry but to my knowledge, the process doesn’t work that way. Interim Secret clearances are not granted when the request was for a TS/SCI. If an interim clearance was granted about 4 months after you submitted your SF86, it could have been an interim TS clearance. It is possible that the SSBI was completed about the same time that an interim TS was granted. I believe that by “SSBI date” your security sponsor means the date your SSBI was completed.

    If your case was processed through DISCO, here is my best guess as to what happened. Your NAC and the field investigation were completed at about the same time in August. DISCO granted the interim TS clearance based on the favorable NAC and forwarded the entire investigation to NGA for adjudication for SCI eligibility. NGA declined to adjudicate because you no longer required SCI, and NGA returned the case to DISCO. Since you were still employed by the contractor who submitted your clearance request and because the contractor had not withdrawn the request, DISCO adjudicated for the final TS clearance and granted it January 2008.

    The fact that you were granted a TS clearance rather than SCI eligibility, tells me that you were never granted SCI eligibility. In JPAS there is only one field for clearance/eligibility; it is filled with the highest level clearance/eligibility granted.

    Your clearance terminated the same day you terminated your employment. However, most people refer to your clearance status as “current,” not active. “Current” means that your clearance can be reinstated without an investigation. The term “active” would describe your clearance status while you were still employed. Your clearance will remain “current” for two years from the date you left the job that required the clearance. If you apply for a job that requires SCI, your previous SSBI could be adjudicated for SCI eligibility without having to do another SSBI. However some SCI programs require additional (but not duplicative) investigative requirements, such as polygraph.

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    Can someone explain why adjudication takes so long? People here state that it can take a few weeks to a few months.

    Is that because the adjudicators have a big backlog – there are 200 other cases they need to adjudicate first, so that’s why it takes weeks – or does it really take an adjudicator weeks from the time he starts considering a case until the time he makes a decision on it?

    It seems like if you put a complete report in front of an experienced adjudicator that it shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to reach a decision, assuming the case wasn’t overly complicated, but that’s just my guess from the outside, I really don’t know what it’s actually like.

  154. Avatar

    To whom ever that might be able to solve my puzzle. Help, please.

    I work for a Defense contractor in Iraq, I was granted interim Secret in Nov 2004 to go to Iraq for an Intel position, at that time my investigation started for my secret clearance, then in October of 2005, i was told that i needed to upgrade to a TS/SCI. I took my CI Polygraph the same month. My SSBI investigation for my TS started on April of 2006, i had my subject interview done in August of 2006 after they interviewed my family and friends. I was told that they cancelled my Secret investigation and started my SSBI investigation, My SSO informed me that they closed my SSBI investigation and waiting adjudication on March 30th 2007 and that it would take from 3 to 4 months to get it adjudicated and get MY TS/SCI, well it’s been a year after it closed, no one knows what’s going on with my paper work, OPM says that they sent the information to DISCO, DISCO says that OPM still has the file, MY QUESTION IS for someone who knows, who has my file and where is it suppose to go and from where??? Why is it taking so long to get it adjudicated?? i was told the wait is for the Investigation not for the adjudication and that it would only take 3 to 4 months to get it adjudicated once they get the file to their office, what can i do to acquire about my file and whom to talk to or call? It has been a long time for me in Iraq, i served my country to the best of my ability but it seems that i cannot get a job state side on an Interim TS. They all require a Finished TS/SCI and no one would talk to me till i get my final TS/SCI, even the people that i worked with in Iraq, once they rotated back state side, they no longer know me and recognize that i worked with them, all because of the clearance situation. I guess i was good enough to work on an interim in Iraq but not in the U.S. Please help.

  155. Avatar


    Thanks for your response. I guess it leaves something of a “light at the end of the tunnel.” I learned from my FSO that my DoD investigation has been opened and that I should expect a call regarding it from an investigator sometime soon. I also learned that I was denied an interim Secret clearance from DISCO (I fully expected this). However, my FSO said that interim denials are based solely on one’s responses to the “yes and no” SF86 questions. Do you know if this is the case? Or, in my particular case, after reading that I’ve been investigated twice previously and been deemed unsuitable both times (details of which I provided in the “additional comments” section), DISCO found whatever records are currently on file with whomever (FBI, OPM…I’m really not sure which database my reports have ended up in…Scattered Castles, SII, DCII, CVS…?) and, based on that information, decided to deny my interim. Is this how that might have played out? What I’m quite curious to know is whether I’ve essentially been “red flagged” throughout a variety of USG security databases? Or is the “jointness” of the IC’s investigations process not nearly as advanced as this possibility would make it seem? Regardless, I will still fully disclose my investigatory history to investigators if given the opportunity during a SPIN. Any insight is, as always, greatly appreciated!

  156. Avatar

    Your FSO must track down your case and solve this problem for you.

    When DISCO and OPM are involved, the completed investigation is sent from OPM to DISCO. DISCO checks to see if SCI is required. If yes, DISCO sends the case to the appropriate IC agency for adjudication (DISCO does not adjudicate for SCI). If the IC agency grants SCI eligibility, the IC agency posts this information to the applicant’s JPAS record and no further adjudication or other action is necessary. If the IC agency denys SCI eligibility, they send the case back to DISCO, so DISCO can adjudicate for the collateral TS clearance if appropriate.

  157. Avatar

    Another thought. If you are currently in Iraq and there is a need to re-interview you, your investigation could be on hold until you return to the U.S.

  158. Avatar

    Thank you for the advice in your previous posts. It has helped me to be able to answer of lot of my own questions in-regards to obtaining a clearance.However, I have a couple more specific SCI clearance questions, and I hope you can please give me some clarity. I was granted a secret clearance a few months ago (No-SSBI required), I was thinking about going for a job that requires a Secret/SCI (not a TS just Secret). Do you think that my SF-68 will be re-adjudicated just for this SCI even with the previous adjunction so recent? Also is my original secret clearance at risk if the SCI adjunction is unfavorable?



  159. Avatar

    I have a question if you currently have secret clearance and just got a DUI pending court date. should you notify your security officier regarding the pending charges?

  160. Avatar

    note that I just started the job last week and it happend the day before.

  161. Avatar

    I just recently graduated from college and was offered a position with a government contractor. But the position is contingent upon me being able to obtain an interim clearance as well as Secret Clearance. I have some issues in my background and wanted to know if these would stop me from obtaining the clearance, I listed everything below on my SF86.1) I was charged with a DUI back in 2004, I have since had all driving privileges reinstated

    2) I have some deliquent credit history which I am in the process of catching up, but at this moment it is still deliquent but only about 3000 worth. Upon working I would be able to clear all debt in a matter of months.

    3) I was charged with a Breaking & Entering Charge for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The charges were later dismissed and was expunged.


  162. Avatar

    In regards to my previous post above, I have one more question. Since the secret clearance was granted a few months ago, will the SCI require my sf-86 to be re-investigated “and” re-adjudicated?Thanks again


  163. Avatar

    I was granted a secret clearance in December. It occurred to me a couple of weeks ago that I neglected to include several overnight trips that I made to Canada on my SF86. I have attempted to contact my FSO on two occasions via vmail and email but the FSO has not responded. Do you have any suggestions on how I can make sure that the appropriate people/agencies are notified about this issue? I have considered sending a certified letter to the FSO so that I have a more official record of the attempt to contact. I just want to make sure that my clearance is not jeopardized because I neglected to include this on my SF86. Thanks for your help…you are a great resource.

  164. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,
    If you would like to comment on my latest post above (11 March 2008 at 2:40PM), I would welcome your thoughts as well given your background as a DoD investigator. Thanks!

  165. Avatar

    I am not too sure if I asked this question in the past. I am in the process searching for a new IT position. I live in Northern VA, and I have come across a good number of positions that require a public trust clearance. What is a public trust clearance? It is more than just a background and criminal investigation. I have heard opposite ends on this. I am wondering if I would be able to receive a public trust clearance with someone whose TSI clearance was revoked because I was caught driving on government property with a revoked drivers license. This happened almost 6 years ago. I have been denied for a secret clearance back in 2004 regarding this issue. Also, would my credit issues – dealing with FICO score at 500, but no recent bankruptcy affect my ability to receive a public trust clearance. Any insight on my dilemma would be helpful.

    Patrick Quinn

  166. Avatar

    Hi, I am in US ARMY, and I am just have a normal position in the army right now, and I am deployed in Iraq currently. I am looking for TS while I am still in the Army. I Joined Army for 2 years already. I just have some a question.
    I Immigrated to US since 2001, will they deny my TS because I don’t have enought time in the US. thank you

  167. Avatar

    Thank you for answering my questions Mr. Henderson! I feel a lot better now and I won’t worry too much about it. I will list everything on the form, hopefully I get approved for the TS. Thanks again!

  168. Avatar

    I am 24 years old and am going for a interview with the Department of State. When I was 22 and 23 I was arrested for public intoxication. I paid the $25 fine and have changed my ways since. My last public intoxication was close to 1.5 years ago. I am worried that if I get this job with the DOS as a contractor, will I be able to get a secret level of clearance. Also, I am confused on one aspect. If the DOS wants to hire me, will I be able to find out if I can get the interim clearance before I quit my current job or will I have to quit my current job, start with DOS, and hope that my clearance comes through. Also, my credit is great, living situation has improved over the last year and a half and have made significant changes from who I associate with.Thanks for your info.

  169. Avatar

    I have a question regarding interim secret clearances….I have read alot of horror stories where it basically states that if any derogitory information is on the sf-86, the DISCO reviewers will immediately deny the interim and send on to OPM for the full investigation. I also found that approximately 80% of interims are approved?? Are both of these statements true. I am about to submit my paperwork for a secret clearance and am very concerned because the position relies heavily on obtaining the interim, however I have a marijuana related arrest (one misdemeanor charge and one class d felony charge, both which were dismissed upon successful completion of probation) while in college 8 years ago, as well as 2 instances of usage 6 years ago, while I was also in college. I used the comments section to try and mitigate my actions, but I have a feeling i might be out of luck. I believe my final clearance wont be much of an issue, but my interim I am very concerned about. Any opinions?

    Thanks in advance.

  170. Avatar

    SCI at any level requires an SSBI, so your prior investigation is not sufficient. Also the adjudicative criteria for SCI are slightly different (more strict) in the area of foreign influence and foreign preference than for collateral clearances (confidential, secret and top secret). So, for SCI eligibility a case must be adjudicated specifically for SCI. If SCI eligibility is denied because of new information developed during the SSBI, your secret clearance will be readjudicated. If SCI eligibility is denied because of the stricter application of the Adjudicative Guidelines concerning foreign connections, than your Secret clearance may be unaffected.

  171. Avatar

    Yes. Most federal agencies have the same rule as DoD for self-reporting adverse information. The rule requires that any information covered by the Adjudicative Guidelines be reported. Basically any alcohol-related incident should be reported.

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    Your chances of getting an interim secret clearance are not good. Whether or not you are granted an interim Secret clearance will depend on how well you presented mitigating information in the SF86. It is very difficult to fully mitigate multiple issues on an SF86 (which is the basis for granting an interim Secret clearance), because most people don’t know what the mitigating factors are. You will be able to provide more detailed and complete mitigating information during an interview with an investigator, because the investigator will know how to elicit the pertinent info from you.

  173. Avatar

    Sending your FSO a certified letter will not make a difference, because if it ever becomes an issue (which I strongly doubt), you can not prove what was in the letter. Just keep a copy of any correspondence you send/sent to the FSO regarding the unlisted foreign travel.

  174. Avatar

    Patrick Q:
    I don’t know what a “TSI” clearance is. I can’t imagine anyone being denied a Secret clearance because they were convicted of driving on government property on a revoked drivers license, unless there were some very serious aggravating factors involved. FICO scores are not used in security clearance determinations. Your credit report will be reviewed and the focus will be on current and past delinquent debt, if any.

    Public Trust positions do not involve access to classified national security information. They can involve federal computer systems responsibilities, fiduciary responsibilities, public safety duties, and access to sensitive but unclassified information. There are two levels of Public Trust positions—Moderate Risk and High Risk. Investigations for these positions are greater in scope than an investigation for a Secret clearance but lesser in scope than an investigation for a Top Secret clearance. Some agencies (like DOD) use the same adjudicative criteria for security clearances and Public Trust positions.

  175. Avatar

    First, you must be a U.S. citizen to get a security clearance at any level. There is no requirement that you physically live in the U.S. for a certain period of time. If you have been outside the U.S. a substantial period of time since 2001 because of military assignments, your clearance investigation may not meet the National Investigative Standards. This is generally not a problem for regular clearances (C, S, TS) but for SCI eligibility, an exception can be granted.

  176. Avatar

    Getting an interim clearance is always more difficult than getting a final clearance. Having two alcohol-related arrests within the past 3 years reduces your chances of getting an interim clearance. DISCO can make a decision regarding an interim Secret clearance in less than a week. If you are applying for a contractor position, your clearance application will be processed by DISCO. If you are applying for federal employment with DOS, DOS will process your clearance application. Either way, it is possible to get a job offer contingent on getting an interim Secret clearance and wait for the interim Secret clearance before going to work at DOS or at the contractor.

  177. Avatar


    Thank you for the answers; they are good insight. I took another look. The new job would require a Secret/SAP. For an SAP clearence, would the SF-86 be re-investiagted. Or, is it just re-adjudicated.



  178. Avatar

    Thank you, I am a U.S. Citizen now, And I have been outside the U.S. only after I join the Army and that was on my leave date (twice).

  179. Avatar


    There are some “designated” Secret SAPs that require an SSBI. Only the program security office or program administrator can tell you if it is “designated.” If it is not a designated Secret SAP, they should be able to use your prior investigation to determine eligibility for access to the SAP.

  180. Avatar


    Anybody know why an investigation will be reopened once it is closed for final judication? My investigation for secret was closed in Dec 07, and in Jan 08 it was reopened. It has been a month and half now. But no news or any updates. Why is this done and how long do they normally take to close it for final judication?

    Thanks much!!

  181. Avatar

    Cases are reopened because the investigation was incomplete or because the adjudicator wants additional investigative work done to resolve an issue. There is no data available on how long this extra processing takes.

  182. Avatar


    I have not yet begun the security clearance process, or for that matter applied for specific positions (I’m in the process of finding positions now), but am currently under psychiatric care for clinical depression. I read in the adjudicative guidelines, however, that a “recent diagnosis by a credentialed mental health professional that an individual’s previous emotional, mental, or personality disorder is cured, under control or in remission and has a low probability of recurrence or exacerbation.” I am confident that the problem is medical and will be cured, or in the least “under control” by the time that my application will be in process. I am also confident that a positive assessment can be made at that time by my health care provider. My concern centers around timing: will the short time between treatment and clearance process reflect poorly in my review? And if so, are there any steps that I can or should take to avoid any complications? My reading of the guidelines suggest to me that the process will be able to go forward, but my experience is obviously limited. Thanks in advance!


  183. Avatar

    I have just accepted a position at a new company that requires me to obtain a TS security clearance. I have no blackmarks credit/legal etc. BUT the employer that I am leaving for this new job is exceptionally upset that I am leaving. I have a copy of my resignation letter that gives a standard two weeks notice. But even now, it has come to my attention that the President is angry at me for leaving and is saying to other co-workers that I am leaving without having given two weeks. He has requested that my final paycheck be docked for miscellaneous office expenses made on my behalf (i.e. not by me) on the company credit card. This happens to be illegal, but I’m being pressured to “give the money back”. It is clear that there is a vindictive streak in my superior and I’m concerned that it could come back to bite me during the clearance process. How do I handle this incident so that it doesn’t become a roadblock to my obtaining a TS clearance?

  184. Avatar


    Sorry for the delay. It is my understanding that DISCO does review the answers on the SF86’s, they will also have (general) information about prior investigations (LOJ, Grants and Denials etc…).
    It is my understanding that they use all that information for the interim decision(s). Basically if, you have had a derogatory request/investigation in the recent past they will take that into consideration too. Keeping in mind the length of time and the disqualifying factors of the prior investigation etc… I still have a few friends that are employed at DISCO, I will try and contact them to confirm.
    From what I recall, DISCO would review a request like yours as a denial of interim access (because of derogatory information. DISCO only grants basically clean interim and final clearance requests) and then forward the derogatory cases to DOHA for adjudication of the final clearance. This could be granted by DOHA after adjudication. One thing that might help you a bit, DOHA only counts or gets credit for the favorable cases adjudicated. All the other cases (LOJ, Denial etc.) are not counted as adjudicated. So, they do try and approve requests when possible, according to the guidelines and directives.

    I hope this helps?

  185. Avatar

    Sam S.

    Well, that has been the $10,000.00 question by ALL, in the security clearance world.

    Diligent efforts have been made by everyone involved and with that said; we have made leaps and bounds…

    You must remember, just like people, every case is different!

    I have adjudicated cases over 1000 pages in length and each page /line had to be adjudicated (BTW it was a favorable case). Compounded with such cases, the backlog (which has been greatly reduced through tremendous efforts and direction), and then we have the one key question or statement you had “if you put a complete report in front of an experienced adjudicator that it shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to reach a decision, assuming the case wasn’t overly complicated”?
    DOHA maintains a policy on adjudication as first in first out and each case is monitored for time. So, many cases are very complexed in nature and each step takes time to investigate, adjudicate and re-adjudicate.
    Here’s an easy one…
    For instance /example;
    An applicant has financial issues (reported or not), many times an Interrogatory is sent out to afford the applicant the opportunity to explain, correct and/or show proof. This takes at least one-two months; ((to create the document, mail to applicant, have the applicant address each concern (many times slow creditor response) and SHOW PROOF of actions, then have the correspondence notarized and mailed back within a timely manner 30 – 60 days, to be readjudicated.)) So, was it a complete investigation? Yes and no. The bottom line is that the investigation had an issue, and the issue had to be addressed to be adjudicated appropriately. Sure, it would be easy to deny and go on to the next one… but to be fair, it can be favorably adjudicated with just a little patience, effort and diligence which you and/or the case deserves.

    Now, that is only one scenario, multiply that by each case, times the number of disqualifying factors = Time.

    Now, what if the case had to sent back to OPM or another agency for further clarification that = Time. Not to mention then having the investigator go out contact/track creditors and contact/track you, obtain statements and collect documentation etc… = Time

    So, some are complete, some are not complete investigations others have new or outstanding issues or even issues that have not been or now need to be addressed by the investigator / adjudicator.

    I hope this helps?
    Sorry for being so long or wordy, (must have struck a nerve, LOL)

  186. Avatar


    Please review my response to:

    Sam S. on 15 Mar 2008 at 12:09 pm

    I hope this helps?

  187. Avatar

    I was arrested for DUI in Feb 06. The judge didn’t direct that I do behavior counseling and I couldn’t afford at the time, so I didn’t.
    Last week I was interviewed for my PR and the investigator kept asking if I’d had any counseling after the incident and do I still drink. I get the feeling this is a show stopper on the continuation of my Secret clearance. How long does the review take and would it do any good to do the counseling now?
    And I did tell him that I often have a few beers a day. Should I be agressively looking for another job that doesn’t require clearance??

  188. Avatar


    Things don’t look good concerning a possible interim clearance for you. But that is up to DISCO.

    I hope this helps?

  189. Avatar

    Dear Mr. Henderson,
    First of all, thank you for the advice you provide in this blog–the clearance process is quite baffling to those of us on the outside looking in and waiting… and waiting… and waiting… I am hoping that you can provide some insight as to whether my TS/SCI/SSBI clearance can possibly be issued in time. Here are the pertinent details:

    1) 2001-2002 and 2003-2004: lived/studied/worked in France for 11 months and 8 months, respectively.
    2) 10/2005: granted Secret Clearance for State Dept internship, revalidated in 11/2006 for a second DoS internship.
    3) 2007: spent about 9 months in India (studying), 2 weeks in Vietnam (tourism), and 3 weeks in Thailand (tourism). All travels registered with respective U.S. embassies.
    4) Finally: never been arrested, never been charged, never been married, never been bankrupt… nothing else derogatory/negative that I can think of. Last illegal drug usage in 4/2003 (marijuana), declared for Secret clearance.

    About three weeks ago I had a pre-screening interview, got fingerprinted, and signed/submitted my SF86 form. I also submitted a rather exhaustive chronology of all international travel I’ve done in the last ten years (and could recall). Now, the kicker is that I need to get a DoD TS/SCI/SSBI clearance–either interim or full–by August of this year in order to participate in a DoD program. I am a bit concerned that my foreign travels will make it very difficult to get any kind of clearance in time, even though I listed on my SF86 a number of US-based contacts who knew me while abroad. I also do not have any “close” foreign friends or associates, in the sense that anyone could exercise influence over me. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts… Do you think there’s any chance of me at least getting an interim TS clearance in time? Thanks in advance for your reply!

  190. Avatar

    I am planning on applying with my college’s co-op program in hopes of getting a position with a federal agency or government contractor. My concern is that 3 years ago, I was charged with a misdemeanor “Harassing Communication”. I paid my fine and completed my probation. I have no other incidents on my record and my school record is exemplary. I am concerned that this one incident may prevent me from getting the security clearance that would be required for one of these positions. I hope that one stupid incident won’t prevent me from using my college degree in my field of choice.

  191. Avatar


    Time could be a mitigating factor for the arrest 9plus it is only one) however, Most states mandate some sort of behavioral counseling (some just for an evaluation) following a DUI… If your state is one that mandates treatment and you did not complete the requirement of the judge’s order. Not good.
    If you stated you still drink alcohol following a diagnosis of alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence… not good.

    The investigator most likely knows what the judge’s orders were. These lines of questions are normal following this type of offense.

    I would double check the judges/court orders…

    Time frame is unknown, pending the investigator obtaining the facts/documents, and then adjudication.

    If you only had the one DUI in 2006, and you were not ordered to attend any type of counseling or treatment, you should be fine.

    Treatment after the fact raises some questions, but any treatment needed and received is a good thing.

    I hope this helps?
    Good luck

  192. Avatar


    As long as you reported everything, you should be fine.

    I hope this helps?
    Good luck

  193. Avatar


    You should be fine. As long as you report everything, you continue the recommended treatment, a good prognosis and your treatment provider deems you not to be a threat to national securtiy. It could take a little longer to obtain a final clearance due to your circumstances or present status.

    The time between treatment / SC request is not a big issue… Sometimes it is easier to obtain information on a newer or more recent treatment (Care givers are more willing to respond to investigators questions without a new evaluation).

    But it is obtainable… Just remember to report everything!!

    I hope this helps?
    Good luck

    I have not yet begun the security clearance process, or for that matter applied for specific positions (I’m in the process of finding positions now), but am currently under psychiatric care for clinical depression. I read in the adjudicative guidelines, however, that a “recent diagnosis by a credentialed mental health professional that an individual’s previous emotional, mental, or personality disorder is cured, under control or in remission and has a low probability of recurrence or exacerbation.” I am confident that the problem is medical and will be cured, or in the least “under control” by the time that my application will be in process. I am also confident that a positive assessment can be made at that time by my health care provider. My concern centers around timing: will the short time between treatment and clearance process reflect poorly in my review? And if so, are there any steps that I can or should take to avoid any complications? My reading of the guidelines suggest to me that the process will be able to go forward, but my experience is obviously limited. Thanks in advance!

  194. Avatar

    I have been offered a job by a DOD contracting company that requires a secret clearance. I am currently working in the airline industry so I have had my FBI fingerprints done and a 10 year background done with no problems.
    My question is in about 1986 I was charged with a DUI pled guilty, paid a fine. I had never even had a ticket until then so I did no community service or probation. Since then I have not had even one ticket I have good credit and never had any illegal drug use. Do you see any problem for me getting an interim and actually getting the secret clearance?

  195. Avatar

    (apologize for posting in Part III – an older forum)
    I am a recent hire at the USPTO as a patent examiner. It is located in Alexandria, VA – which is very high cost of living… and I just used what little $ resources I had, after college, to move here.

    Now I find out I am a MODERATE RISK, public trust position, needing an MBI. Filling out the SF-85P as we speak! I am VERY worried I won’t pass and despite my dedication and hard work to put myself through school, that they will kick me out for the following:

    In 2001 I came up positive for THC on a urine test in the Air National Guard with a Secret Clearance, which led to a General, Honorable conditions discharge. Not sure if they ever revoked my clearance or if it was just terminated or what?

    This was a hard period for me as a young man and I ended up filing Ch. 7 bankruptcy in 2002 and had to leave PSU for awhile. I worked crappy retail jobs and I have been periodically late on payments, until I finished college in 2007, killing my credit – even upto recently. A high paying job like this would easily resolve all these things!

    DO I have any chance in getting through an MBI, or was this a mistake and I should’ve taken a private sector job? (had several private sector offers after my colleges last career fair)

    I can’t believe the Patent Office brought me here and is about to give me a recoupable 5k bonus in a few weeks before even completing my MBI.

    Sincerely, a hard working, hard luck, but talented engineer and scientist. JF


  196. Avatar

    Because of your recent Secret clearance at State Dept., you are eligible for an interim TS and interim SCI with only a review of your new SF86 and the submission of the SSBI request—so in essence almost immediately. I see no reason why you would be granted an interim TS. Interim SCI requires justification, so it depends completely on the needs of the DoD agency concerned. Your SSBI and therefore your final TS/SCI may take a little longer than average because of the 9 months in India, but that will depend on who conducts the investigation and what level of priority is assigned to the case.

    Foreign travel per se is not a security issue. It requires a lot of work on the part of the investigator and applicant to cover properly. What is of concern are things that happen while in a foreign country—developing foreign friends and associates, business involvement, misconduct, criminal activity.

  197. Avatar

    Are you still at this job? How can your boss say that you failed to give 2 week’s notice, if he knows you are leaving and you are still there? Is he just making a distinction between 2 full weeks and 2 business weeks? Even if you left your prior employment without giving 2 week’s notice, it not a big deal for a security clearance. I recommend that you do not list these allegations on your SF86 since they have nothing to do with the reason you are leaving this job. If you unnecessarily list this matter on your SF86, it could have a negative effect on being granted an interim TS clearance. I recommend you list at two or three former coworkers with their home phone numbers on your SF86—one or more in the comment section for the employment and one in the section on “People Who Know You Well” (question #12). Also volunteer information about this matter to the investigator during your Personal Subject Interview. If you ethically, morally, or legally owe your prior employer any money, pay it. Otherwise don’t pay it, but be prepared to convince an adjudicator that you don’t owe the money. I can’t give more specific advice on the money problem without knowing the situation better.

  198. Avatar

    A single misdemeanor conviction (absent any aggravating circumstances or other security issues) does not rise to the level of being a potentially disqualifying condition for a security clearance.

  199. Avatar

    Provided your consumption of alcohol has been moderate or less, you should have no problem getting a final Secret clearance and in all likelihood, no problem getting an interim Secret clearance. I recommend you list in the comment section (following the question re: Your Police Record) a couple of sentences describing your use of alcohol (i.e. “Since 1986 I have not consumed more than one or two servings of alcohol, three to four times a week with dinner or at social gatherings. I have not had any other alcohol-related incidents.”)

  200. Avatar

    Dear Mr.Henderson

    My security manager tole me that my ivestigation/clearance status is “ivestigation in process”.

  201. Avatar


    While in grad school, I got a conditional offer of employment from a member of the IC and the process for a TS started. The background investigator interviewing me told me his report was due January 1, 2007. Anyway, since then I haven’t heard anything except that it is still in progress.

    My problem is that completed my Masters in December 2007, and need a job – but most in my field require at least a secret clearance. What will if a prospective employer checks my clearance status and sees that one is in progress? I suspect that they would no longer want to hire me. However, if they still want me, how would that work? Could I get a secret with a TS in progress? Would I need to go through an investigation again?

    Thank you for any help.

  202. Avatar

    If you have not been asked to provide any additional information to DISCO, OPM or an investigator within the past four or five months, something is wrong with your case processing. There is a way for your security manager to get DISCO to do something to get your investigation moving again. Ask your security manager what he/she has done or intends to do to get your case back on track. If you are not satisfied with his/her response, contact your congressman’s office and they can make an inquiry for you. This usually gets things unstuck in a hurry.

  203. Avatar

    I work for a defense firm and am in the beginning stages of getting my SSBI clearance. I have not yet been asked to fill out the SF-86, but looking through a copy found on the internet, I am worried about a couple of things and was wondering if you could please offer some input:1. Right before my 14th birthday (I am now 23 years old), I was charged with petty theft as a juvenile and dispositioned to community service. I know that technically, I do not have to be forthcoming with this information not because the record was sealed by the State of California (because I know that doesn’t matter), but because the offense was charged as a misdemeanor and not a felony. However, there are three people in the world who know about this charge and I’m sure they’ll be questioned at some point during the interview process: my mom, my brother, and my best friend. My question is this: would it be worse to volunteer this information when I don’t necessarily have to or hide it and have it possibly disclosed by someone other than myself during one of those interviews?

    2. Also, in college, I smoked pot three times with my roommate (twice in 2004 and once in 2005). I’m not actually that worried about this after reading the posts above, but coupled with my petty theft charge, do you think this will be an issue?

    3. A co-worker of mine is also in the process of getting her SSBI and she told me that her investigator talked to one of her references and had an issue with her drinking a lot of alcohol one night in college and blacking out. I am not a heavy drinker, but there are definitely some similar stories from my college years not too long ago so I was wondering how hurtful that could be.

    Thanks in advance!

  204. Avatar

    I’m a US born chinese-american citizen. My parents are both naturalized US citizens born in China. My parents are divorced and my father has remarried to a Chinese citizen with an alien registration card. They all live in the US. I have a clean record/financial history otherwise. I have travelled in the past 7 years, about 6 times to Germany, once to Bermuda.

    I am now working for a defense contractor that has put me in for an Ordinary Secret Security clearance. (The form was certified, and sent off about a week ago).

    My questions are:

    a) I’ve read that having foreign born (even naturalized) parents would be a disqualifier for INTERIM secret, not to mention my stepmother (who I have almost no communication with) is a concern to me.
    b) The average length of time to get Ordinary Secret is stated as 222 days or something like that. Will this significantly lengthen the amount of time it takes for me to get a Secret clearance (above and beyond these 222 days?).

  205. Avatar

    I started a job working for a federal contractor about 6 months ago. It is considered a non-sensitive position. I submitted an SF-85 when I started, and a NACI is underway. In 2006, I failed a drug test for marijuana and voluntarily resigned my position prior to any official disciplinary action being taken. When I filled out the form, I did not disclose this when asked if I had taken any drugs within the last 1 year. Looking back on it, the incident took place about 2 weeks short of a year from the date I signed the paper. I honestly thought it had been a complete year from the incident; it has now been 1 1/2 years. This was an isolated incident and has never happened before. Anyway, I still have not had my permanent badge approved and I am very worried because others have had theirs processed within about 2 months. I have an otherwise outstanding job performance record and distinguished military service. I have never been arrested or had any charges other than minor traffic violation. Am I at risk of being denied a permanent badge/ access to the base (and subsequently losing my job). Any advice or opinion would be appreciated. I am very good at my job and I enjoy it, but I am terrified of losing it.

  206. Avatar


    True. However, foreign influence disqualifier can be mitigated during final adjudication when taking “whole person” approach. You have 50% chance of losing Interim, but a good chance for final clearance. I was in the exact situation as yours: Chinese born but citizen, so are the parent and spouse. It took me 3 yrs (2002~2005) and DOHA appeal to get final Secret clearance. In your case, it will certainly take longer than 6 months due to your foreign ties and oversea travels.

  207. Avatar

    Other than your interview with the investigator, are you aware of any other investigative activity on your case (i.e. interviews of friends, neighbors, school associates, etc.)? There was another person (who had just received a Masters degree) on this blog who reported that he was interviewed and polygraphed by an IC agency, then left hanging for about 8 months with reassurances that his investigation was still in progress. He asked his congressman’s office to intervene and learned that his investigation was never started.

  208. Avatar

    An SSBI is an investigation, not a clearance. There are supplemental instructions for the SF86 when used for an SSBI. An SSBI requires information about all arrests during the past 10 years. Therefore your petty theft offense must be listed. a single misdemeanor offense like petty theft is not a potentially disqualifying condition

    Six months of abstinence is generally sufficient to mitigate past experimental use of marijuana (one year for past occasional use). Experimental use is 6 times or less and occasional use is once a month or less.

    Investigators have to thoroughly explore any episodic alcohol abuse to determine if it resulted in any aggravating circumstances and also to look for patterns. As with past drug abuse, past alcohol abuse becomes less relevant after drinking habits change and sufficient time goes by.

    Absent any aggravating circumstances, the combination of these three issues don’t appear to rise to the level of being disqualifying under “whole person” considerations of Guideline E: Personal Conduct.

  209. Avatar

    The only words that concern me about your post is “I’m a US born chinese-american citizen.” Does this mean you have dual citizenship? Otherwise, I don’t think you have presented any information that suggests foreign influence/preference. Having close friends and relatives who are foreign citizens is problematic, but foreign born U.S. citizens are generally not a problem absent any current or prior involvement with foreign governments. In your case travel to foreign countries other than China is not a concern. Investigations by OPM for Secret clearances are currently averaging about 3 months. If your clearance is being processed by DISCO and if they grant an interim Secret clearance, it will be granted in a matter of days after they receive your application. If they don’t grant the interim clearance, they simply do not post any information about an interim clearance on your JPAS record. In other words they don’t actually deny an interim clearance, they just don’t grant it.

  210. Avatar

    I can only think of one reason that a NACI would be conducted on you and that is to fulfill HSPD-12 requirements (for PIV Cards). National standards for adjudicating eligibility under HSPD-12 are currently being developed. I don’t think anyone can answer your questions, except people at the office where the decision will actually be made.

  211. Avatar

    Of course you have a chance—perhaps not as good a chance as other applicants, but a chance nonetheless. Just about everyone applying for a security or public trust clearance has a chance. About ninety-six percent ultimately get a security clearance. I imagine its about the same for public trust clearances. You have to evaluate your chances based on the potentially disqualifying conditions and mitigating conditions listed in the Adjudicative Guidelines. Many agency use the Adjudicative Guidelines for both security and public trust clearances, because there are no separate national standards for public trust clearances, yet.

  212. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    Yes, my references were all interviewed around the same time, December 2006.

    Do you have any advice with regards to getting a lower clearance at another job in the meantime?

    Thank you

  213. Avatar

    Thank you Mr. Henderson. Yes, the reason for the NACI is to satisfy HSPD-12 requirements to receive a PIV badge. Are the standards for adjudicating eligibility more stringent than those used for an actual clearance? Am I in serious jeopardy?

  214. Avatar

    I am not aware of any national standards for adjudicating HSPD-12 cases. I know that OPM is in the process of developing national standards. I think that for the moment, each agency is using its own standards or just winging it.

  215. Avatar

    I believe they will be using this:

    Section 11, and attchments 1 and 2.

    I just don’t understand how my situation would be evaluated using this criteria. Thanks.

  216. Avatar

    Mr Henderson,

    Thanks for your reply. I talked with the lady compiling my SF-85P to goto OPM for my MBI. She seemed to think that it shouldn’t be a concern – though she is not the investigator.

    I also found out the USPTO doesn’t give me a clearance at all, it seems they conduct and MBI, and then OPM gives the info back to the USPTO’s own security investigator personnel… They conduct interviews and go from there.

    So if I’m not up for an actual clearance, but they are still doing an MBI, that should relax things a bit, right? Given that I was forthcoming, honest, and detailed about my past.

    Thanks for the help! 🙂

  217. Avatar

    John F:
    MBIs are used for Moderate Risk Public Trust positions and the only in-person interview is the one with the applicant. All other checks for the MBI are done electronically or by mail. For career and career-conditional appointments a minimum of a NACI is required and an SF85 (not SF85P) would be submitted. I don’t think that USPTO has an exception to conduct their own suitability investigations–OPM must do it. So, I’m not sure what’s going on in your case.

  218. Avatar

    Thanks for the link. Unfortunately the “NASA Desk Guide for Suitability and Security Clearance Processing” doesn’t tell anyone how to adjudicate, because it only lists areas of concern without any explanation of mitigation (except for passage of time). It incorporates OPM’s Issue Characterization Chart that is based primarily on allegations, not necessarily on corroborated information and never intended to be an adjudicative guide, just a triggering mechanism for investigative/adjudicative action.

    Basically the NASA Desk Guide is using information from 5 CFR 731 written for federal service career and career-conditional appointments to positions of varying levels of sensitivity. Except for the part about debarrment, this regulation provides no guidance on how to adjudicate.

    The NASA Desk Guide actually says that adjudication should take into account the sensitivity of the position, but fails to define the adjudicative differences between issuing a PIV Card and granting different levels of public trust clearances.

    So, basically what I am saying is that you can not figure how a case will be adjudicated based on information in the NASA Desk Guide.

  219. Avatar

    I am a 21 year old person who have recently filled out my SF85P form for a subcontractor for the DoD. I have no police records, but my credit is kind of shakey, but I do not have any repos, bankruptcy, or any foreclosures. To be more detail, I have a $1000 Credit card debt that I will be working on this year, 2 phone bills that I owe when I went to Military School in 2005.

    Will any of the following things that I listed in my previous statement do any harm on me getting a Public Trust Clearance?

  220. Avatar

    Hi Mr. Henderson,

    Let me be more specific. I definitely did an SF-85P (says on my printed archival e-copy) via e-QIP and then that was submitted to OPM with my finger print card FD-258 and a copy of my e-resume from Also contained with the package was the delcaration of federal employment OF-306. I probably misheard the security form woman, and my personal interview is with someone from OPM.

    I guess given some of the things from my background, I wanted to know in advance if I need to be hunting for other work.

    1.)THC test + (2001) – General, Honorable discharge
    2.)Public Drunkenness (2002) – No arrest, just a $164 fine
    3.)Divorce and Ch. 7 Bankruptcy – (2002)

    Thats a hell of a year for a 21-22 year old and put I still managed to put myself through Penn State engineering after that!

    In civilian land I was fine. I’m just going to be super pissed-off if they brought me to one of the more expensive areas of the U.S. swore me in as a civil servant, and are two weeks from giving me an initial recruitment bonus (certain science and eng. fields get)… All to take it away shortly there after, because they want to ignore my talents and focus on 6-7 years ago.

    So, if you will, venture a GUESS from your experience on likeliness of denial, 5, 10, 20%? How seriously do I need to possibly arrange private sector employment?

    Thanks, John

  221. Avatar

    John F:
    The drug use, public intoxication, and delinquent debt (resulting in bankruptcy) are all potentially disqualifying conditions. Like security clearance adjudication, public trust adjudication requires that if a potentially disqualifying condition exists, mitigating conditions must be reviewed before a decision is made. If there is no mitigation, then your public trust clearance will be denied.

  222. Avatar

    Yes, delinquent debt is a potentially disqualifying condition, but the condition can be successfully mitigated.

  223. Avatar

    Thank You Mr. Henderson, but what do you mean by successfully mitigated. Is it something like I would be able to tell them why it wasn’t paid and what plans I have to settle the debt, and if they find it reasonable then they would move me on to the next stage of the process.(OR whatever they do after)

  224. Avatar

    To mitigate an issue, the applicant must take responsiblity for the past actions, must show that they have taken corrective action, and show that it is unlikely that it will happen again. For instance, if a person has unpaid debt due to living beyond their means, they shoudd get financial counseling, change their lifestyle, and make consistent, systematic, good faith efforts to repay or otherwise resolve debts. See the mitigating factors under Guideline F: Financial Considerations of the Adjudicative Guidelines posted at my website at the “resources” page, under “about security clearance.” Just click on my name (above) to get to my website.

  225. Avatar

    I have accepted a new job offer that requires a DoD Secret Security Clearance. I currently have an active DoD Secret Security clearance. How do I transfer a DoD Secret Security Clearance from my previous employer to my new employer?

  226. Avatar

    Derek – the Facility Security Officer at your new employer will initiate the transfer.

  227. Avatar

    I had a Ropp Secret SCI back in 2/98 – 5/98, when I was working for a secret building connected to the Pentagon. Now many years, agencies later, I work for SSA in Baltimore, Md. My question is, is it possible for me to gain benefit from having that clearance done all those years today
    by being able to sidestep any additional previous checks?

  228. Avatar

    Is it realistic these guys keep a TS Clearance? Whist employees with one credit blunder is denied a clearance in this agency?

  229. Avatar

    Daniel McMenamin:


  230. Avatar

    ive smoked marijuana well over 200 times, what do i tell them for an army clearance, and why do they take marijuana into such consideration

  231. Avatar

    You tell them the truth. Marijuana is illegal.

  232. Avatar

    I have been waitin on a Q clearance for about 10 months and thought everything was going good until i got a letter saying they are concerned with granting my clearance. you see i expiermented with cocain one time just before i got out of the army. I dont have a criminal record or any pattern use of drugs. I wasn’t sure if i had a security clearance in the army. I was upfront with them and did not try to hide it. I requested a hearing to explain my self. What are the chances of me getting it denied?.

  233. Avatar

    I would also like to add that i have great credit so will that help my case. I also looked at the mitigating factors and they all are in my favor so why would they be concerned with me. I know that if i didn’t tell them about my little expeierment they would not have found out about that. So did i do the right thing or did i just scrw my self.

  234. Avatar

    i’m sorry i failed to mention that this happend 5 years ago.

  235. Avatar

    How many years back do they go for a TS SBI Clearance and once it is issued do they just go back to the date the old clearance was issued to renw the clearnace?

  236. Avatar

    One reason that DOE would send you a written interrogatory about your use of cocaine that occurred five years ago, is if the investigator who conducted your Personal Subject Interview (PRSI) failed to ask all the pertinent questions. If that’s the case DOE is just trying to do its job properly and insure they have all the pertinent information before the make a decision. Was your PRSI detailed? Were a lot of questions about drug involvement asked? How long did the PRSI take? How many times and over what period of time did you use cocaine?

    Of course you did the right thing. You know that DOE has a random polygraph program for selected categories of personnel who hold Q clearances.

  237. Avatar

    Ex FAM Employee:
    A Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) is required for a TS clearance and for SCI eligibility. The overall period of coverage for an SSBI is 10 years, but individual components of the investigation have varying periods of coverage from 3 to 10 years. A periodic reinvestigation for an SSBI goes back 5 years or to the date that the prior investigation was completed.

  238. Avatar

    Mr Henderson

    Thank you for your reply, the psi i did was about 45 minutes, she coverd different subjects like finacial, alcahol, and drugs. all she really asked was when i tried cocain and how many times. I wasn’t sure if i had a clearance and she asked me about that. That seems to be the main concern that i had a clearance. I remember asking if i had a clearance and the army couldn’t find anything on me so i’m sure i didn’t. The lady who interviewd me is nolonger their anymore. I tried the cocain once, i tasted it and that was all, it lasted 2 seconds, i’ve read the mititgating factors and their all on my side.I know that if i didn’t say anything they would not have found out, so hopefully i can convince them to give me my clearance so i can go to the academy.I appreaciate any more info or advice you can give me. Thanks


  239. Avatar

    You should have been asked several different questions about your use of cocaine. In your case just the questions about drug involvement should have taken about 10 to 15 minutes. As I said, I think DOE sent you the written interrogatory because they need more info than was in the investigative report. So that means the investigation is closed and the case is now in the beginning of the adjudicative stage. When they do make a decision, they will either grant your clearance or make a tentative decision to deny your clearance, in which case you will be given opportunity to rebut their reasons for their tentative decision.

    So, what I am saying is that it’s too early to worry about it.

  240. Avatar

    Mr Henderson

    The letter i recieved said i could ask to go before a review board or i can deny it. If i were to deny it the head guy from the security department would make a decision based on the info they already have, so i asked for a hearing. I also remember in the psi she aked me how i tried the drug and i still dont understand how that makes a deffirence. I also remember telling them i tried it in may and really i tried it in jul, i didn’t relize this till a while after the interview. so should i say something about that or should i not.You have to understand that alot has gone on since 03, I was deployed to iraq for a year and got married, as well as relocated, so if i missed a few details will they think i’m trying to hide something or will they understand.? I know of a few people who have arrest records and reposetions, just within a few years of their interviews, they recieved their Q clearances and didn’t have to go before a review board.I would just like to know youre thoughts on this. Thanks

    Jason Wilson

  241. Avatar

    How drugs are administered is a standard question. Absent any aggravating or complicating factors, or any other unfavorable information, I can’t see any reason you would be denied a Q clearance. However, changing the date of cocaine use from May to July may complicate matters. If the adjudicator has difficulty believing that you made an honest mistake about the month, you can ask for an exculpatory polygraph exam. They may not grant your request, but you can always ask.

  242. Avatar

    Thanks alot Mr Henderson for the advice i appreciate it.

  243. Avatar

    Mr Henderson:

    I was wondering if you could help me. I’m in the process of filling out the SF86 form for a DoD Secret Clearance for my Employer. When I was 16 I plead guilty to 2 Class B Burglary Felonies and 2 Class C Felonies (Attempted Burglary and Possession of stolen property). I also got a Gross Misdeamenor conviction dealing with a Handgun (I had it in my car at school. Left it in there after Target Shooting and a buddy ratted me out once he found out).

    Do I need to disclose all of these on the SF86 and will they prevent me from getting my clearance. Under convicted of a felony and a firearms conviction?

    I am now 31 and married with a clean history. Just 2 speeding tickets. I’m hoping something 15 years ago doesn’t continue to haunt me.

    I don’t have the records sealed either I thought they were but they aren’t. Should I get them sealed?


  244. Avatar

    Mr Henderson:

    I failed to mention that I was tried as a Juvenile in all cases and the charges didn’t get lowered. It was 2B and 2C Felonies that I plead guilty to.



  245. Avatar

    I have a security clearance situation I am facing, and I would appreciate any guidance this community could offer.

    I am 36 years old. In 1992, over 16 years ago at the age of 20, I was arrested once and charged with 1 count each of 1) Breaking and Entering; and 2) Possession of Burglary Tools. Both are felonies. The case had a somewhat unusual outcome. As part of a plea agreement, I pled Guilty, and the matter was taken under advisement (a form of deferred adjudication, I believe) for a period of 3 years. That means I was put on probation (no jail). After 1.5 years, the Court decided to let me off early, and both charges were Dismissed, with findings of ‘Not Guilty’ on both. Weird, huh?

    Short of it is, that is the only blemish I have I my record. Long story on why I did it (frat brother and I were being stupid), but that is the only problem I have ever had. Superior credit, all kinds of professional success, certifications, etc. Stable personal life. Anyone I know would be utterly shocked to know this event was in my background.

    Anywho…fast-forward to now, 16 years later. I work for a contractor to a federal agency (not DOD). I completed an SF85-P, and I did not disclose any of this because, as the form directs, it only relates to the last 7 years. I am a worry-wart, so I am still nervous about the whole thing.

    I have an interim clearance (equivalent of DOD Confidential). I am going for the Confidential level of clearance. My paperwork has been in process for 6 months now, which is far longer than any of my colleagues have been in progress. I assume the criminal matter is the reason for the length of time it is taking the clearance to be processed.

    Any thoughts on how worried I should be?


  246. Avatar

    You must list all felony charges/convictions and all firearms-related offenses on your SF86 regardless of how long ago they occurred or how old you were when they occurred. Your chances of getting an interim Secret clearance are not good, but your chances of getting a final Secret clearance are reasonable. Fifteen years of responsible conduct goes a long way toward mitigating past misconduct. There is no benefit to getting your records seal. Juvenile records in almost all jurisdictions are not public.

  247. Avatar


    You can not be granted a security clearance based on an SF85P. The SF85P is used only for Public Trust positions. I don’t think your investigationis taking longer than your colleagues because of the incident that happened 16 years ago. The SF85P can be used for different levels of Public Trust investigations: NACIC, MBI, LBI, and BI. Each investigation has a different scope and takes more or less time depending on its scope. Also the locations at which the investigations are conducted influence how long the investigation takes (i.e. Washington, DC may have a larger backlog of cases than Los Angeles).

  248. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    Thank you for your guidance. Much appreciated.

    One final question, if I may. I am in a line of work such that I may ultimately need to complete a SF86 to apply for a Secret or Top Secret clearance. Given the incident that I outlined, do you have an estimate of my chances for succeeding in obtaining such a clearance? If I do need to compelte a SF86, I would of course disclose the incident on the form.

    Thank you again.


  249. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,
    I have a job offer that would require I obtain a TS with Lifestyle poly clearance. I am mid 40’s with a squeaky clean legal record, stable finances, no foreign nationals friends or relatives and have been at the same employer for over 15 years.

    My issue is that I have used marijuana frequently 4 or 5 times per week for most of the last seven years. Over the last seven years I stopped for both a nine month and six month period.

    I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and given an anti-anxiety prescription ninety days ago and have not smoke marijuana since.

    I really want to take the job that requires the clearance, but I do have another offer. Do you think I have any chance of receiving clearance? The SF86 asks that you list number of times used for an illegal drug and I would have to put approximately 1000 times to be accurate.

    Thank you,


  250. Avatar

    Absent any aggravating/complicating factors or other unfavorable information, I think you have a fairly good chance of getting a security clearance. Since you have time, you should get a copy of the court record (its a public record) and see how the offense was charged. Sometime felony offenses are charged as misdemeanors. All offenses charged as felonies must be listed on an SF86, but misdemeanors that are more then 10 years old don’t.

    I also recommend you repost your question at “Ask Your Security Questions – Part 5” and address it edge141. He is a former adjudicator and can give a good second opinion.

  251. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    Thank you again. I very much appreciate your feedback.


  252. Avatar


    I don’t think you have any chance of getting a security clearance.

    See my March 30, 2008 (11:18 pm) post at “Ask Your Clearance Questions – Part 5” for a full explanation of frequency of illegal drug use and periods of abstinence.

  253. Avatar

    What should a person do if they accidently left out a minor arrest on the sf form. The person did not even think it was an arrest but when they looked it up later out of curosity it was stated as an arrest. The charge was a underage possession of alachol/ dismissed.And just to make things more complicated, the person has the clearence and it was never noticed. Mistake on both sides.

    Would they contact their agency or OPM, although he/she feels that whatever they say the people with the decision power will think it was left out on purpose.


  254. Avatar

    The company I work for was required to have all employees complete a VA Gov’t barckground check. We were told it was because we were a “vendor” working with VA PHI data. Shortly after we submitted our paperwork all of us and our contacts received the computerized form letters to support our answers. Since then no one has heard anything. It has been about two years. I’m in a postition that would allow me to know if anyone had ever gotten confrimation that the clearance was approved. We think that because we were a vendor of a vendor that the clearances may have been lost along the way. At this time I would like to apply for a Federal Job Opening. How do I find out if I already have a security clearance?
    I Greatly appreaciate any assistance you can provide.


  255. Avatar

    Hi there,

    I previously had an interim secret. Since early 2004 it became inactive. I have a language skill that is in demand right now. Since 2004 I married, had 2 children (one in the US one outside) and have since separated.

    1-I have a tax lien that i recently began making payments on none have been late (since December 2007-and the lien is for the 2002-2003 tax season while i was deployed)

    I would like to know how badly does having a tax lien make you ineligible or undesireable (both by a prospective employer) and for obtaining interim secret?

    Also, one of my children is an EU passport holder *from the father* and while I was back to the US (father and I lived overseas) I applied for his certificate of citizenship.

    My spouse is not a US citizen, but we no longer have contact, and he was arrested in the US for assaulting me.

    How unfavorable is this stuff? I know it sounds unsavory here, but all I want to know is: what is the likelihood of obtaining an interim clearance.

  256. Avatar

    I’m a graduating college student who has accepted a job offer from the USPTO, which will require the submission of an SF85P (pretty sure it’s the SF85P, and not the SF85) within the next few months. I’m worried about how the trouble I’ve had with an employer this semester might affect my chance to pass the background check, which I have been told is not hard to pass. The situation is that due to significant demands on my time, I was not performing up to standards, and to some extent over-reported my working hours over a few pay periods. My boss noticed, confronted me on this, and reprimanded me, but allowed me to continue the working on the publication I am co-authoring with her after I volunteered to work without pay. So after my work on this project ends, it might be the case that I will have to consider myself “fired” or having “left under allegations of misconduct”. I have an otherwise good relationship with this individual, and have no clue of what she will say or write during the investigation that goes with the SF85P. I have an otherwise perfect record (no drug history, trouble with the law, other employment trouble, no huge outstanding debt, etc.), and all other individuals who have to vouch for me in the process will speak to commendable integrity and ethics in my professional life. I have also gone through a security pre-screen with Lockheed-Martin during a second round interview, in which I described the incident to the interviewer; yet Lockheed still offered me a job that required a high-level security clearance.

    Two questions: I intend to disclose this incident on the SF85P, even if I have not actually ended my work with the employer at the time of filling it out. What is the best way to write about the incident on the SF85P? How will this incident affect my chance of passing?

  257. Avatar

    If they have a final clearance, OPM is completely out of the loop. They need to report the matter to their FSO or security manager. It may cause some problems, but it’s better to confront the problem now rather than allow it to become a bigger problem later.

  258. Avatar

    Only people who need access to classified defense information require a security clearance. There are other reasons that the federal government conducts background investigations on contractors, federal employees and job applicants. I think you and your associates were probably processed for a PIV card required under HSPD-12. HSPD-12 implementation is way far behind. For instance as of last November, Department of Interior had about 90,000 positions that required PIV cards, 83,000 investigations had been completed, but only 17 PIV cards had been issued.

  259. Avatar

    I’m about to be offered a job which requires TS/SCI clearance with (I’m told) 2 polygraph tests. Here are my concerns:

    I have two jobs missing on my resume (I was there for a short time and didn’t want to show too many employers on my resume)..should I give that info out during the paperwork process?

    I was fired from one job…should I divulge that information or can I say I say I resigned?

    I have two occasions within the last 6 months where I was at parties and tooks illicit drugs? Will this be asked during a poly test?

    Thanks in advance.

  260. Avatar

    It appears that you ignored paying your taxes from 2003 to 2007. Not paying taxes because you were deployed to a combat area is partial justification, but you probably weren’t deployed for 4 years. This will greatly limit your chances of getting an interim collateral clearance (non-SCI clearance), but may not rule out the possibility of getting a final collateral clearance. Since you mention foreign language skill, I’m guessing that your interested in a job in intelligence. Almost all of those position require SCI eligibility, which is much stricter about foreign connections. Having a spouse or immediate family member is not a US citizen, is a disqualifying factor for SCI eligibility—however, it is possible to get a waiver based on compelling need.

  261. Avatar

    If your situation does not fit neatly into any of the job termination categories, just list it in the comment section. Explain that “(on date) you were reprimanded by (fill in name) for poor work performance and overreporting time worked, terminated the paid portion of your employment, but continued on in an unpaid status because you volunteered to work without pay.” Be sure to include any mitigating information.

    If you don’t know what your supervisor is going to say, it is impossible to accurately predict the impact it will have on your eligibility for a clearance. In the best case this will only be a little road bump on the way to your clearance. In the worst case you will probably get a final (not interim) clearance, but you will be required to provide additional mitigating information.

  262. Avatar


    I recently received an offer from a company and they required me to obtain a Top secret security clearance. I had an interim secret clearance back in 2004.

    My record is clean, and I never traveled overseas how long do you think it will take for the TSC?


  263. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    Thanks for the fast response. One further question: without any other problems, will that incident alone automatically cause me to be denied an interim clearance? Or at least, give me a very low probability of obtaining an interim clearance? (Is it even a “clearance” I’m pursuing, since the examiner’s role at the USPTO is a “public trust position”?)

  264. Avatar

    Mr. Henderson,

    I was told by a former potential employer (almost two years ago) that I was denied an interim clearance. Here are my questions: 1. I never received a letter or anything regarding why I was denied so I don’t know what I did that was so terrible. Do they send a reason letter so I know why I was denied? 2. I have another potential job offer requiring a SECRET and I am worried about being denied again for an interim. I don’t know what to put for the prior denial question since I never received anything about being denied. I’m afraid if I answer yes, I don’t know what to put as the reason and if I answer no then they find out I had been even though I didn’t know. 3. I had a felony trespass charge 15 years ago that has been sealed. Do I put that on there? 4. Is there any way to find out if it was ever submitted or if the company didn’t even file and just denied me at their level? I’m in a tough position.

    The only thing I had done originally was that trespass charge (mentioned above) from 15 years ago in my early 20’s and a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge 5 years ago which I accidentally put as a felony, but I corrected it after the first denial (thinking that was maybe why I was denied) and was still denied but don’t know why. I had financial problems in 2000, but never declared bankruptcy and my financials have been cleared up for 4 years (I have good credit cards with high limits and low balances, a current mortgage, etc.).

    Any help is appreciated. I know many people with worse situations than myself who were cleared and am wondering if it was kept at the company level and never submitted.


  265. Avatar

    I don’t know. The application of adjudicative criteria to interim clearances (Public Trust and National Security) varies greatly from one government agency to another. I have no personal experience with Public Trust adjudications. My research has shown that many agencies use the same criteria for Public Trust and National Security clearances. It is impossible to give a reasonably good predictive opinion regarding an interim clearance where any unfavorable information exists.

  266. Avatar

    Interim clearances are not really denied; they are just not granted. Employers know that after a certain amount of time has elapsed without an interim clearance being granted, that it will not be granted. The company probably cancelled the request for your investigation after they realized that you would not be granted the interim clearance. You do not have to list on your SF86 that you were not granted an interim clearance, but you must list that you were previously investigated. You should explain in the comment section that you previously submitted a clearance application form, but you are uncertain if the investigation was ever completed or even initiated.

  267. Avatar

    Depending on the investigative and adjudicative agencies involved, an interim TS clearance can be issued in 1-4 months. If there are no problems, a final TS clearance could be issued in 4 to 9 months.

  268. Avatar

    You must list all employment, regardless of how brief, on your SF86. If you were fired, you must indicated on the form that you were fired and why. You must also list all illegal drug involvement during at least the past 7 years. Whether or not your polygraph examination will cover illegal drug use is a moot point.

  269. Avatar

    I received a citation of possession of alcohol in a restricted area a short time ago. How will this affect my eligibilty for security clearance? I paid the fine.

  270. Avatar

    Mr Henderson:

    I did follow your advice and contact to my local congressmen office concerning my secret security clearance investigation.They contact to DSS office and DSS office replay that my investigation remains pending a response from a third party record provider.It has been almost two year since they start at investigation and i am plan to retire in two year.
    Hopefully i get approve befor i retire.

    Thank again. Dmitri Golvin

  271. Avatar

    Sorry to hear your congressman’s office couldn’t really help you. OPM has a case status called, “Closed Pending” where they have completed all aspects of an investigation except for those investigative actions that are beyond their control, such as: a record check at another government agency. There is not much they can do, if the other government agency is unresponsive and DISCO insists that they need the record to properly adjudicate the case. Hopefully your congressman’s inquiry caused someone at DISCO to review your situation. Who knows something may happen soon.

  272. Avatar

    What type of restricted area? Can you give more details about the incident?

  273. Avatar

    My husband is about to accept employment which is contingent upon their attainment of a secret clearance for him.

    He’s concerned, having a misdemeanor 9 years 9 months ago, as well as a DUI back then.

    Will this prevent the clearance from coming through?


  274. Avatar

    For a secret clearance you only need to list 7 years worth of criminal offenses, except that you must list all felonies and all offenses involving drugs, alcohol, firearms, and explosives. So a simple misdemeanor from 9 years ago does not have to be listed. He will have to list the DUI regardless of how long ago it occurred.

    Absent any aggravating or complicating factors, a single DUI should not result in the denial of a final clearance. It could result in not getting an interim clearance, but that would depend on a lot of factors and how well they are explained in the SF86.

  275. Avatar

    Good day,
    I’m currently active duty army, with a SC, about to join the civilian world (joining army reserves JCSE @ Macdill) and was offered a job with General Dynamics… I can tell you I’m very happy..GD put me in for TS/SCI some program where I’m cleared in 30 days (I’m not sure how) well I have a pending DUI case…so they told me I would not be able to take the job since all their work right now require TS…my ?? is if the case is done and I do get charged with the DUI will that prevent me from my TS for GD and for JCSE???? I’m freaking out to bad, but htis is a bump in the road…I should be off active duty in about 3 weeks and now do not have a job lined up.. 🙁 Any info or direction would be awesome, thank you…..

  276. Avatar

    How long does a secret clearance last after you retire from the military? I retired in Oct 2005 and was looking at possibly applying for a job requiring a secrect clearance. Is mine now inactive?

  277. Avatar

    Unless you and some of your references have already been interviewed, I can’t imagine a scenario in which you case is already done. Yes, the DUI will be a significant issue in whether you are granted a TS/SCI. With regard to the 30 days mentioned by GD for a clearance, I pretty sure they were talking about an interim clearance. But that is now out of the question with a DUI charge pending. They could give you an interim TS if you filled out the eQIP (SF86) before you were arrested for DUI, but as soon as the investigation surfaces the DUI, the interim TS will be withdrawn.

  278. Avatar

    You have two years from the date you left the military or 10 years from the date of your last investigation, whichever occurs first.

  279. Avatar

    Good Afternoon,

    I am currently an active duty Marine attempting to get a Secret Clearance. It was initiated two months ago and the lasted update as of today was that it was in closed status. I was told this meant the investigation was done? I did have an arrest prior to joining but I wrote it down on the clearance questionaaire. My question is, two months seems awful fast – Is the speed any indication of bad or good outcome and also, what exactly does closed status mean?

  280. Avatar

    Henderson: It was on a beach.

  281. Avatar

    When everything works as it should on a relatively clean investigation for a Secret clearance, 2 months is how long the investigation should take. Expect another 30 days or so for adjudication before your clearance is granted, if the adjudicator is satisfied with the investigation. If the adjudicator wants more info on the arrest, it will delay matters.

  282. Avatar

    Do you use this site for further information on potential clients/customers? You know my email.

  283. Avatar

    This blog is a service of I’m not involved in their employment services. If you go to I think will find the information you are looking for.