A Clearance Denial Decision Made Easy – Lies and Drug Abuse
It truly is amazing how an individual’s perspective on situations and life’s events can become totally skewed and out of sync with actual reality. In a recent Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) case the applicant, a former military service member, filled out the SF-86 and indicated that he had served as a military officer and was honorably discharged at the end of his enlistment. There are no issues here, right? Well……..if that information had been true then you would have been correct. However, come to find out, the applicant did not serve in the military as an officer, but rather was an enlisted member. Oh, and also, he did not receive an honorable discharge, but rather an “other than honorable” type. But wait, that’s not all, here is the best part: He also failed to disclose marijuana use while in a cleared status which led to him being discharged from the military!
The judge in this case was not impressed with the applicant’s claims that because he had sped through the SF-86 he missed the drug questions, experienced a computer malfunction which led to it listing him as an officer, and that he thought he was administratively discharged from the military which is why he listed his discharge as honorable. In the end the applicant was found to have deliberately falsified the application and he was denied eligibility for a clearance in accordance with Guidelines H (Drug Involvement) and E (Personal Conduct). If only they were all this easy to decide, unfortunately, most other cases have issues that are more complex and fall into gray areas.