Selective Service Registration and Security Clearances
Despite the fact that in today’s high tech society nearly everyone has instant access to a sea of information via the internet, an important requirement for males living in the U.S. is quite often overlooked or discounted. The Selective Training and Service Act instituted in 1940, temporarily suspended in 1975, and then reenacted again by President Carter in 1980, and known today as the Military Selective Service Act requires all U.S. males and legal immigrants born January 1, 1960 who are between the ages of 18-26 to register. According to the Selective Service System, a 2013 survey revealed that 93% of the male population required to register have done so. That leaves 7% who have not.
Perhaps unknown to these 7% are the consequences of not registering. Knowingly and willfully failing to register may result in these consequences: possible prosecution and if convicted, a fine of up to $250,000 and/or a prison term of up to five years; ineligibility for U.S. citizenship and/or financial aid in the form of Federal student loans; and Federal job training and appointment to a Federal position. Some individual states have additional penalties that may be imposed.
How does this affect a security clearance application? Failure to obey a Federal law without a valid reason falls under Guideline J: Criminal Conduct and is a serious concern. Unless you had a legal exemption or there was a valid reason as to why you did not register for selective service when required, then there is a good possibility that your application for a security clearance will be denied.