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Security Clearance

A security clearance is a status granted to individuals allowing them access to classified information. Those trying to get a clearance may have questions such as how does one go about attaining a clearance? And, what are the different levels? As well as other questions. This area will allow those that have clearances offer advice and suggestions to those inquiring about clearances or upgrading their clearances.

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Endless Summer  
#1 Posted : Saturday, January 05, 2019 5:15:13 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wpbono Go to Quoted Post
I sincerely apologize if this is a duplicate question but I've found nothing that pertains to my specific scenario...

I enlisted last year in the Army and I ship out later this year. My contract is an Option 40 which guarantees a shot at Ranger Selection. So far, I've dedicated my life to obtaining this goal of becoming a Ranger. When I realized that'd I'd need a TS/SCI clearance, reality hit me like a truck. When I first enlisted, I was to fill out a paper regarding my past drug use. I experimented with marijuana 4 times during high school, the last time being 8 months ago. Since the last time, I've realized it is not for me and I have no intention of ever trying it again. Anyways, a relative of mine is in the JAG corps of the Army and instructed to lie about past drug use when I enlisted, I did just that... I regret my lie 100% and it eats at me everyday. My question is, when I tell the investigator the 100% truth of my marijuana use in high school, is it likely I will be granted a TS/SCI clearance? Everything else on my record and in my life is squeaky clean.


Well, you already know that you got some really bad advice, so I won't beat on you about that. Fortunately, you don't really have any option if you want to pursue a career that requires a TS/SCI. You will be polygraphed and you will be caught out if you try to lie or be less than honest.

So, you have to clear this up or give up the hope of getting the clearance. It is also possible, but highly unlikely, that you will be determined to have enlisted under false pretenses and you could face disciplinary action. If you haven't yet been to basic training you may have time to correct this.

I wish you the best.
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wpbono on 1/5/2019(UTC)
someoldguy  
#2 Posted : Saturday, January 05, 2019 5:52:33 AM(UTC)
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I doubt this person will be polygraphed in this situation.

While there is a certain tolerance for youthful indiscretion, and some degree of understanding of first-time enlistees being given bad advice about filling out security paperwork, the drug use will still be a concern.

I wouldn't bring up the guy who told you to lie :)
DISCLAIMER: You read it on an open internet forum :)
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wpbono on 1/5/2019(UTC)
FrankJr  
#3 Posted : Saturday, January 05, 2019 8:02:33 AM(UTC)
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From the perspective of security clearance...

The issue is the threat of blackmail due to undisclosed criminal conduct, both the drug use and the falsification of the forms.

In addition to ...gullibility is a failure of social intelligence in which a person is easily tricked or manipulated into an ill-advised course of action. It is closely related to credulity, which is the tendency to believe unlikely propositions that are unsupported by evidence.

Endless Summer  
#4 Posted : Saturday, January 05, 2019 8:35:06 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wpbono Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Endless Summer Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: wpbono Go to Quoted Post
...I wish you the best.


How might I be able to clear this up? All I want to do is make this right.



It's always better to be the one who brings up the bad news, rather than hoping it doesn't get discovered. I can't tell from your posts if you've already been through boot camp or are waiting to report. If you've not been to boot camp that would be the time to bring it up. It's been 30 years but I remember having the opportunity. Don't tell your recruiter, they will just tell you to lie so their numbers don't get messed up.

If you've been through boot camp already, use your chain of command.
rbr  
#5 Posted : Saturday, January 05, 2019 12:32:51 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wpbono Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Endless Summer Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: wpbono Go to Quoted Post
I sincerely apologize if this is a duplicate question but I've found nothing that pertains to my specific scenario...

I enlisted last year in the Army and I ship out later this year. My contract is an Option 40 which guarantees a shot at Ranger Selection. So far, I've dedicated my life to obtaining this goal of becoming a Ranger. When I realized that'd I'd need a TS/SCI clearance, reality hit me like a truck. When I first enlisted, I was to fill out a paper regarding my past drug use. I experimented with marijuana 4 times during high school, the last time being 8 months ago. Since the last time, I've realized it is not for me and I have no intention of ever trying it again. Anyways, a relative of mine is in the JAG corps of the Army and instructed to lie about past drug use when I enlisted, I did just that... I regret my lie 100% and it eats at me everyday. My question is, when I tell the investigator the 100% truth of my marijuana use in high school, is it likely I will be granted a TS/SCI clearance? Everything else on my record and in my life is squeaky clean.


Well, you already know that you got some really bad advice, so I won't beat on you about that. Fortunately, you don't really have any option if you want to pursue a career that requires a TS/SCI. You will be polygraphed and you will be caught out if you try to lie or be less than honest.

So, you have to clear this up or give up the hope of getting the clearance. It is also possible, but highly unlikely, that you will be determined to have enlisted under false pretenses and you could face disciplinary action. If you haven't yet been to basic training you may have time to correct this.

I wish you the best.


How might I be able to clear this up? All I want to do is make this right.



Not going to tell you what to do...but I will give you the facts.

At this point if you are upfront about the recent drug use, there is a small chance you can still get a clearance (<10%). However, you will most likely be hit with a "lack of candor" and "drug use" and have your packet revoked. Since you've already enlisted and would be unable to get a clearance. then you would be given a "general or administrative" discharge which happens all the time with Basic Training washouts

If you decide not to disclose it and it doesn't pop up from another source, the only way they would find out is if you failed the polygraph. Not all TS's require a poly but many do depending on the job (SCI requires a poly). If you fail the poly, you would get your clearance revoked and most likely go through the same process outlined in the paragraph above.

If you don't need a poly and don't disclose it, then you would have to fill out another form in about 5 years for your re-investigation, if you add it then, then you will be in trouble for lying on this form and get your clearance revoked but probably face more severe consequences

In the end, you put yourself in a tough position by not being initially upfront. Not sure which I would choose, but you better choose wisely.

Edited by user Saturday, January 05, 2019 12:35:46 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Endless Summer  
#6 Posted : Sunday, January 06, 2019 4:34:07 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wpbono Go to Quoted Post
...however what are the chances of getting discharged?


almost zero in my opinion. Did you enlist for a specific MOS? If so, does that MOS require a TS/SCI? If that's the case you might be assigned another MOS but it's unlikely you'll be kicked out.

If I'm understanding you right, the only thing in jeopardy is your Ranger option. You can still serve honorably without being a Ranger.

I was in an MOS that required a TS/SCI, they didn't give us our poly until after we'd gone through a significant amount of training and by that time they had a lot invested in us. The one guy I can remember failing it was denied his clearance and assigned an MOS that did not require a clearance.

So, don't beat yourself up too much about this. If, at some point in the future you have an opportunity to enter the Ranger program or any other one that requires a poly, that would be the time to bring it up. By that time there will be some more distance between you and this event and you'll have shown the kind of person you are.

Best wishes.
rbr  
#7 Posted : Sunday, January 06, 2019 6:39:46 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Endless Summer Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: wpbono Go to Quoted Post
...however what are the chances of getting discharged?


almost zero in my opinion. Did you enlist for a specific MOS? If so, does that MOS require a TS/SCI? If that's the case you might be assigned another MOS but it's unlikely you'll be kicked out.

If I'm understanding you right, the only thing in jeopardy is your Ranger option. You can still serve honorably without being a Ranger.

I was in an MOS that required a TS/SCI, they didn't give us our poly until after we'd gone through a significant amount of training and by that time they had a lot invested in us. The one guy I can remember failing it was denied his clearance and assigned an MOS that did not require a clearance.

So, don't beat yourself up too much about this. If, at some point in the future you have an opportunity to enter the Ranger program or any other one that requires a poly, that would be the time to bring it up. By that time there will be some more distance between you and this event and you'll have shown the kind of person you are.

Best wishes.


Almost every MOS in the Army requires a minimum SECRET clearance (I'm not personally aware of one that doesn't), if he/she fails the poly for the TS/SCI because of "lack of candor" then that very well could affect their ability to get a SECRET as well. If they can't go Ranger, then they would be relegated to a regular 11B (Infantry) which I believe requires a SECRET clearance. If the Army is doing their job, which is not always the case, then they will be investigated for that clearance with a clearance denial on record for Lack of Candor. If they can't maintain a SECRET then they will be processed out under a General discharge (I know because I've done it to several Soldiers when I was a Officer). Will OP be able to do non-classified work while being processed out? Possibly, but based on his rank that's basically going to be barracks maintenance and CQ runner lol. OP got some really bad advice from a JAG officer (which doesn't surprise me lol) and that might cost them more than a Ranger spot.
rbr  
#8 Posted : Sunday, January 06, 2019 6:47:08 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wpbono Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: rbr Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: wpbono Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Endless Summer Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: wpbono Go to Quoted Post
I sincerely apologize if this is a duplicate question but I've found nothing that pertains to my specific scenario...

I enlisted last year in the Army and I ship out later this year. My contract is an Option 40 which guarantees a shot at Ranger Selection. So far, I've dedicated my life to obtaining this goal of becoming a Ranger. When I realized that'd I'd need a TS/SCI clearance, reality hit me like a truck. When I first enlisted, I was to fill out a paper regarding my past drug use. I experimented with marijuana 4 times during high school, the last time being 8 months ago. Since the last time, I've realized it is not for me and I have no intention of ever trying it again. Anyways, a relative of mine is in the JAG corps of the Army and instructed to lie about past drug use when I enlisted, I did just that... I regret my lie 100% and it eats at me everyday. My question is, when I tell the investigator the 100% truth of my marijuana use in high school, is it likely I will be granted a TS/SCI clearance? Everything else on my record and in my life is squeaky clean.


Well, you already know that you got some really bad advice, so I won't beat on you about that. Fortunately, you don't really have any option if you want to pursue a career that requires a TS/SCI. You will be polygraphed and you will be caught out if you try to lie or be less than honest.

So, you have to clear this up or give up the hope of getting the clearance. It is also possible, but highly unlikely, that you will be determined to have enlisted under false pretenses and you could face disciplinary action. If you haven't yet been to basic training you may have time to correct this.

I wish you the best.


How might I be able to clear this up? All I want to do is make this right.



Not going to tell you what to do...but I will give you the facts.

At this point if you are upfront about the recent drug use, there is a small chance you can still get a clearance (<10%). However, you will most likely be hit with a "lack of candor" and "drug use" and have your packet revoked. Since you've already enlisted and would be unable to get a clearance. then you would be given a "general or administrative" discharge which happens all the time with Basic Training washouts

If you decide not to disclose it and it doesn't pop up from another source, the only way they would find out is if you failed the polygraph. Not all TS's require a poly but many do depending on the job (SCI requires a poly). If you fail the poly, you would get your clearance revoked and most likely go through the same process outlined in the paragraph above.

If you don't need a poly and don't disclose it, then you would have to fill out another form in about 5 years for your re-investigation, if you add it then, then you will be in trouble for lying on this form and get your clearance revoked but probably face more severe consequences

In the end, you put yourself in a tough position by not being initially upfront. Not sure which I would choose, but you better choose wisely.


My number one goal is to serve in the Army. If I can't finish out my enlistment, I honestly don't know what I'd do with my life. The overwhelming consensus of others is either tell the truth only while filling out the sf86 form initially or continue lie and only tell the truth during the interview when they ask if I've lied on my sf86... Although either of those answers don't hold integrity, I am willing to do whatever it takes to serve my country through my enlistment. I know i can throw most of my hope of getting that clearance out, however what are the chances of getting discharged?


See my explanation about how lack of clearance affects your ability to remain in the Army in the preceding post. I will tell you this, if you lie up until confronted at the interview it's going to be worse for you because you would have had several opportunities to tell the truth beforehand. I know what I would do in this situation, but I'm not going to tell you because I'm not the one who has to deal with the consequences. However, I will tell you that once you pick a option, YOU STICK TO IT because the minute you start flip flopping you will start digging yourself into a deeper hole
Endless Summer  
#9 Posted : Sunday, January 06, 2019 6:51:30 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: rbr Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Endless Summer Go to Quoted Post
...


Almost every MOS in the Army requires a minimum SECRET clearance (I'm not personally aware of one that doesn't), if he/she fails the poly for the TS/SCI because of "lack of candor" then that very well could affect their ability to get a SECRET as well. If they can't go Ranger, then they would be relegated to a regular 11B (Infantry) which I believe requires a SECRET clearance. If the Army is doing their job, which is not always the case, then they will be investigated for that clearance with a clearance denial on record for Lack of Candor. If they can't maintain a SECRET then they will be processed out under a General discharge (I know because I've done it to several Soldiers when I was a Officer). Will OP be able to do non-classified work while being processed out? Possibly, but based on his rank that's basically going to be barracks maintenance and CQ runner lol. OP got some really bad advice from a JAG officer (which doesn't surprise me lol) and that might cost them more than a Ranger spot.


I understood it as being a question of being able to pass the polygraph. Certainly not every Secret clearance requires a poly and SBI? I think it's reasonable to expect that the OP could enjoy a rewarding career in a meaningful capacity without ever needing to pass a poly?

But yeah, that JAG relative would be getting a steaming bag of horse droppings for Christmas next year.
rbr  
#10 Posted : Sunday, January 06, 2019 6:55:27 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Endless Summer Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: rbr Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Endless Summer Go to Quoted Post
...


Almost every MOS in the Army requires a minimum SECRET clearance (I'm not personally aware of one that doesn't), if he/she fails the poly for the TS/SCI because of "lack of candor" then that very well could affect their ability to get a SECRET as well. If they can't go Ranger, then they would be relegated to a regular 11B (Infantry) which I believe requires a SECRET clearance. If the Army is doing their job, which is not always the case, then they will be investigated for that clearance with a clearance denial on record for Lack of Candor. If they can't maintain a SECRET then they will be processed out under a General discharge (I know because I've done it to several Soldiers when I was a Officer). Will OP be able to do non-classified work while being processed out? Possibly, but based on his rank that's basically going to be barracks maintenance and CQ runner lol. OP got some really bad advice from a JAG officer (which doesn't surprise me lol) and that might cost them more than a Ranger spot.


I understood it as being a question of being able to pass the polygraph. Certainly not every Secret clearance requires a poly and SBI? I think it's reasonable to expect that the OP could enjoy a rewarding career in a meaningful capacity without ever needing to pass a poly?

But yeah, that JAG relative would be getting a steaming bag of horse droppings for Christmas next year.


The SECRET doesn't require a poly, but the problem is they are going for a clearance that does and if they get denied that clearance, which will happen if they can't pass the poly, then it goes on their record and it will affect their ability to get a clearance going forward. Had they only been going for a SECRET right out the gate, it honestly wouldn't be an issue.
BackGdInvestigator  
#11 Posted : Sunday, January 06, 2019 3:25:02 PM(UTC)

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You need to come clean about the marijuana use. You should report it when you next have the opportunity in the recruiting process and certainly during any Subject interview. You are young enough and new enough to the process that the blowback is normally minimal.

Your JAG relative should have never given you that advice - it really was needless and put both of you at risk to lose your Army careers.

Stick to the lie now and when the information is discovered later - you can be charged with fraudulent enlistment and perjury under the UCMJ. This I have personally seen this happen to friends/subjects while I was a military member and now as an investigator.

You can be a rat b@st@rd and have a security clearance (my brother and I are living examples of this)... you just have to be honest and upfront with the security apparatus.
*DISCLAIMER*Correctly filling out your security forms will not guarantee you a clearance in 3 months BUT be sloppy and your case will be in the field a heck of a lot longer, guaranteed.
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