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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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sdjl2009  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, July 22, 2009 8:42:19 AM(UTC)
sdjl2009

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I am in a position where an employer is a contractor for the federal government and I need to go through a TS security clearance.

Plain and simple, the past 10 years of my life have had me crashing and fumbling through several positions. One, the company went belly up, another, I got put into impossible positions due to internal politics and "left voluntarily" though in reality I was forced out of the company, another fired from due to an "improper email" that was sent due to my own stupidity in anger, then unemployed for 2 months, currently doing some temp-work.

I have no problem disclosing these things, but I don't favor someone digging through the gory details talking to former bosses, co-workers, etc. The other problem is I am an extreme home-body, near recluse. Virtually no outside friends or non-work references to rely on. My favorite outside activity is hiking around with my dog and wandering around a local farmer's market on weekends. I have never even met my neighbors in the townhome complex I live in.

Will this be a problem?

Thanks

SDJL
jtrink  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, July 22, 2009 9:35:40 AM(UTC)
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Be prepared to have your whole life investigated! TS clearances are really in depth. I am not too sure about your problem though. Some more experienced members/investigators/security people will be able to help you.
GSanderson  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, July 22, 2009 9:46:31 AM(UTC)
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Regarding the personal reference issue, I have the same problem. According to this book on security clearance, for SSBI, investigators are required to interview four references, two of which are developed (not listed on SF-86). The references I listed on my SF-86 are pretty much the only ones that know me. And even they don't know me that well. I'd imagine the investigators wouldn't be able to develop two more references about me, and I'm worried as to what would happen then.
sdjl2009  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, July 22, 2009 10:19:10 AM(UTC)
sdjl2009

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Even in this economy, I would rather collect unemployment and/or welfare than have my entire life dismantled and laid out in front of me for someone else to judge/ridicule/be critical of.

SDJL
jtrink  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, July 22, 2009 10:31:51 AM(UTC)
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I would think about this long and hard. Actually getting a TS clearance - pending any major issues with your background - could jump start your career tremendously in the contracting field.

I don't know why someone would care if an investigator would be poking around if they did not have something to hide.
sdjl2009  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, July 22, 2009 10:49:35 AM(UTC)
sdjl2009

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Nothing to hide, just nothing to share. I like my private life to remain private. I've had a lot of interpersonal conflicts over the years in a variety of areas. Nothing involving the law or anything like that, just nothing anyone else need be privy to.

SDJL
Newonhere11  
#7 Posted : Thursday, November 05, 2009 2:54:14 PM(UTC)
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sdjl2009 wrote:
Nothing to hide, just nothing to share. I like my private life to remain private. I've had a lot of interpersonal conflicts over the years in a variety of areas. Nothing involving the law or anything like that, just nothing anyone else need be privy to.

SDJL


I understand where you are coming from. I just had a SSBI for TS/SCI clearance and flunked it.  The discrepancies amounted to issues I had with former employers that never resulted in any disciplinary action or reprimands, but because I thought I knew better than the process, neglected to list every detail about my past problems with work-related issues, which resulted in failing the background and having a permanent derogatory file for withholding/misrepresenting/omitting pertinent info.  It turned out to be the biggest mistake of my life.  In a situation like that, you are obligated to disclose every single problem/mistake, regardless of what you may think about it, and let the investigator decide what is pertinent.  In my case, I committed no crime or was never in any trouble, but I did file grievances against 2 previous employers. Had I thought about it before completing the SF-86, I would have explained everything by submitting an attached statement. I not only did not receive the job I originally applied to, but now I have a permanent derogatory investigative file on me that will haunt me for the rest of my life, and it was totally my fault.
Newonhere112009-11-06 22:51:38
zcrider01  
#8 Posted : Friday, November 06, 2009 1:55:33 PM(UTC)
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I was offered a job as an intern.  I am so ashamed of all of my debt that I am seriously thinking about not accepting the job.  I am not so sure if I can handle the wait time and the humiliation of having to explain my bad habits for someone to judge me.  I have been so afraid the past three weeks that I cant eat, cant sleep and cant focus on anything.  I am constanting creating "what if" situations in my mind. I have cried and I have cried and I have prayed and I am just so scared that i dont know what to do.  I sit and stare at the paperwork, but dont pick it up.  I daydream all the time about what would happen in an interview.  I think I am losing it!
oboist513  
#9 Posted : Friday, November 06, 2009 11:31:07 PM(UTC)
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I lost my job by being honest with my employer and letting him know that someone may be by to speak with him.  Apparently trying to help someone and have a dialogue didn't help me.  Now I'm unemployed.  I bring this up here because, like me, you have to plan for the worst (not getting the clearance and for me, not having a job) and hope for the best.  No one will judge you.  Just be honest.  If you're working on paying off your debt, then you'll be fine.  Just be honest and report it.  I'm assuming you're not a felon here...It;s like the lottery.  You can't win if you don't play.

This could be the chance of a lifetime for you (I was an intern too some time ago and it was an amazing experience) and a federal career is the career path that I want to go down.  If I don't get my clearance, then I really have to think long and hard about "what next".

So...like me, take a deep breath, fill out your paperwork.  The investigators aren't going to chat about you around the watercooler.  The wait time has been hard, but be thankful that it is 2009 and not 2001 when a TS would take over a year.  Check out some of the links posted on this forum.  They may also help to give you some insight.  Good luck!

zcrider01  
#10 Posted : Saturday, November 07, 2009 12:33:53 AM(UTC)
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Does TS mean top secret?  I dont think mine is top secret, but rather a secret security clearance where I have to go back 7years.  How much of a difference does it make?
BackGdInvestigator  
#11 Posted : Saturday, November 07, 2009 12:38:42 AM(UTC)
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If you don't want someone digging through the gory details, then don't apply for the position.
 
You can't have it both ways. It just doesn't work that way.
*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.
Newonhere11  
#12 Posted : Saturday, November 07, 2009 1:01:38 AM(UTC)
Newonhere11

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That is the best advice I have heard on here.
oboist513  
#13 Posted : Saturday, November 07, 2009 1:08:20 AM(UTC)
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BI put it into a nutshell.  You can't have it both ways.  It's the nature of the position.

You should probably contact whoever hired you to get more information about what kind of clearance you are being investigated for.  Some agencies ask for 10 years, some 7, and they'll usually let you know if it is 10 years or just back to your 16th birthday or father back.  These are really important questions to have answered before you fill out your paperwork so that you fill it out CORRECTLY.  Properly filled out paperwork not only helps the investigators, but it helps you too if you think about it.

A top secret investigation is going to be more thorough than a secret.  Regardless of depth, if you lie, you'll get caught and you won't get your clearance anyways.



charlie  
#14 Posted : Sunday, November 08, 2009 10:32:08 AM(UTC)
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How did you find out the reasons for flunking security clearance.  Same thing has happened to me
tmj4477  
#15 Posted : Sunday, November 08, 2009 7:52:10 PM(UTC)
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Getting a secret is not as indepth as a top secret (TS) and you can actually start working with an interim secret clearance.
tmj4477  
#16 Posted : Sunday, November 08, 2009 7:58:48 PM(UTC)
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I agree if you hide something on your clearance paperwork and "they" find it and you dont have a good excuse you will be blackballed for a clearance. Let's be real honest and  frank here if you do not want someone poking in your life dont accept a job that requires a clearance. With all the things going on in the world today I would not want ANYONE who has a job that requires a top secret clearance to not be able to withstand questioning about thier background. The goverment just does not give out clearances becuase they are cool. You are given a clearance in the government for 2 reasons who you are around (President, Secretary of Defense...ect) or what you may overhear or look at  (intelligence, contacts...ect). With how expensive it is to complete a clearance if you are not prepared to have your life looked at dont watse taxpayer dollars by accepting the job.
hepcat13  
#17 Posted : Sunday, November 08, 2009 8:12:56 PM(UTC)
hepcat13

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Maybe someone in this thread can help me with this. I've just been offered a position with the DCMA Keystone program. I am a current Dept of the Air Force civilian employee and former Dept of the Army civilian employee with a current Secret Clearance which had been renewed just last year by the DoD. When I transferred from the Dept of the Army to the Air Force my clearance was transferred also. My clearance is still active in JPAS, but when I asked the DCMA Keystone HR office about tranferring my clearance they informed me that I would have to repeat the process all over again. This doesn't make sense to me. Is the HR person misinformed or does the govt really want to spend the money to redo my clearance and if so why? I've transferred from different agencies before and this is the first time HR required me to redo my clearance. Any insight on this situation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance  
Newonhere11  
#18 Posted : Monday, November 09, 2009 2:04:43 AM(UTC)
Newonhere11

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I am unsure but I believe clearance procedures were revamped after 9/11, and also a result of the number of high-level spies that have been uncovered over the last few years...expect things to be a little different ... it's no longer "business as usual" or the way things were previously done.
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