General Questions about Your Security Clearance


Intel Enabler
Verified SOF
Sep 9, 2006
"A security clearance investigation is an inquiry into an individual's loyalty, character, trustworthiness and reliability to ensure that he or she is eligible for access to national security information. The investigation focuses on an individual's character and conduct, emphasizing such factors as honesty, trustworthiness, reliability, financial responsibility, criminal activity, emotional stability, and other similar and pertinent areas. All investigations consist of checks of national records and credit checks; some investigations also include interviews with individuals who know the candidate for the clearance as well as the candidate himself/herself."

If you have general questions about security clearances, or if you're just interested in reading up on the topic, here are some links for you:
Security Clearance FAQs (PDF)
Top 10 Reasons Security Clearance Applications are Rejected
Rebutting / Appealing process

If you have questions about your specific situation, post them here and I'm sure one of the professionals on this site can get you going in the right direction. A couple of clearance-related suggestions from me:

1) DO NOT LIE during the investigation process. Remember, one of the things that the investigation is supposed to determine is your trustworthyness. Most legitimate "youthfull indiscretions" are not in and of themselves disqualifiers for a clearance.

2) BE PATIENT. These investigations often take a long time.

3) FOLLOW UP FREQUENTLY. It's your clearance; be patient but keep asking. There are often ways to expedite the process when a legitimate need exists.

5) BE AWARE OF YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES to safeguard sensitive information and to maintain your clearance (you need a reinvestigation every five years).

6) IF YOU DON'T KNOW, ASK your security representative. Don't do something stupid.

Why did they get rid of the downloadable version on the dss site? Luckily I still have mine, but my buddy didnt. So of course he had to come over the other day and type all his shit in.
I really know where but it's still out there,I guess Ive just Benn hang in w/ to many Recruiters lately:doh:
I would like to reiterate "DO NOT LIE"!!!

I had a good friend when I was in, who followed her recruiter's advice to lie about A SINGLE USE of marijuana.

She was a 96B with a promising career. She is no longer a 96B and does not have a clearance.

That's a good example. My experience has been that nobody really cares about a minimal degree of marijuana use. In fact, I usually have to explain, "No really, I've never tried Mary Jane even one time" when I do my interviews because its use by people before they join the military is so widespread. That's not to say it's OK to hit the pipe- if you're planning on joining the military, grab your nuts and "just say no."

My wife had a 96B working for her that lied about what turned out to be some very serious drug use as a teenager; he probably wouldn't have gotten a clearance anyway but when they found out he was FOS about his drug use, he got some good UCMJ lovin' and got punted with a general discharge.