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Posted: 11/11/2002 10:52:37 PM EDT
In my quest for suitable employment it seems that I keep being referred to Jobs which require DOD SECRET or TOP SECRET clearances. The last time I had security clearances was for the 1984 Olympic Games in L.A. (Technical Support Specialist vendor to KABC TV)
Link Posted: 11/11/2002 11:21:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ProfGAB101: In my quest for suitable employment it seems that I keep being referred to Jobs which require DOD SECRET or TOP SECRET clearances. The last time I had security clearances was for the 1984 Olympic Games in L.A. (Technical Support Specialist vendor to KABC TV)
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Since no one who has such clearence has bothered to post, I'll pass along what I learned from my brother-in-law who had such clearence. They look for honesty, mental stability, and things that might open you up to blackmail by foriegn agents, such as money problems or habits that you can be manipulated with (i.e. womanizing, gambling, etc.) Anyone, feel free to add, or correct.
Link Posted: 11/12/2002 12:14:27 AM EDT
They gave me a 'secret' years ago and I'm about the mist dishonest, unstable,womanizing, poker playing, debt ridden, imbicile I know!
Link Posted: 11/12/2002 1:29:06 AM EDT
Had it once, don't recall what was involved, but it wasn't for DoD. Have an FFL and been approved for NFA items so I know I'm fairly clean, the issue is that they want someone who has existing clearance, or someone who can be issued clearance within 2 wks. Well I'm going to dive in with both feet, the worst that can happen is they won't certify me within the time frame and I don't get the job... Which leaves me unemployed, just like I am now...
Link Posted: 11/12/2002 1:37:36 AM EDT
There's a big difference between secret and top secret. With secret you're cleared to read Aviation Week magazine. TS can be fairly involved, include lie detector tests, beatings with a rubber hose, etc.
Link Posted: 11/12/2002 1:46:59 AM EDT
The big no-no's for obtaining a S/TS clearance are: filing for bankruptcy, drug and/or alcohol abuse (DUI's count toward this), spending lots of time in (more than just a week or two vacation)or marrying a girl from a country not considered a military ally. A TS clearance will require FBI interviews with friends, neighbors and family members. You'll also be required to give a complete history of yourself for the last 10-15 years (if I remember correctly).
Link Posted: 11/12/2002 2:08:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/12/2002 2:11:43 AM EDT by ProfGAB101]
OK - nobody has scared me yet. And yeah, I remember one of those FBI interviews because I was a friend of someone going through a TS renewal... How many different ways can they rephrase the same questions... You should have heard the pause when they ask how we first met. "At a Sub-machinegun competition..." (oops "heard the pause", right, that makes a whole lot of sense.)
Link Posted: 11/12/2002 4:08:04 AM EDT
I had a secret clearance in the military, I recall it not being a big deal at all to get and I had a prior run in with the law before I joined, so I wouldn't worry too much.
Link Posted: 11/12/2002 5:03:05 AM EDT
Got my TS clearance years ago...All I can say is that you have to answer all of your questions [b]honestly[/b]. And yes, they will check your credit and Police record. They will interview all of your friends, neighbors and associates listed by you.
Link Posted: 11/12/2002 6:00:38 AM EDT
As has been said, there's a big difference between a SECRET and a TOP SECRET rating. Where I work (defense contracting) the general policy is that you only get a TOP SECRET when required to work on a project that needs that level of clearance. Once the project is done, or you are moved, it is 'revoked' (can't remember the proper term for it). For the secret, you're looking at about 25 pages of forms to fill out regarding your past history...scholastic, financial, etc., including the standard questionnaire (like the 4473) about drugs, criminal history, violent overthrow of the US, etc. You'll get fingerprinted and they'll do a background check, which depending on how 'backed up' processing is could take from 2 months to a year and a half. headpulper is absolutely right on what can get you dinged. If you've had ANY documented drug issues you're pretty much screwed. I know from an old co-worker that they're a bit more lenient with bankruptcies dependant upon situations. They really only get curious moneywise if you have either a mountain of debt and haven't tried in good faith to pay it off, or if you're spending money like Trump without a documented income to support it. Generally, if you've made an effort to keep your nose clean, stayed away from drugs, and don't want to piss off the gov't, then you shouldn't worry about the SECRET clearance. TS is a whole other ballpark. Those guys take it VERY seriously. Fine toothed comb seriously.
Link Posted: 11/12/2002 6:54:35 AM EDT
I recently interviewed for a job, the fellow concludes, "Well, I'd be inclined to investigate this further if you had an active security clearance, but since you don't..." So I ask, "Well, how do I obtain an active security clearance?" "Someone has to hire you for a position that requires a security clearance, you can't just get one." Can you say "catch 22?" [pissed]
Link Posted: 11/12/2002 9:46:33 AM EDT
Marvl is correct - you must have a "sponsor", essentially via some agency of the US government to obtain a clearance of any type. When a project is closed out, you don't lose your clearance, you are simply "read off" the program - i.e., debriefed. A clearance essentially dies if not periodically "updated". Whe the old clearance gets too stale, you are basically starting over - new paperwork, interviews, and so on. There isn't a silver bullet in the world big enough to get a Secret clearance for a new employee in two weeks, nor probably any employee, for that matter. Most of these jobs require eligibility to get a clearance, not necessarily possession of one when hired, although that is preferred to avoid some cost.
Link Posted: 11/12/2002 10:10:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/12/2002 10:12:23 AM EDT by dave223]
I have much experience in this matter. It is a big responsibility. Answer every question honestly, because they will find out if you don't. My background was and is investigated every three years...and they will interview friends and family. As a matter of fact, it is inappropriate to discuss what level of clearance you have been issued here or anywhere else for that matter. Good Luck.
Link Posted: 11/12/2002 6:51:24 PM EDT
TS and ATS DOD backgrounds go back as far as they want(usually 15 years+). They will look for anything that can be used to compromise you. Money, politics, sexuality, and drug use are the main things they are looking at but not the only things. Don't go broadcasting that you have a TS or TS+ clearance, the whole idea behind them is you have the will power and smarts to shut your mouth regarding secret matters. Keep it clean and you'll be fine.
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