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Posted: 12/31/2005 12:34:45 AM EDT
Alright. I dont get it.

I used to have a Top Secret clearance back when I got out in 1996. Needless to say, that's a while ago.

Of course, now I'd like to get into any number of jobs that require a clearance. So the question is, how common is it for companies to hire someone and get their clearance for them?

I've got a hell of a lot more experience than most five-and-divers coming out of the .mil, and I believe I'm quite marketable for higher positions, even with the folks coming out after 10 years, but it's really begining to frustrate me.

In some cases, I can't even get into the damned JOB FAIR.

Any ideas?
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 12:41:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2005 12:42:54 AM EDT by pv74]
It costs lots O money for a company to get you your TS.

Most of these contracters would rather hire someone who just got out, even if they have a lot less experience. It is cheaper to train them, and they can start work right away. That is the way I understand it.

If you had a TS in '96 it has long expired...
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 12:42:48 AM EDT
Terrific.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 12:49:01 AM EDT
Unless things have changed significantly in just the last few years, you could reactivate/transfer a clearance if you had one in the last two years. That was because DIS and DISCO couldn't find their butts if sitting on hot rocks and they had to do something to unstick the process.

The other issue is, and this is the big kicker, is that if a company is hiring you for a position involving classified information, and you don't have a current or transferable clearance, they need to find a place where you can work without the clearance, and hope that your clearance comes through in a timely manner, That's best case, what happens to somebody making make work and the clearnace is denied, wtf do you do then? It wasn't all that long ago that just getting confirmation of a transferable or re-instatable clearnce took 6+ months, getting a clearance for someone who didn't have one was running in the ball park of over 2 years.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 12:50:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2005 1:01:44 AM EDT by pv74]
Put it this way...


When a person gets out of the .mil he has a choice...

Get a job requiring a clearance , paying very good money...the company will pay for the clearance renewals...

OR

Work for a civilian company, and let the clearance drop... and face a very competitive job market...

He will most likely not have the opportunity to work in a cleared position again, as it is hard to get an employer to sponsor him for the clearance...


Most guys I know, who have gotten out, have taken .mil contracter jobs and kept their clearances. They are too valuable to let drop. They all make a lot more money than I do

Link Posted: 12/31/2005 12:52:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2005 12:53:07 AM EDT by Zaphod]
Man, I had my TS in less than six months back in 1991.....

Anyone know any recruiters in the defense field I can call to ask about this?
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 1:02:25 AM EDT
What do you do for a living?
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 1:07:12 AM EDT
Well, it seems that my SECRET clearance may still be valid for a few more months. Looks like I may have to call DSS next week.

Currently, I work in the medical device industry, but I have this God-forsaken, won't-go-away desire to do something that MATTERS, damn it!

Story of my life. Always 5-10 behind the fucking curve.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 1:16:32 AM EDT
Ever think about going back into the Navy?
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 7:19:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 2A373:
Ever think about going back into the Navy?





I'm afraid that's out of the question. Too overweight and broken down, and there's no way I can afford the pay or the lifestyle anymore. No, my time has come and gone.

I want to have a chance at the Lockheed Martins and such.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 8:26:04 AM EDT


Your clearance is good for 24 months once you stop needing it irregardless of the level. Once it expires, it's like starting over, no grace no nuthin'. Companies are very selective in who they hire without clearance because:

1) the process takes so long and they have to pay you to do nothing while you wait in the tank
2) the process normally takes from 4 to 24 months and they have to kickin for some of the cost
3) you can't be billed out during that time b/c they don't have uncleared work

It's like super negative equity for them when the can hire someone else right away who adds to the bottom line. Total dollars and cents decision.

Try to find a company that has lots of uncleared work for you to do while you wait. FDA, FAA, Treeasury, EPA, NIH, etc often don't require clearance for a lot of their work and if you get the right contact within the company, that manager will often sponsor you for a clearance while you work on a federal contract.

Take a look at federal (non-DoD and non-IC) work contracts with SAIC, Nothrop Grumman TASC, Lockheed, Booz Allen, Mitre, Aerospace, Boing. AT&T, Scitor and General Dynamics. You'll probably have to move to where the bulk of cleared work is. Northern Virginia, San Diego, Denver among others.

Goto www.dss.mil and pull down EPSQ to findout what paperwork you'll need to submit to get your clearance. And forget about going for the Secret first so it'll make your TS/SCI easier. Totla BS. Each investigation is a start from scratch deal. Might as well go straight for the TS/SCI if you can.

Good luck.

Link Posted: 12/31/2005 8:33:47 AM EDT
AFAIK Top Secret Clearances or Secret for that matter don't "expire", rather they downgrade to Confidential after so long. I received a notice of downgrade a few years back, that stated I could renew it or if I did nothing it would be downraded. I recall that itr said if I became affiliated with another entity requiring clearance that the review process would not take as long as a fresh clearance. YMMV
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 8:46:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2005 8:49:20 AM EDT by No-Worries]
TS and Secret expire after 24 months of non-use. Tickets will also be yanked after 60 months while in use if a reinvestigation hasn't been initiated (and a reup must be done every 10 years for a secret when in use). Ask any FSO. There may be some MINOR variations from agency to agency, but the rules are pretty clear cut today. There's no magic there. Bottom line is, you don't use it for 2 years, you lose it all and start from scratch. BTW, I've never seen anyone with a confidential clearance. Rare and useless for sure.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 8:52:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By No-Worries:
Take a look at federal (non-DoD and non-IC) work contracts with SAIC, Nothrop Grumman TASC, Lockheed, Booz Allen, Mitre, Aerospace, Boing. AT&T, Scitor and General Dynamics. You'll probably have to move to where the bulk of cleared work is. Northern Virginia, San Diego, Denver among others.




As a matter of fact, I just sent my info to Booz Allen last night, and would love to move to either Denver or Northern Virginia. In the meantime, I'll definitely go to that web site you mentioned. Thanks.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 9:16:09 AM EDT

Try www.vault.com ---> 'community' to learn more about what employees say about their company.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 11:10:03 AM EDT

I was in the same situation as you. TS clearance expired years earlier, and a big-buck govt job fell into my lap.

This was with an Army special operations group working with Sandia Labs in NM. They were active duty Army, but made serious efforts to hide it. Everyone wore civvies and even the haircuts were a little lax. I thought the clearance would take 18 months, as other people had told me, but the head of this group said he had his own people that did the investigations, and my clearance could be done in about a month.

There are some agencies that can do this, in my case it was a govt agency instead of a civilian company contract to the govt.

I passed on the job. The money was obscene, but the actual work was mind-numbingly boring for 99% of it.

Albuquerque has pretty large number of govt and civilian jobs that require clearances, and are a bit flexible on your work experience. Los Alamos Lab, about 100 miles north, is probably less so.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 11:32:39 AM EDT
Try this if you already haven't.

Gov Jobs
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 2:30:44 PM EDT
Once you've been read out for 24 months it's like you never had one. Most companies won't pay for your clearance unless you have some super special skill that they're hot for. It takes so long and it's fairly expensive. Not to mention, there are lots of people with active clearances for the companies to choose from.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 2:37:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2005 3:00:36 PM EDT by 4get_No1]

Originally Posted By rdblan2:
Once you've been read out for 24 months it's like you never had one. Most companies won't pay for your clearance unless you have some super special skill that they're hot for. It takes so long and it's fairly expensive. Not to mention, there are lots of people with active clearances for the companies to choose from.



Then things have changed. I got out in 74, used my GI Bill, went back to work in DoD contract stuff in 79, and my company got my clearance reinstated in about 6 months or so IIRC.

ETA: Regarding TS Zaphod, I went from TS (BI) in the service to nothing for the time I was in college and never needed a TS again - just secret. I don't know what happens if TS is necessary as a civilian. If you want, IM me and I'll ask the security office folks at work on Tuesday.

ETA2: www.itt.com/careers/

ETA3: I just pulled this quote from one of the openings here in FL:

"Applicants must be a US Citizen and those selected will be subject to a government security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information

Experience Requirements:
EXPERIENCE: A minimum 15-20 years total experience

QUALIFICATIONS: Bachelor of Science in engineering, computer science or other technical discipline; Master of Science or MBA preferred. Directly applicable work experience can potentially substitute for education qualifications.

Must have exceptional communication skills both written and oral, outstanding interpersonal and mentoring skills. Strong initiative, proactive self-starter. Be proficient with PCs and MS Office/Project"
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 4:01:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 4get_No1:

Originally Posted By rdblan2:
Once you've been read out for 24 months it's like you never had one. Most companies won't pay for your clearance unless you have some super special skill that they're hot for. It takes so long and it's fairly expensive. Not to mention, there are lots of people with active clearances for the companies to choose from.



Then things have changed. I got out in 74, used my GI Bill, went back to work in DoD contract stuff in 79, and my company got my clearance reinstated in about 6 months or so IIRC.

ETA: Regarding TS Zaphod, I went from TS (BI) in the service to nothing for the time I was in college and never needed a TS again - just secret. I don't know what happens if TS is necessary as a civilian. If you want, IM me and I'll ask the security office folks at work on Tuesday.

ETA2: www.itt.com/careers/

ETA3: I just pulled this quote from one of the openings here in FL:

"Applicants must be a US Citizen and those selected will be subject to a government security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information

Experience Requirements:
EXPERIENCE: A minimum 15-20 years total experience

QUALIFICATIONS: Bachelor of Science in engineering, computer science or other technical discipline; Master of Science or MBA preferred. Directly applicable work experience can potentially substitute for education qualifications.

Must have exceptional communication skills both written and oral, outstanding interpersonal and mentoring skills. Strong initiative, proactive self-starter. Be proficient with PCs and MS Office/Project"



That sopunds like a good one. I agree on the clearance info as well. If the prospective employer wants you, they will hire you and then start the process of bringing up your clearance.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 4:13:37 PM EDT
Then I guess it's up to me to make them want me.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 4:20:06 PM EDT
..and the reason I selected that one was the "minimum 15-20 years total experience" and no mention of needing to have a clearance before coming to work.

In Zaphods case, he did have one and (IIRC again) the Gov only needs to research back to the point in time when a prior clearance expired - therefore a (+) for him.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 4:46:17 PM EDT
i just left a contract in September that required me to have an TS-SSBI. when i was trying to hire the best damn applicant id ever interviewed i couldnt do it because of the backlog. i had a conference call with my upper management, a DISA rep and a DONCAF rep (dept of navy combined adjudication facility) i was told that my company would pay the cost for the background investigation but the backlog of pending applications is so long that the interim clearance would expire before the investigation is complete meaning my guy wouldnt be able to come to work.

they tried to alleviate the situation by migrating to a new online EPSQ form but it hasnt helped. so i dont think its the money anymore. if a company really needs a TS and youre the right guy for the job they will pay for it....they just dont want to wait 3 years for it.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 4:55:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2005 4:56:50 PM EDT by 4get_No1]
I think you're right there too DvlDog. The cost is just a cost of doing business. The time-span is what counts. The new employee can't be involved in the work you're hiring them for until after the clearance is in effect so you have to give them unclassified "busy-work" if you have any.

However, if the research only needs to go back a few years rather then a lifetime, do you think that might make a difference? I realize it would be quicker from start to finish but do they categorize them at all or is it just FIFO. Beats me - I don't know.

ETA:... and yep, that on-line EPSQ thing they've gone to sucks.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 6:18:52 AM EDT
TS's cost a lot. If you are someone who has a clearance, best to keep it active if at all possible. Companies hire those who have them to avoid having to pay for them to get it, it's a big deal. If I remember correctly, if your clearance is inactive for 2 years, you lost it.

I noticed that after 9/11 it is MUCH more difficult to obtain a security clearance. I don't think I could get one now under the new requirments (I have one though). DIS/DISCO is also taking a LOT LONGER to approve them.

TS's cost so much if you have one there are jobs all over the world that will open up for you, many in which you don't even have to do much at all - you are there to fulfill the the TS requirement.

I dropped down to just Secret but considered hiring onto another DOD project I know of that would get me my TS just so I could quit and pursue other jobs after I got it.

Secret doesn't cost as much as TS (SSBI) and not all jobs require a TS, keep that in mind, many jobs only require a secret.

Our company loves ex-military that still have their clearance, it will put you past all others who don't have one. We have employees that have waited more than a year of processing and still don't have their clearance.
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