Issues that prevent one from getting a TS/SCI

Hang out, sip some ice tea, and shoot the breeze with TR regulars.

Moderators: emkubed, Captain Ned

Issues that prevent one from getting a TS/SCI

Postposted on Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:39 pm

Long story short (too late...) I got a misdemeaner DUI in Podunk Georgia. MY BAC was .004, so they did a blood draw, and notice that the THC level maxed out the chart (and they found about a half gram my then girfriend had hidden in the car). I plead guilty to DUI (to get the possession charge dropped), spend two days in county jail, lost my license and was on probation for one year (all that's been finalized and cleared up). Not to make an excuse for my stupidity, but my best friend, father, and grandfather all died in rapid succession, so I went off the rails that day and smoked a bunch of pot. Needless to say, I lost my job over it, too.

Right now, I'm having an incredibly difficult time finding full-time work. I'm a certified network engineer, support pro for a MAJOR telcom equipment manufacturer, I've even been earning more network certs, and even learning Japanese and Mandarin, just in the hopes of looking attractive to potential employers. I've got former co-workers talking me up to recruiters, and trying to pass on leads,, but nada. I'm even a certified welder (stick/MIG up to 1 inch), but I HATE it, and I'm terrible at it.

All the jobs search agents I run, and all the looking I do show TONs of jobs that I'm more than qualified for, but they all require TS/SCI and POLYGRAPH.


I'm pretty much screwed on being to get a clearance, unless I can get a job that eventually would pay for me to get a clearance. And I'm 38, so I'm too damned old to enlist in the Navy or Army (Signal Corps or upgrading networks on surface fleet).

Anybody know of anything I can do? I can't get the DUI expunged for at least 4 more years (or can bribe the judge).


EDIT:

I've also applied at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Charter, Comcast, Local Hospitals, some of the Data Center/CoLocations in Suwanee, and nada. I'm about ready to say "F*** Cisco", and take one of the dozens of Jobs at HUAWEI USA. Hell, at this point, I', will to move to Japan, China, wherever I can find a good paying job.
Hz so good
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 542
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:08 pm

Re: Issues that prevent one from getting a TS/SCI

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:30 am

It won't necessarily preclude you from getting a clearance, but you need to be upfront about it with any prospective employers. A felony record can make the process take longer, which can mean more cost to the prospective employer. It'll be up to them if they want to pursue it at that point. Be sure to ask people you intend on providing as personal references. It's not a requirement, but is generally taboo not to ask. Also, don't think the investigator won't talk to people you don't include on your list. They are legally allowed to talk to anyone you may associate with.

Usually a single instance can be overlooked, particularly if the explanation is plausible. They look more for patterns that could potentially cause problems.
curtisb
Gerbil
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:27 pm

Re: Issues that prevent one from getting a TS/SCI

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:06 am

I'm not sure about any issues it may cause with visas, but I know many if not most Canadian employers wouldn't give a crap about the DUI, .04 is a slap on the wrist here until the 3rd time. Fairly certain you could even get a job that requires criminal record check, they would just need to know you hadn't been convicted of theft, fraud etc.
captaintrav
Gerbil
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:51 pm
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

Re: Issues that prevent one from getting a TS/SCI

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:45 am

First, SCI is not a clearance level. You are looking for a SSBI, which will get you eligible for a TS. Which point you can be read into other programs.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_Sco ... estigation

The key is not not lie. If you lie, it's more likely to get your application for a clearance (after said investigation) rejected (not adjudicated). I know people who have had said issues and they have lost their clearances after the fact, but they had many other issues, too. If you have a long-standing reputation you may have a chance still. But financial issues, really bad credit, drug problems, etc will ruin it because you can be made a target of by the "bad guys." Working in your favor is it's not a fellony.

They primary issue for you would be getting a company to hire you and pay for it. As far as I can tell, you can't just go "buy one." You would have to apply to a company who would then pay for it. That's going to be your greatest challange. If you're willing to work overseas, that may help your chances of a company taking a chance. Check out clearancejobs.com.
Losergamer04
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:01 am

Re: Issues that prevent one from getting a TS/SCI

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:21 am

Losergamer04 wrote:They primary issue for you would be getting a company to hire you and pay for it. As far as I can tell, you can't just go "buy one." You would have to apply to a company who would then pay for it. That's going to be your greatest challange. If you're willing to work overseas, that may help your chances of a company taking a chance. Check out clearancejobs.com.

Yeah, my understanding is that your employer (or possibly a customer of your employer?) must sponsor you for the clearance. When you leave that employer the clearance goes inactive, but can be re-activated by your next employer.

Misdemeanor DUI should not disqualify you out of hand, but they will ask a lot of questions. Be honest and up-front about everything, the worst thing you can do is get caught in a lie.
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37677
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Issues that prevent one from getting a TS/SCI

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:53 am

just brew it! wrote:
Losergamer04 wrote:They primary issue for you would be getting a company to hire you and pay for it. As far as I can tell, you can't just go "buy one." You would have to apply to a company who would then pay for it. That's going to be your greatest challange. If you're willing to work overseas, that may help your chances of a company taking a chance. Check out clearancejobs.com.

Yeah, my understanding is that your employer (or possibly a customer of your employer?) must sponsor you for the clearance. When you leave that employer the clearance goes inactive, but can be re-activated by your next employer.

Misdemeanor DUI should not disqualify you out of hand, but they will ask a lot of questions. Be honest and up-front about everything, the worst thing you can do is get caught in a lie.

Yeah, that's one of my major regrets about being the only guy in my family who didn't join the military, since ALL my male relatives have TS clearances. They were "less than encouraging" when I asked about how the DUI would screw things up, mainly since it's easier for companies to find somebody witha clearance, and teach them a job, than it it is to find someone qualified like me, but risk the $80K+ to run me through the background checks.

And thankfully, besides that misdemeanor DUI, my records pretty clean, and my life has been pretty boring, so there's not really anything to lie about.
Hz so good
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 542
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:08 pm

Re: Issues that prevent one from getting a TS/SCI

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:07 pm

Okay, to clarify the clearance that the employers are asking for is threefold. TS/SCI w/Poly means 1) Top Secret, 2) Secure Compartmentalized Information and 3) taking the polygraph. Each of these is one more step up on the clearance ladder. The police force that protects the compounds have TS clearance because they have to go everywhere, but they (probably) don't have SCI because they have no need to see the details of any operation. There is a bunch of stuff that is not compartmentalized (in fact, the vast majority of it). They just need to keep the compound secure. The SCI level lets people see the uber nifty things that is sensitive enough that they need to be very careful about the number of people who have access. Finally there is the polygraph, which pretty much narrows down your customer list. Some agencies/departments/organizations/bureaus require a polygraph, some do not. Having it qualifies you for just about all of 'em.

The good news is that the clearance process, including the polygraph, are not looking for perfect and/or boring people. The best description I have heard about the process went "They are not looking for perfect people. There was only one perfect person, he died 2000 years ago and he doesn't want the job, so we can't use him. What they are looking for is trustworthy people."

A DUI will not disqualify you from a position of trust. Embezzlement. Now that will disqualify you immediately. As will major plagiarism, fraud, certain areas of the tax laws, extra marital affairs, insider trading and a few other things. The common theme is that if you abuse your position of trust, they're really unlikely to put you in a position where they trust you with valuable information. That said, the other thing they are looking for is leverage. Guilty secrets, severe financial debts, mistresses, closet homosexuality, etc. They're looking for vulnerabilities that could be used against you to make you violate the trust of your position. A single DUI several years ago is a mistake. Several DUIs is a condition and that can be used against you. Note: The exact list of what they're looking for and what disqualifies you is a secret, so the above is conjecture drawn from first principles.

Okay, that's all the good news. The bad news is that it is really difficult to get a clearance these days. It has never been especially easy, but it has gotten worse of late. The clearance process that they're looking for is about a year long. If the company is going to sponsor your clearance, they need assurances that they're going to get their investment back. It used to be the way this happened was that you would work for the company and show you were a valuable/loyal employee. The company would approach you about the cleared position and if you said yes, they would start the process while you did other work for them. When the clearance came through, you would transfer to a cleared contract. (As an aside, this explains why companies love to hire out of the federal agencies. They're already cleared and can start fulfilling contract roles immediately) With this long lead time in place for the clearance and a scarcity of jobs for non-cleared personnel to perform while waiting for the process to complete... it's a rough market. My old company (oh yeah, new job for me!) had a policy of not hiring people but sponsoring them for a clearance. They would continue to work at whatever job they had (one guy was giving tours at the Smithsonian for nearly two years) until the clearance came through. If/when it did, the company would give them an offer letter with the clearance attached. If you didn't take the job offer, you didn't get the clearance. (This is not actually shady. The company owns your clearance, not you. When you switch companies, they transfer the clearance to the new company.)

Hz so good wrote:the only guy in my family who didn't join the military, since ALL my male relatives have TS clearances. They were "less than encouraging" when I asked about how the DUI would screw things up
To be fair, all of your male relatives were in the military where a DUI has severe consequences. Their perspective is a little off from the civilian marketplace.

just brew it! wrote:Yeah, my understanding is that your employer (or possibly a customer of your employer?) must sponsor you for the clearance. When you leave that employer the clearance goes inactive, but can be re-activated by your next employer.
Yes and no. As I mentioned above, your company owns the clearance. If you leave the company without a place to go, the company holds on to it and your clearance becomes inactive until you find a new cleared position. At that point, they transfer the clearance to the new company. The sponsor program is twofold: The company not only must sponsor you for the clearance, but they have to have a cleared position they're trying to fill when they start the process. A company doesn't just tell the gov't "Yeah, we want another six cleared people, just in case." Usually, they put a cleared person in that position by the time the process is complete, but by that point another position is usually open that is similar enough to make it work.

I know jobs are scarce out there, but see if you can land something where they are looking for a Public Trust certification. It's basically a light background check, but it is much faster to get one than the TS/SCI stuff. It would look good on the resume and possibly help with applying for the clearance sponsorship. It's a standard requirement for a lot of federal jobs (Census Bureau, HHS, HUD, etc.)
If there is one thing a remote-controlled, silent and unseeable surveillance/killing machine needs, it’s more whimsy. -- Marcus
Darkmage
Darth Gerbil
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 7371
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 9:44 am
Location: Hell, Virginia

Re: Issues that prevent one from getting a TS/SCI

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:46 pm

Probably what you're running into as much as anything is that vast swaths of the country aren't hiring anyone for anything, and HR makes up excuses to keep themselves employed churning through lots of candidates for phantom jobs. I ran into that when I was unemployed from 08-10...they'd fly me out for an interview, get a "we found someone more experienced" letter in the mail, and the job is reposted on the job sites Monday morning.
NovusBogus
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 512
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:37 am

Re: Issues that prevent one from getting a TS/SCI

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:03 pm

Let's clarify the w/poly portion a bit further. That polygraph is nothing more than a baseline test. So just don't lie. NOTE: Except when told to by the polygrapher. ;)

I was able to obtain a TS/SCI w/poly in the military, heck, I was able to get into the military after having admitted to smoking pot prior to service.

So, don't be discourage. If the right job comes along and the right employer sees your potential for his/her company, everything will be good to go.

Lastly, usajobs.gov for those hard to find government jobs.
stratagem
Gerbil
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:38 pm

Re: Issues that prevent one from getting a TS/SCI

Postposted on Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:22 am

NovusBogus wrote:Probably what you're running into as much as anything is that vast swaths of the country aren't hiring anyone for anything, and HR makes up excuses to keep themselves employed churning through lots of candidates for phantom jobs. I ran into that when I was unemployed from 08-10...they'd fly me out for an interview, get a "we found someone more experienced" letter in the mail, and the job is reposted on the job sites Monday morning.

If they flew you out for an interview they were either pretty serious, or (if your theory is true) seriously stupid. That costs a lot of money.
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37677
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Issues that prevent one from getting a TS/SCI

Postposted on Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:45 am

I wanted to get a source before I said anything, but it's not $80K.
http://fedcas.com/the-real-cost-of-security-clearances/
http://clearancejobsblog.com/cost-of-se ... tigations/

You have to remember that most contracts that people work "on-site" are service contracts, where they bill the government for every hour you work. They are not making money if a seat is empty on those contrats. If you have the skills needed, and they are lacking people, that money may just be worth it to them, especially if it's in an undesirable location or has a lot of travel to said locations.
Losergamer04
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:01 am

Re: Issues that prevent one from getting a TS/SCI

Postposted on Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:53 am

stratagem wrote:Let's clarify the w/poly portion a bit further. That polygraph is nothing more than a baseline test. So just don't lie. NOTE: Except when told to by the polygrapher. ;)

I was able to obtain a TS/SCI w/poly in the military, heck, I was able to get into the military after having admitted to smoking pot prior to service.

So, don't be discourage. If the right job comes along and the right employer sees your potential for his/her company, everything will be good to go.

Lastly, usajobs.gov for those hard to find government jobs.


A poly is only requried when you work in certian areas, like intel. They are NOT required and are NOT part of the normal process for an SSBI.
Losergamer04
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:01 am

Re: Issues that prevent one from getting a TS/SCI

Postposted on Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:20 am

Hz so good wrote:Right now, I'm having an incredibly difficult time finding full-time work. I'm a certified network engineer, support pro for a MAJOR telcom equipment manufacturer, I've even been earning more network certs, and even learning Japanese and Mandarin, just in the hopes of looking attractive to potential employers. I've got former co-workers talking me up to recruiters, and trying to pass on leads, but nada.


I feel your pain. I've been looking for a new position since January, and I've only gotten a few nibbles. (As a side note, I'm on the market if anyone is interested. :) ) I'm about four weeks away from hitting the six month mark, and I'll have to figure out why I'm unhirable/go into desperation mode.
Flatland_Spider
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2004 8:33 pm
Location: The 918/539

Re: Issues that prevent one from getting a TS/SCI

Postposted on Thu May 01, 2014 10:04 am

Just don't lie to them and you'll be fine. Also, be upfront that you're not embarrassed by it - anyone that asks needs to be able to know. Being able to be blackmailed is more what they're worried about than anything else (aside from the obvious trustworthiness metric).

Also, don't even think of doing drugs in the time preceding. Usage in the near past is far more likely to get you rejected than usage in the distant past.


EDIT: Short story version - nothing you listed so far precludes you from receiving a clearance.
Z68XP-UD4 | 2700K @ 4.4 GHz | 16 GB | 770 | PCP&C Silencer 950 | XSPC RX360 | Heatkiller R3 | D5 + RP-452X2 | HAF 932 | 1 TB WD Black w/ SRT
Waco
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 746
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:14 pm


Return to The Back Porch

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests