Mixed Signals on Clearance Prospects

General Discussion for SMART Scholarship Recipients
human234895
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Mixed Signals on Clearance Prospects

Post by human234895 »

I'm getting cold feet as I contemplate whether or not to accept the award. My main concern is the fear of being forced to repay the scholarship if I can't get a clearance, something I simply can't afford. I've received a lot of mixed signals about the process and what will/will not be a disqualifying concern for investigators. My offered facility requires a TS/SCI so the bar is about as high as it gets.

The problem: I went through a rough period in the middle of my undergrad and started partying quite a bit. I had never drank before so I didn't really know what I was doing. To keep things short, one night things got weird and out of control, and I wound up having what I would describe as a "severe incident" while intoxicated. No police were involved and nobody got hurt, but unfortunately either could have theoretically happened - I just kinda got lucky. That was a little under three years ago. It scared me straight right quick, and I took steps to make sure that it could never happen again and to improve my relationship with alcohol more generally. I soon settled into a much more proper "adult" relationship with alcohol but later felt compelled to continue further removing it from my life for religious reasons. I am completely confident that alcohol is no longer an issue in my life, but I also understand that it will come up during the clearance process, and I have to answer to my past mistakes. I'm pretty squeaky clean other than that. Haven't torrented media in a long time, never tried drugs, never been in a fight, don't know a ton of foreign nationals, no money issues, so on and so forth.

I've heard a lot of mixed signals about the clearance process. People with multiple DUIs getting clearances, fights, drug use, money problems, etc. I've also had people insist that it's extremely rigorous and that I don't have a chance, so I just don't know what to do. I'm not going to accept the award if I have no chance of getting cleared because that would be an unnecessary burden to both myself and the SF. Any thoughts? Stories about going into the clearance process with some baggage you've recovered from?

Guest

Re: Mixed Signals on Clearance Prospects

Post by Guest »

Are you saying you just got really drunk once?

If so, I think you're fine.

rerathar

Re: Mixed Signals on Clearance Prospects

Post by rerathar »

If the police weren't involved and no one got hurt, you'll be fine.

Really

Re: Mixed Signals on Clearance Prospects

Post by Really »

I can't tell if this is a joke post or not. The clearance process isn't about making sure you've never done anything wrong in your life. It's about making sure you aren't going to give away government secrets, either because you're broke, able to be blackmailed, or otherwise invested in a foreign country.

If they disqualified people for getting drunk in college, there'd be a whole lot less people working for the government.

human234895
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Re: Mixed Signals on Clearance Prospects

Post by human234895 »

Really wrote:I can't tell if this is a joke post or not. The clearance process isn't about making sure you've never done anything wrong in your life. It's about making sure you aren't going to give away government secrets, either because you're broke, able to be blackmailed, or otherwise invested in a foreign country.

If they disqualified people for getting drunk in college, there'd be a whole lot less people working for the government.
No, it's not. I've been very nervous because it all just seems so intimidating. It didn't really hit me until I got the offer. I discussed it with my POC at the SF as well as my advisor who holds a clearance, and I've been encouraged to continue on with the process. Thank you, everybody, for the input!

shh_secret_clearance

Re: Mixed Signals on Clearance Prospects

Post by shh_secret_clearance »

I did that at a company picnic as a govt employee...was an interesting day, thought I was being chased by a t-rex.

Long story short, I later got the scholarship and a promotion.

So hey, if they thought I was "SMART" or "cleared", you'll be just fine. I wouldn't take the scholarship, but for other reasons.

Mostly because the govt is better at dragging you out of hiding in a corner than a t-rex, and about as friendly when they do.

Xristos_317
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Location: NSWC - Crane (Crane, Indiana)
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Re: Mixed Signals on Clearance Prospects

Post by Xristos_317 »

A few responses:

1. If you are denied clearance because of something you are upfront about and don't try to hide it or lie, you do not pay back any money. You are removed from the program and that's it. I received this in writing from my SF before accepting my award, because I was legitimately concerned about receiving a clearance (I thought I had a 50/50 chance).

2. I also agree, you will probably be fine. I agree with "Really." It doesn't seem like you understand the clearance process. It is as they stated about your trustworthiness and allegiance, particularly when it comes to the ability for someone to blackmail or bribe you. I have an extensive history of a wide variety of drug use, lots of illegal pirating of material, many foreign connections from China, Israel, and Pakistan from my time working in private industry, and I've traveled to some fairly sketchy places. I was upfront about everything, provided all the information they needed and was completely honest. I was denied an interim clearance, because they wanted to do a full background check before approving me for a clearance, but I eventually was approved. This did include me stopping my drug use, which had tapered off the last couple of years before I applied besides marijuana (which is legal in my state). I was not able to complete an internship my first summer in the program (I have 4 years of funding), but they paid me for 20 months before deciding to approve me for clearance.

human234895
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Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 12:46 pm
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Re: Mixed Signals on Clearance Prospects

Post by human234895 »

Xristos_317 wrote:A few responses:

1. If you are denied clearance because of something you are upfront about and don't try to hide it or lie, you do not pay back any money. You are removed from the program and that's it. I received this in writing from my SF before accepting my award, because I was legitimately concerned about receiving a clearance (I thought I had a 50/50 chance).

2. I also agree, you will probably be fine. I agree with "Really." It doesn't seem like you understand the clearance process. It is as they stated about your trustworthiness and allegiance, particularly when it comes to the ability for someone to blackmail or bribe you. I have an extensive history of a wide variety of drug use, lots of illegal pirating of material, many foreign connections from China, Israel, and Pakistan from my time working in private industry, and I've traveled to some fairly sketchy places. I was upfront about everything, provided all the information they needed and was completely honest. I was denied an interim clearance, because they wanted to do a full background check before approving me for a clearance, but I eventually was approved. This did include me stopping my drug use, which had tapered off the last couple of years before I applied besides marijuana (which is legal in my state). I was not able to complete an internship my first summer in the program (I have 4 years of funding), but they paid me for 20 months before deciding to approve me for clearance.
Thanks for your response. The insight helps a lot! Yeah I really don't know much about the process. I have every intention to be forthcoming. Hell, I already told my prospective boss about it, so it's not like it's a secret. Going back a few years in the past on this forum you start to see a lot of sketchy stuff about SMART's debt collection practices, so it's gotten me pretty nervous. I'll see if my SF will be willing to make a similar statement in writing before I make the "final" acceptance after the site visit.

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