Security clearance?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Sampia, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. Sampia

    Sampia Member

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    I have looked up about this but I'm a bit confused. My DS recently had to do the paperwork for a security clearance in the NROTC, Marine option. He has me a bit nervous. He told me people may show up at my house to interview me about him. I have visions of the "men in Black" coming to my door. LOL. What I'm really worried about, is not having my house clean enough if they do show up. Or my German Shepard giving them a sloppy kiss. Will people really come to interview me? Would they set an appointment or just come knock on my door? I know there are different levels of clearance, but I don't know the process for them and I assume his would not be the top one because he's not planning on being on a nuclear sub or a pilot. If someone can set my anxiety to rest I would appreciate it. If there is a chance that someone will come by my house, I'm going to have to wear decent clothes every day! Goodbye sweats!
     
  2. Akrogan

    Akrogan Member

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    I wouldn't worry whatsoever...I receieve d an Air Force ROTC scholarship and there were none of these shenanigans...even so Federal agents have much more to worry about than what your house looks like/how you're dressed.

    Probably just a background check, very very low chance of anyone coming.

    Best of luck to your son.
     
  3. rocatlin

    rocatlin Member

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    His CORTRAMID cruise could have him on a nuclear sub, hence the main request for this initial clearance.

    I've actually had to be interviewed by FBI, etc. for an employee I had that was a Major in the AF reserve -- in order for her to keep her clearance. I actually don't remember having an appointment with the guy.

    Others may be interviewed as well. It shouldn't be all that painful, though.
     
  4. rocatlin

    rocatlin Member

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    Further info, here is what one of the references state:

    Student Security Clearances.

    Per SECNAV M-5510.30B, a National Agency Check with Local Agency Check and Credit Checks (NACLC) is required for each NROTC candidate before appointment. It is paramount that all clearance issues are resolved and the NACLC completed well before the approach of commissioning.
    Additionally, per summer training guidance provided in the annual NSTCNOTE 1530, all midshipmen should have a satisfactorily completed National Agency Check (NAC), one portion of the NACLC, and be granted a SECRET clearance prior to departing for summer training.
     
  5. ginko

    ginko Member

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    I was interviewed by the investigative services for a former student. It was surreal. I was pulled out of the middle of class into the hall and questioned for some time. This process should put you at ease because the military is trying to ensure they have the right person for an extremely important defense position. The condition of your house does not matter. Also, they will probably not talk to you about your son. They will talk to objective acquaintances. If you are ever interviewed, please be honest and forthcoming.
     
  6. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    I wouldn't stress. For my clearance, I don't believe anyone I had listed on there was contacted for an interview. I did have an interview with a special agent from OPM just to review all of my paperwork, but that was it. Nothing to sweat over
     
  7. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    The security clearance process can go in different directions, depending on what type of clearance your son is being considered for. All officers commissioned in the military require a SECRET clearance. The process for this usually begins when someone in ROTC is contracted as a cadet, and it is not invasive at all. It involves some paperwork online, a background check, and maybe a meeting with an investigator from OPM to go over any issues or concerns. This is an incredibly routine process and your son has nothing to worry about as long as he is truthful.

    Some people in the military require a higher clearance level in order to perform their duties. This includes a good number of cadets who are selected to work in fields like intelligence or nuclear weapons, which require access to TOP SECRET//SCI information as well as various Special Access Programs. The process for a TS//SCI clearance is much more in-depth and will require government investigators to meet with friends, family, teachers, etc. It's hardly a "men in black" experience. I went through this process and my parents had a lot of the same concerns as you. But the fact is that these investigators do this for a living and they are not there to judge you or your family. They are simply there to assess whether or not your son can be trusted with sensitive government information. They want to know if he was truthful in his interview/application process, they want to know if he has ever expressed any anti-government sentiments, and whether or not he has anything in his personal life (excessive alcohol/drug use, gambling, debt, foreign contacts) that could make him a higher risk for exploitation by foreign intelligence services.

    I hope this sheds some light!
     
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  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree with Nick. The Men in Black situation occurs for the TS not the secret. They do not go through that clearance until they have their career fields, at the earliest.
    ~ Our DS was AFROTC scholarship, he had the secret as a cadet and got the TS as a rising senior.
    ~~~ The paperwork is @70 pages. They will interview 3 people and the interview will take 30-45 minutes. They will ask about drugs, alcohol and police incidents.

    The reason they do the TS later on is for various reasons, but three big reasons are:
    1. As Nick stated not everyone needs a TS
    2. It is only valid for five years.
    ~ If they gave a TS to every cadet, than in 5 years, basically for many ,that would mean starting to renew it by the time they graduated.
    3. TS clearances cost thousands of dollars. I am not positive about how much, but I seem to recall 5-10k. A TS takes about 6 months to complete.

    Think of a Security clearance and a TS clearance like applying for credit.
    The security clearance is like opening a credit card at a department store....can complete very quickly. The TS clearance is like applying for a mortgage, they are going to look much deeper and you will have to provide more background information.

    A piece of advice...keep all of the paperwork because when and if he goes up for a TS because he will have to place all of the dates down again.

    Bullet (my DH) always keeps his paperwork. He just went through it for the fifth time last year, by the time he retires from his GS job he will have gone through it @8 times (4 AF, 4 GS). Our DS has kept his too and he hand carried it with him when he PCSd to UPT and when he carried it with him when he moved this past July and will be hand carrying it to his OPs base this month.
     
  9. Sampia

    Sampia Member

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    Thank you all very much for your replies. My DS takes everything in stride. A hobby of mine is creative writing, thus my mind tends to fly over scenarios. Now I can keep fact separate from fiction!
     
  10. Basketcase

    Basketcase Proud mom of 2019 hopeful

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    I have to chime in, as I had one of these "visits" just the other day. I live near a high security agency and everyone working there needs a security clearance of some level. So several times I have had an investigator show up at my door to ask questions about a neighbor, acquaintance, etc. They are normally in a suit, and show their ID right away. So while I know many here have gone over the "why" about this, I just wanted to let you know that if they do come to talk to you it is no big deal. They don't usually go to parents or spouses, because their opinion would be biased. But I do know my mom was questioned about my DH once. (I guess they figure a Mother In Law would be a good source!) So in other words, no worries, no big deal.
     
  11. MomWPgirl

    MomWPgirl Member

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    "They don't usually go to parents or spouses, because their opinion would be biased." Agree with Basketcase. I have 2 kids with TS and I was never contacted. They did however contact some pretty obscure acquaintances of my kids. My neighbors notified me they were questioned. Of course, my neighbors freaked out a bit.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    OBTW, I am not sure if they would ever interview anyways. I can't recall for sure, but at least for TS, family members are not suppose to be included.
    ~ I can't swear by it....it could be Bullet never placed family on his list.

    Our DS because he was a military brat was given an exception. There are specific directions on people that are allowed, and somewhere in those directions due to the fact that we had moved only two years earlier from another state, he was allowed to use us. He was in college OOS when we moved, thus he had no references from his home of record.
    ~ Nick probably can correct me on that.

    They did phone interviews with his other two references (both were in NC, we live in VA)

    The type of questions asked are why I believe they do not want family members....drug, alcohol, gambling, police, etc. might not be answered truthfully or maybe shaded in the severity by a parent.

    They were at my home for a solid 30 minutes. DS actually had left time spans open and that was where they spent time. As a military brat it is common that the spouse and children might move back home while the AD member is attending a long term training between moves. We did this three times. DS when filling out the paperwork asked me for dates regarding his Dads assignments and that created the gap.
    IE we left England in 93 when he was 3, but moved to NC in June. Left NC in June 95, but showed up in AK in Jan 96. Left KS in May 02, moved to VA in Aug.

    They wanted to know where he was at during those months! Comical, I know, but that is how in depth they will go for a TS. I almost felt like saying we left him in England to fend for himself! Didn't, but I did feel like saying are you seriously asking about gaps regarding where he lived when he was not even 3?

    As a Mom, they did ask me every which way from Sunday about alcohol (underage drinking), drugs and police incidents. Never back to back and never the same way. I remember talking to my DS and he said, Yeah, that was like the paperwork. I.E.page 10 asked if I have smoked marijuana, page 15 asked if I ever used any illegal drugs. (paraphrasing)
    ~ The reason why is they are checking to see if it all matches up. Same with the references because now they are going to see if they match up with the cadet....hence why it takes months to get the clearance done. It is a lot of cross referencing, and if one aspect doesn't gel than they have to go back and see why.

    Xposted with MomWP. So I guess my original assumption was correct....nobody is coming to your home,

    OBTW, I hope your DS when he placed them as references gave those people a cranium up to expect at the very least a phone call. Than again, I doubt they are doing the TS, just the SECRET. Like I said, in that case it is a quick glance to make sure that there aren't glaring problems for the future if he needs a TS. IE...got a citation for underage drinking.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Basketcase, and MomWP, you made me laugh.

    I was dating Bullet and he had placed on his TS paperwork that I was his fiance. (We weren't engaged yet). I was in college and after a class my Prof took me aside. He said Pima, I received a call today from someone in the govt. Wanting to know what type of student you were, and friendships, specifically if I know someone named Bullet.

    To this day, the only thing we could figure out is Bullet placed me as a reference, but listed me as a fiance, thus they called him instead.

    My Mom, Bullets MIL has also been contacted. He completed his last one last spring and they showed up at her home. I agree, MILs are probably more candid than any parent would ever be with an investigator. My Mom laughed because she lives in a very large gated Adult community(1509 homes) She asked if she would prefer to do a phone interview instead of driving to her home. The agents response was no, I actually have three more interviews to do in your community.
    ~ Funnier was she than asked directions to the homes from her house. As large as the community it is small. She knew where the next person lived for directions, but didn't know the owners. The next day at water aerobics someone in the class said, so you got visited yesterday too!
    ~~~ Mom was taken aback and asked how did you know? She said so and so is my neighbor and the agent said she just came from your house...I said I think that is your house.

    My Mom was floored....what were the chances that someone knew someone that knew someone in a community of 1500 homes?. They have become acquaintances now because both their SILs are AF, but both their SILs led a very different career, so that is all they have in common. Bullet flew fighters and works in DC as a GS, theirs was Intel and works in CA.

    For Sampia and lurkers, these MILS live in NJ.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  14. afrotc16

    afrotc16 Member

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    FYI, when stating where you've lived on the paperwork, it isn't just your permanent address, it's where you actually lived. So if you live on campus at school, it counts as one place of residence, and then going back home for the summer is another, and going back to school is another. I had just put down my permanent address and the OPM investigator said they want to know where you actually were, so be sure to put down school addresses. They were very nice and professional and basically just asked for clarifications on the paperwork, so it shouldn't be a worry.
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Agreed! It is very detailed! No wholes!.

    OBTW, our DS was cleared before he was cleared for his FAA flight medical.

    I would not worry about it all. Its a pain, but unless there is some police/alcohol drug issue it is just 30 minutes of talking about them!

    Marijuana use, than it becomes a different story.
    ~ IE they state 3 times on the scholarship SECRET clearance, but state 4 times on the TS clearance it will raise a red flag.
    ~~ Underage drinking on the DoDMERB exam, but yes on the TS again a red flag.

    That is what is needed to be understood. They will have access to everything...from credit history to paperwork that the mi!itary has on record.
    ~~ One poster pmd me and said they now also search social media....don't know if that is true or not, but I wouldn't be shocked if they did.

    HINT: POSTERS that use their name ...change it now!
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  16. HorseHolder

    HorseHolder Member

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    Don't know that it adds much new info to this thread, but it's kind of an amusing story...

    DD graduated and commissioned in June of 2014 (AROTC). Since she branched Military Intelligence, she needed a Top Secret security clearance, and the process was started before she graduated.

    I got a call on my cell phone one day last spring from someone whose name I didn't catch asking to interview me re her clearance. We agreed to meet at a local Starbucks. I showed up, picked out someone who looked official, and we exchanged greetings. He showed me his badge - at which time something about his name registered but didn't connect. We proceeded through the interview which was quite thorough - he asked me for additional neighborhood/hometown references for her, and I worked my cell phone contact list to come up with as many as he wanted as well as their contact information. At one point, as part of the back and forth, he said something about his son who was finishing community college and continuing on to a four year school in the fall - and, BAM, the thing that had not connected when I saw his badge suddenly clicked. I said "Oh! You're Johnny Long_unusal_lastname's father!" Turned out that our sons played on the same community college soccer team, and I recognized him as having been one of the more faithful team supporters - although he always kind of stood off by himself at the games - nature of his job, maybe?!

    The whole family got a kick out of the coincidence, and the TS clearance process proceeded on to a successful conclusion. The neighbors/hometown acquaintances (some of whom were not particularly close) whose names I had given did get visited, and I think the investigator even came back and asked us for additional contacts.
     
  17. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Men in Black? More like fat guy in pleated khakis. The interview process is quite boring and you will likely not even want to tell your friends about it. The investigator will contact you, meet with you, show you his or her badge and credentials, and begin a series of mind-numbing questions. Most will be administrative, though a few will focus on "trustworthiness" and whether they've exhibited warning signs (unexplained frequent foreign travel, financial hardships, etc.).

    OPM does not search social media. For one, it doesn't tell them anything much, and secondly it's a huge undertaking for which they're not equipped, manned, or budgeted. Imagine the effort alone in trying to figure out which Matthew Jones on social media is the right one?
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Scout,

    As I stated, that was something a poster pmd me and was unsure if it was true. I tend to err on the side of precaution....probably the parent in me, or maybe my age!

    I put it out there because the OPs DS is doing just the ROTC clearance. Many ROTC cadets will also do an internship in college.

    I have two children that did internships in college. My ROTC child interned for a Senator on the Hill. My. DD, not ROTC, interned for Make A Wish National HQ. Both had security background checks and both later on found out that they did look into social media.
    ~ Both found out by off the cuff remarks made within the fist few days. Both being shocked by the comment made asked how did they know that? Easy was the reply....your FB account might be locked, but your friends that tagged you weren't!

    That is why I stated what I did. It really isn't hard to find someone on social media unless your name is something like Matthew Jones living in NYC. However, even a Matthew Jones living in NYC would have some type of detail that can be added in to refine the search, such as their college or the ROTC unit they belong to currently. Google is amazing! I bet if you Googled your name and let's say WP, stuff would come up. Google my name and Facebook, linkedin, previous jobs where I was on their directory come up. This site or collegeconfidential.com would never show up. Why? Simply because my moniker has absolutely nothing to do with my name.
    ~ For me, due to my age it would be down right boring, but these are college kids. They tend to post things that might not be a smart decision.

    Again, my comment was just a gentle reminder to posters and lurkers don't use your real name. This site even supports that position.
    That was where my intentions were coming from.
     
  19. Been There

    Been There New Member

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    If you are getting a secret or top secret clearance they will not come to your house. They most likely will visit your neighbors and ask about you, your habits. To find out if you are a radical, use drugs, political affiliations etc. I had a top secret security clearance a number of years ago as I used to work for a company that has military contracts. for projects the public does not know about. They will contact your boss if you have a job, neighbors, depending on your age teachers, work bosses etc. You will never see the men in black that are examining your life. One thing that will happen is that they will not tell your neighbors why they are asking about you and your neighbors will most likely think that the reason is that you have done something wrong and committed some kind of crime.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  20. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    I am a bit familair with the process..... as said earlier just mind numbing. Also will ask about finances... Do your finances suggest you would be willing to take a bribe??? OPM not FBI or Men in Black. To my understanding OPM is just a subcontractor. And as someone said give the neighbors a heads up as thay usually hit neighbors if anyone.
     

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