SF86 Illegal Activities Question...

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by jeff7777, Apr 21, 2016.

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  1. jeff7777

    jeff7777 New Member

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    I've heard people talk about listing all illegal activities one has ever done that were not known to the police on the SF86 form. I've also heard someone say this is not needed unless you were caught by the police with an arrest or conviction. For example, someone may have illegally downloaded copyrighted material online or not reported a slight scrape against someone's car in a parking lot.

    Does the SF86 require voluntary disclosure of all illegal activities for which there is no proof at all? I am referring to non drug related items.

    This seems to be a copy of the SF86 form: https://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/sf86.pdf
     
  2. Texanboxer

    Texanboxer Member

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    Piggybacking, What if you HAD done illegal drugs/alcohol? I'll admit that I drink with my parents, will that get me DQ'd? If not, what's the limit? Never had any citations, but what if I smoked dope at a party, or used to be a meth addict who turned my life around in time? What then?
     
  3. MMA19kid

    MMA19kid Member

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    As someone who has gone through the SF-86 process and obtained a "Secret" Clearance by the OPM (Office of Personnel Management), you will be asked to self report any instances of underage alcohol consumption, any illegal drug consumption, etc. It's pretty thorough honestly and a pain in the rear to get done.
     
  4. TPIAD

    TPIAD Member

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    I will probably get in a lot of trouble for saying this: don't voluntarily admit anything. If it isn't on your record, it never happened. I really appreciate that ya'll want to do the right thing, but don't incriminate yourselves. If you've smoked weed in HS, don't admit it. If you drank underage, don't admit it. Move forward with a clean slate and stop doing those things now. Being honorable isn't worth having your application denied, because there are no sympathy points for honor. Like I said, I know this is the WRONG thing to say, I know as a cadet I should be honorable and all that, but I hate to say it but that is not how West Point works. If it isn't on your record, it never happened. Self admitting to things that you didn't get convicted of will only hurt you when there is no need.

    On top of that, there are a number of ****bag cadets who abuse drugs and drink underage. There's practically an alcohol board for underage drinking every month. There's more of an issue with drugs then you'd probably imagine, cadets get kicked out coming back from leave and popping hot on a piss test frequently. I tell you this not to disparage USMA, but to frame your concern. There is a large group, dare I say majority, who might have abused drugs or drank in HS. It's too common these days to avoid. As long as you realize who you'll represent as a cadet and stop those activities now, I would say don't self admit. Most of the cadets here did that. The reality is no one is perfect, despite how bad USMA would like us to be, and that everyone has messed up before. If we all self reported each time we broke the law on our application many of us might not be here. If nobody self reports, then reporting will only hurt you.

    Food for thought, feel free to disagree. I just want to lay out my opinion for consideration.
     
  5. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    Just out of curiosity - didn't you answer these questions as part of the application process?

    I realize the SF86 is another level. Everyone will have to make their own decisions. I would suggest if you have tried marijuana once or have consumed alcohol, you definitely should declare it. (I don't completely disagree with TPIAD). If you don't declare it now (especially the illegal drugs), you are going to be asked again when both the Honor Code and the UCMJ apply (not to the usage but to whether or not you are lying on a government form). If you have repeatedly used drugs and alcohol, you're going to have a problem at some point. Being truthful may cost you your appointment (I have no way of knowing how forgiving they are or what the magic number is)

    How rampant drug use is at SAs is debatable. I was one of the very naïve and assumed no one had or ever would, and I was shocked to find out who had and who did (there is a drug scandal every few years and it rotates from one SA to another)

    The security clearance process is more about honesty and integrity than it is about who has done what. (if you are a repeat offender and declare it - it may cost you your appointment - yes I repeated that). The military is keenly aware that all its members are are not all saints (and some saints were tremendous sinners before becoming saints)

    Your word is your bond - especially as an officer in the US Military. If you are filling out the SF86, you have accepted an appointment and are now at least quasi a member/property of the US military and one of your first questions is should I do the honorable thing or not? Only you are likely to know if you told the truth or not.

    You are responsible for your actions. You will hear countless times - 'suck it up and take the hit' (or some variation)

    So again, I understand TPIAD's argument, but your signature means you are telling everyone you answered it truthfully and to the best of your knowledge and that is part of what being an officer is about.
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    "If it isn't on your record".....

    Except that they may talk to friends or friends of friends or people who just knew you.... And those people may be less concerned about covering for you and more concerned about not lying....
     
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  7. jeff7777

    jeff7777 New Member

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    Yes, I saw this on the forum, but what about non drug illegal activities?
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Like?
     
  9. jeff7777

    jeff7777 New Member

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    Two possible examples I gave were downloading copyrighted material online or not reporting a slight scrape against someone's car in a parking lot.
     
  10. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    Declare it and move forward. They want to know if you are honest not mistake free

    Duty, Honor, Country

    'Everybody does it' is an excuse not reason
     
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  11. time2

    time2 Member

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    The OPs other post gave a specific example of loitering in a woman's clothing store. Now it seems he is asking hypothetical questions about copyright material or car accidents. Which is it?
     
  12. JWP

    JWP Member

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    Declare it an move on - for my TS SCI they flew CID agents to interview my best friend from high school who lived in Alaska and that was 10 years after I had left high school!

    I have also been asked on more than one occasion to give interviews for service members after I had left the service.

    One final note - this sets the tone for how you will deal with ethical issue for the remainder of your career. Do the right thing and you will be ok.

    It is FAR FAR FAR worse not to disclose and then to have something turn up during the investigation both professionally and on a personal note - not doing the right thing this time makes is easier the next time. Sorry for the soap box and congrats on the appointment!
     
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  13. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    I'm getting a little concerned about the "gray area" the OP seems to be searching for.

    If I came out to a parking lot and found a scrape on my car and no note of apology with contact information, believe me I would not consider it "slight".
     
  14. jebdad

    jebdad Member

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    I agree with the spirit of what you are saying. But, in practice, I have my doubts and tend to agree more with what TPIAD says. I wish these fine young adults did not drink or break laws and lived the honor code to a "T". But, I think it is a bit naïve to think that is the case. There are a large % of underage cadets who party and drink at USMA. For a security check later in their military career, one would not have to go far to interview their WP classmates and determine that they were breaking laws (underage drinking) on a regular basis while a cadet. Are they being denied security clearance?

    I could of told some great stories about the escapades of my ROTC roommate in college. He rose to a Lt col in the AF and I was very close to him and neither I nor any of his college friends were contacted for security purposes.
     
  15. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Look, do what you're going to do. We're clearly not going to change your mind.

    You may not give enough information, while someone will. That will look bad. The question becomes "if he's hiding this, what else?"

    You may give more information that others who know you. Unless it's a huge deal, less to worry about.

    You may give the info as people who know you. Good deal.

    I've known plenty of cadets who have received honor violations and were kicked out. Often what they lied about would have been a slap in the wrist (if that).
     
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  16. jeff7777

    jeff7777 New Member

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    I did not see a section that required disclosure of either of the two categories I listed.
    The categories that appeared to require such disclosure were drug incidents, domestic violence incidents, and hacking incidents.
    I wanted to see if there was anything I missed in the form for this.
     
  17. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Then look back at the form. It's easier than trying to have people remember the SF-86 that they fill out every decade or so. It will certainly be more correct! Ha
     
  18. jeff7777

    jeff7777 New Member

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    I have looked it over. I just wanted to double check my understanding.
     
  19. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    Also, look beyond the form. At some point (as early as your internship while still a cadet, depends on the job) you may require a TS clearance and need to take a polygraph. It is better to tell the truth on the form than let something to come back to haunt you later. It is the right thing to do and you can sleep well at night too.
     
  20. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    Polygraphs are a pseudo science. They aren't an actual indicator of truth or lies. It's more intimidation than anything.
     

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