Seniors at all of the Academies this spring will soon be required to (re)submit their SF86 security clearance application (SCA). Here are some tips to help yourself get through the process more painlessly. 1) Remember you only have to list your residences, education, and employments back to your 18th birthday. Everything else follows the listed timelines. Remove old or unneeded information from your previous SCA submission. 2) Gather all of your information before you are required to submit your SCA. Look up on-line the SF86 and gather current addresses and phone numbers for your verifiers and references. 3) Do not list temporary residences less than 90 days on your SCA. You do not list your home of record for the last 4 or 5 years (those attending the prep school) unless you went home for 90 consecutive days. 4) Unless you had a side job at the Academy, you were unemployed while attending your Academy. (This activity is covered by the Education section - see below). Listing the Academy as employment is not only incorrect but can cause delays with your investigation. You were a student and had an academic record, not an employee with a supervisor, coworkers and an employment record. Good news is you only have to list one fellow classmate as the verifier for unemployment. 5) DO NOT FORGET TO LIST YOUR ACADEMY EDUCATION. Trust me, this happens. 6) The military record section is for credible military service - so your date would be your commissioning date (unless you were previously enlisted). 7) Do not list people you think will impress the investigators. It doesn't work that way. For references, list your three Academy buddies - they are who we are really looking to interview. Listing your Congressman or your family friend will not meet the requirements for the background investigation. 8) Keep in touch, meaning current location and phone numbers, with at least 8 classmates. This information will be invaluable if we don't catch you at the Academy for your Subject interview. 9) Read the questions carefully. Answer the questions as they read, don't try to interpret or second guess the questions. If you answer yes to a question, be detailed and precise, especially with dates and locations. 10) Dishonesty, or being evasive, in the background investigation process will cause you more grief than the underlying issue. 11) If you went to visit your brother, who is a US citizen in the US military, at an overseas post on a summer break, your travel was for tourism, not to visit “family” (this implies foreign family members). 12) Speaking of family, if your sibling or a parent were born overseas, ensure you list the naturalization or citizenship information on the SCA, to include the Report of US Citizen Born Abroad (if applicable). 13) Ensure you list valid contact information for yourself, especially your personal cell phone and email. We will normally call your cell phone first. If your cell phone changes, ensure you update your military locator information with the current cell phone so we can find you. 14) If you have a question about filling out the SCA, ask. Many people on here have filled out the SCA over the years and can provide some help.