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Guest dhmorgan

Security clearance questions

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Yeah, the AF wouldn't take my Marine Corps Secret clearance either, I just got finished doing all the paperwork for another one. Oh well...

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Guest skydog77

Hello all.....just out of curiosity, do FE's need a security clearance and if so is the clearance "classified", "secret" or "top secret." I highly doubt TS but maybe some of you might know something. Thanks.....

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That link pretty much covers it, I would just like to add that all USAF officers have a secret clearance as a minimum. Others will be granted higher levels as appropriate. As the article says, the highest you can get is Top Secret, but there are caveats such as Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) and Special Access Programs (SAP) that are in addition to that. There are also specific clearances for specific types of intelligence, depending on its source.

Trust me, I drown in this shit every day. We joke that our jobs are so classified, even we aren't allowed to know what we do!

Cheers! M2

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I know that pilots get Top Secret security clearances, but what do you need it for? I know that those of you who have the clearance cannot say much about it, but do you need it because of aircraft technology or something else like intel?

Also, when you have a Top Secret clearance are you just limited to certain things or is it like a new world that opens up where you learn about all sorts of things that the military has? Maybe I'm being too curious too early but this stuff has always interested me since I was little and I'm actually starting to live it so I'm a little excited!

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Sorry, can't tell you.

Seriously, not all pilots get TS clearances, it all depends on the airframe and mission.

Honestly, having loads of clearances is really quite boring, some of my job is so classified that even I don't know what I am doing!

Cheers! M2

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Even with a clearance, you won't always necessarily have access to classified info that is at your appropriate level. Along with being classified, much info falls into the 'need to know' category. If you don't need to know, you won't see it.

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Guest C5Heavy

As Toro said 'need to know' basis applies in all clearances. If you are in one field chances are you won't even know about other fields. It has to do with missions, technologies and tactics. The military is pretty efficient in making you stick to your specialty.

[ 28. December 2004, 07:08: Message edited by: C5Heavy ]

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Very interesting. I have a friend that works with bombs and missles, stuff like that and he said the same things about clearances. I guess it's because of all those people who "talked" to the other side over the years so now the government is a lot more paranoid about things.

I have all my stuff in for the secret clearance but no interview yet. However, one night I did have this weird dream about all these men in white suits hovering over me and talking about where to put the implant. The next morning I woke up with a sore *ss. Could it be that they already put in the implant?

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I know in the past they didn't investigate people for a TS until they were in a position that required the clearance. However, when I was in OTS, we (pilot candidates) were told that all pilot candidates would be investigated for the TS. I'm pretty sure this is a recent change in the process (w/in the last year). I don't know why they made the change, as M2 said, it is costly and most pilots don't need it. All I know is that I've definitely been interviewed for a TS and I'm not even close to getting wings.

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JJ

Some free advice for ya...don't believe anything cadets tell you. Someone's yanking your chain. DSS is way behind the power curve on adjudicating clearances (see this), my five-year update took over three years to complete. They wouldn't be wasting their time following a cadet around or listening to his phone calls (illegal without a court order anyway, read USSID 18). Anyhow, your fellow cadets may have filled out an EPSQ and an initial interview was conducted to make sure it was properly filled out, but at this point in their "careers" it is extremely doubtful that the process would begin. Honestly, they don't even know if they are going to make it through UPT, much less what airframe they will be flying afterward.

As I said, unless they have a billet requiring a TS clearance, the SSBI is not likely to be completed. I got my first one when I was tapped to be a B-52 aerial defensive gunner back in 1981 (never got the job, the billets--including mine--were cut), and didn't get my second until I was going through intel school.

Cheers! M2

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MajorMadMax,

Pretty interesting stuff. When you say that you've worked with people who have TS security clearances and beyond do you mean higher clearances than TS? If so what are they?

Also, as a pilot if you go career and progress through the ranks and become say a full bird does your clearance increase with rank? I'm sure that it's also correlated to what your job is but how does that work? Or is it just the intel people that get to know who the second gunman was on the grassy null? (Take that with a grain of salt.)

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JJ

I don't doubt you begin the process, most likely filling out the form which is reviewed by your local security rep. Trust me, it is a pain in the ass, and it gets worse over time as when you do an update you have to complete the form for your entire lifetime, not just since the last investigation.

BUT, if you can get a TS, do so! It is worth bucks on the outside, should you ever decide to get out or when you eventually retire. Some estimates say it is good for an additional $10-15K on your annual salary.

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As of about 2 years ago, there was an *immense* backlog of SSBI investigations (the one you need for a TS clearance) at DIS -- something on the order of 5 years. Like M2, I had my 5-year reinvesigation delayed nearly 2 years because of the backlog. I'd be very surprised if they were "leaning forward" and accomplishing SSBIs on cadets who -- as of yet -- didn't need them at all when they're having a tough time completing them on those of use who really need them for our actual jobs on active duty.

The SSBI is going to include a much more in-depth look at your history than the NAC that was accomplished for you to get a Secret clearance. In this one, DIS or the FBI will visit some of your listed references to interview them, as well as talking to people who *aren't* on your list.

When my initial SSBI was being done when I was a 2Lt, I got a call from someone who I played sports with in high school, but hadn't talked to in literally 5 years and was *not* listed on my SF-86. He said, "the FBI visited me asking questions about you..." so they're pretty thorough with who they talk to. Make sure you *tell* the people who you're listing as references on your form so they are not surprised when someone in a dark suit flashes a badge and asks about you.

As for the phone taps, that is complete crap. I was once read in to a classified program, and as part of all the legal hoopla I had to sign a paper which explicitly said that "they" could listen in on my private phone line at will. I had to explicitly provide them permission to do this. Of course, if I hadn't, I wouldn't have gotten the clearance for the program.

So, the idea that as part of a routine cadet security clearance investigation they're phone tapping...that is a load of shite.

Now...if your cadet friend hadn't been exactly "truthful" on his SF-86, or some kind of red flag had been raised during the background check, that might be a reason for them to follow and phone tap. If that were the case, there's *no way* the special agent would have told him that it was being done, except if they were standing in front of a judge and it was being used as evidence!!

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JJ

Clearances are for jobs, not rank. You will get clearances as you need them, and no more. Beyond TS there is Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) and Special Access Programs/Requirements (SAP/SAR) which are even more restrictive. I cannot go into detail on what specific clearances are for what types of information, but the extra ones I have are to access intel from specific sources. They are tightly controlled to protect the source.

Someone posted this web link on security clearances a while back, it is pretty good and worth reading...it may answer some of your questions.

Cheers! M2

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Originally posted by jetjock2006:

do you mean higher clearances than TS? If so what are they?

TS is the highest actual security clearance level. There are, however, tons of "modifiers" used on top of TS.

For example, one of the most widely used is "SCI", meaning Special Compartmented Information. Another one might be CNWDI, or Controlled Nuclear Weapon Design Information. There are thousands of these specific modifiers that limit access to only those who are authorized that particular program or compartment of a program. When the F-117 was a super-secret program, it was still only classified "Top Secret"...but it had numerous modifiers on top of it that limited access to only people who needed to know about it.

The reality is, though, when it comes to security clearances, you'll get what you need to do your job. In my old job we used to say "those who have a need to know, will know soon enough". In other words, you won't be out there trying to get yourself a higher security clearance for coolness value. If your job requires it, you'll get it -- otherwise you won't have that job!

You won't accrue higher clearances just by making rank, either. Clearances are for specific jobs, and if you're not in a job that requires one, you won't have one. There are SrAs out there with clearances probably higher than any one of us will ever have...and then when they transfer to another job that doesn't need it, they'll be "read out" of the program and they will no longer have that clearance.

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Guest NoseArtGal

Once you start the process, as others have said, the sparkle of "cool" associated with clearances will vanish. What a pain in the rear. When I track selected to Corpus out of Tweets I was told "all Herk guys need a TS" and had to go through that fun. Then when I got to Corpus there were people that didn't have it. Go figure. It's worth having not only for outside opportunities but for other opportunities as well. One thing about clearances to pass on...KEEP COPIES OF YOUR PAPERWORK! It might seem down the road, but when you have to do the recurring ones the answer, "I already told you this stuff" won't work. And when you start moving all over the place, it's a real pain. So keep a copy at home so you use that info if you have to fill out another one.

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Guest delta

For those of you who have recently had a secret clearance completed, how long did it take? From reading past posts, it seems like it can take 10-18 months. Anyway, any recent timelines on secret clearances would be greatly appreciated.

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Guest Wxpunk

Secret Clearance (10-year renewal) took two years for me.

------------

Wxpunk

[ 21. June 2005, 18:09: Message edited by: Wxpunk ]

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Guest kottlows

My initial Secret took 300 days but I've heard it taking up to 600. If you have family overseas or you, yourself, have lived overseas, that can make it take significantly longer. A cave pilot friend of mine had her TS take 2 years! Those damned English relatives caused her to be casual AFTER tech school for a year while she waited. Just be patient, unless you are awaiting training, you shouldn't be worried.

-WARHAWK-

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Guest delta

I am waiting for training and this is why I'm worried. The in-processing lady at my unit told me that my packet can't be forwarded to the NGB until my secret clearance goes through. From what she has told me there is a new reg that states all non-priors must have a secret before their packets can be forwarded to the NGB for dates. She also stated that an interim DOES NOT SUFFICE anymore. Why would it apply to the Guard and not AD and Reserves? Any info on this new reg or where I can find it? Seriously....

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Ok, I might be wrong here, but I just got interviewed and all that for my TS clearance and the guy said that for us, (recent ROTC pilot selects) that it would take a month to complete the investigation and that we should be cleared in 6 months. That sounds really fast to me, but that's what he said. Another thing he told me is that they dropped all of their other cases to do the pilot selects first. I don't know why this would be or if this applies to all pilot selects across the nation, but I tend to believe him because I turned the stuff in for secret and didn't hear a thing about it and it had been 8 months. I got my pilot slot and suddenly they were pounding down my door, and the doors of everyone who has ever even seen me.

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Guest Absolutlyfly

My initial secret took 7 months, but the Top Secret is the pain in the ass, with all of the interviews and shat. I started it in March and don't plan on having it done anytime soon.

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Guest KoolKat

My secret took just shy of a year.

My TS... ha.

I t was initiated right before I commissioned (2 years about 20 days ago) and isn't yet finished.

I had my interview about 1 month ago.

Don't hold your breath when it comes to clearances...they come when they come.

As far as you getting held up with an interim! That's the 1st time I've heard that. That sucks. SOMETHING MUST HAVE CHANGED!!!!!!

[ 14. June 2005, 19:19: Message edited by: KoolKat ]

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Guest delta

Are any of you in the Guard? I wonder if ROTC/OTS guys are processed any quicker or if we're all the same.

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