Background Checks




 
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October 30th, 2004  
RockStar
 

Topic: Background Checks


I'm thinking of joining the military, probably Marines, and I was wondering how complete the background checks are they do on you. Not that I have anything to hide, but I'm just concerned there may be something I forget to put on my application that will come back and bite me in the ass.
I get the impression that they aren't that complete because I have had many friends go in who were complete stoners and potheads and they lied about it on their application and it never got caught. Is there just some areas the background checks focus on more than others?? If so, I would have imagined prior drug use is the one they focus on.
Sorry this post is so long, but I would really appreciate any feedback from people who are knowledgeable about this stuff.
October 30th, 2004  
Airborne Eagle
 
 
May have changed, but they'll likely do a local police record check, possibly a state police record check, and a National Agency Check (FBI, credit bureaus, etc). Nothing intrusive.

Be honest as you remember. If caught, the General of Dishonrable discharge will be far worse than never getting in. Now, if you miss parking, speeding (summary offenses), no one will really get bent out of shape. Drugs, violence, etc. can get you into trouble after the fact if omitted.

I had a TS/SCI clearance and I sang like a canary on my forms. Admittted to stuff they'd likely never know about. Thy just want to make sure no one can blackmail you later.

Good luck.
October 30th, 2004  
SFC
 
The military possesses information and technology which could be helpful to our enemies. The unauthorized release of this information can compromise our nation's national security. Unauthorized release can cause battles/wars to be lost, missions to be ineffective, and can result in the death or injury of military and civilian personnel.

A security clearance investigation is an inquiry into an individualís loyalty, character, trustworthiness and reliability to ensure that he or she is eligible for access to national security information.

In the military, all classified information is divided into one of three categories:

CONFIDENTIAL: Applied to information or material the unauthorized disclosure of which could be reasonably expected to cause damage to the national security.

SECRET: Applied to information or material the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.


TOP SECRET: Applied to information or material the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.

In addition to the above, some classified information is so sensitive that even the extra protection measures applied to Top Secret information are not sufficient. This information is known as "Sensitive Compartmented Information" (SCI) or Special Access Programs (SAP), and one needs special "SCI Access" or SAP approval to be given access to this information.

"For Official Use Only" is not a security classification. It is used to protect information covered under the Privacy Act, and other sensitive data.
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November 1st, 2004  
egoz
 
I'm going to have to start my background investigation for TS/SCI clearance soon. I bet that'll be interesting. I wonder if they'll know more about me than I do. I'll let ya know how that goes, but I know from a friend who was in the CIA, that they ask a lot of questions. At least for upper level clearance. He said his polygraph consisted of questions pertaining to sexual orientation and other nonsense just to throw you off.
November 14th, 2004  
Poggus
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Airborne Eagle
I had a TS/SCI clearance and I sang like a canary on my forms. Admittted to stuff they'd likely never know about. Thy just want to make sure no one can blackmail you later.
I'm wanted to join the army as Special Forces, but then I reviewed the forms I had to fill out to obtain 'Secret' Clearance and it kinda scared me off. First off, I don't have enough of the required references from all my old schools, and alot of my friends aren't people I wouldn't want the Army to know I've ever hung out with. Also, I used to do some stupid things that they'd never know about, but if they DID ever find out I'd probably be in some trouble... so should I just be insanely honest on these forms?

After hearing the washout rate was high and I'd be reassigned to Infantry if I failed, I've decided to pursue being a Warrant Officer. I sent out my application and an essay.. I'm waiting to hear back.

Also, I was prescribed Zoloft for anxiety about a year back but I only took it for about a month... will that mess up anything?

Edit: Oh yeah... Hi I'm Poggus and I'm new here =]
November 17th, 2004  
egoz
 
From what I was told, it's better they find out from you than they find out in their checks. At least that's what the recruiter told me. But I don't know how far they dig for Secret clearance. I've been interviewed by the FBI when my mom get her security clearance. They didn't ask anything about her past really. They covered questions about her residence and her trustworthyness. They didn't ask anything about drug use or anything like that.
November 18th, 2004  
soulja
 
I dont know how it works in the US, but I recently applied in the UK and all that was focused on was:

Drug Use: If youve only had a a quick smoke of cannabis you will be fine, as long as it wasnt too recent.

Criminal Record: I got sent to court for assult, I just admitted it and my application was still accepted.

Other than that there wasnt anything significant, and seen as I used to be a pot smoking trouble maker and I was still able to get as far as I have Im sure youll be fine.
December 1st, 2004  
catalinargonzalez
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulja
I dont know how it works in the US, but I recently applied in the UK and all that was focused on was:

Drug Use: If youve only had a a quick smoke of cannabis you will be fine, as long as it wasnt too recent.

Criminal Record: I got sent to court for assult, I just admitted it and my application was still accepted.

Other than that there wasnt anything significant, and seen as I used to be a pot smoking trouble maker and I was still able to get as far as I have Im sure youll be fine.
I don't know what you mean as far as background check, but if you are applying for a clearance, in the United States, this is unacceptable. No criminal records, no history of drug usage. But if you are just going in and getting a regular background check, they can choose to overlook your past offenses by making you sign waivers, but you cannot be in any intelligence field no matter how smart you are.
December 1st, 2004  
RnderSafe
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catalinargonzalez
I don't know what you mean as far as background check, but if you are applying for a clearance, in the United States, this is unacceptable. No criminal records, no history of drug usage. But if you are just going in and getting a regular background check, they can choose to overlook your past offenses by making you sign waivers, but you cannot be in any intelligence field no matter how smart you are.
Smoking marijuana as a young teenager/adult is not going to harm you on your security clearance investigation with the United States Government, if that were the case - we wouldn't have anyone to fill necessary MOSes. "Drug usage" is more inline with those who were constant users, often and for very long periods of time - they are especially looking for those that have used the more hardliner drugs. Be honest and upfront - those doing the investigating know and understand youthful experimentation. For those of you planning a military career and have not yet discovered the world of experimenting - I would suggest you do not bother, while it may not hurt you, it will certainly not help you. Keep your nose clean.
December 1st, 2004  
egoz
 
when i was looking at the MI MOS's they recruiter told me that any type of drug use, even as an experiment would harm me in getting top secret clearance. i don't know how true it is, but that's just what he told me.