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I wrote this for a previous thread, but I will put it in a seperate thread since a couple of you asked about security clearance stuff.....


(Note: I will say "He", instead of saying "your sailor" each time)


Well, I'll explain the entire process just in case someone wants to know....


He will need to get a Top Secret security clearance, along with a SSBI (Single Scope Background Investigation) access. Some of the old timers call it SBI (Special Background Investigation), but that was replaced in December 1991 with SSBI. The 1st step in getting a DOD clearance is he will be sat down and talked to. They need to see if he  has any "Dirt" in his background. Does he do drugs? does he commit crimes? has he hidden anything? Does he have foreign relatives?  Things like that. The investigators work for either the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) or the Defense Security Service (DSS), and the actual investigators are usually contractors, not actual government employees. Once they get done with him, then they will start on family, friends, neighboors, and school teachers. They want to find what kind of guy he is.   These investigator do not determine if he is eligible or not, they are only investigators who collect the data.


The Secret clearance only takes a few months, and more than likely already approved while in DEP.  However, the Top Secret, and SBI access can take months...due to the huge numbers of people that need a clearance. There is a backlog of people waiting to have their investigations started, and a huge backlog of people waiting to have their clearances adjudicated once the investigations are done.


There are only three levels of security clearances--Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret--but there are many Special Access Programs (SAP) and many individually named compartments within SCI,  SAPs and SCI are categories of classified information (not clearances) that require special access authorization.

There is an SSBI which is an investigation method to grant TS clearance. Then there is an SCI (Sensitive Compartmented Information) which is another level of access to a certain type of information (i.e. TS(SCI)). An SSBI is used as a determination for allowing an individual access to SCI information. SCI is a program that requires the person to go through an in-briefing prior to being granted access; this is often referred to as "being read in".

Once an investigation is complete, the information is passed to an adjudication facility, Department of the Navy Central Adjudication Facility (DONCAF).


At that point, the adjudicator uses a matrix to determine what level of clearance a person can be granted. Once the adjudication is complete, the person is granted clearance to the determined level. It is up to the command to determine what level of access the person will need. For example, if SN Stains (great name huh?, I love funnin') goes through an SSBI (they won't do these for a person who would only need access to Secret or Confidential their entire career) and is adjudicated a TS clearance, but his command has determined that the job he will be doing while there is only at the Secret level, then the command should only grant him access to Secret. Now when Petty Officer Stains transfers three years later to his new command, they determine he will need access to TS, then based on the SSBI he was granted (good for five years) he can be cleared for access to TS. Then the command decides PO Stains will need to access SCI material, they read him into the program and he now has access to TS-SCI.

Of course Need-to-Know is another thing entirely.

So there you have it.... It will take months to get the Top Secret clearance and the SCI access....

Views: 4618

Replies to This Discussion

Thanks, Craig!
Thanks Craig........great info!   And yes, SN Stains made me LOL!  ;-)
Well, crap, I just got that - LOL! I read it as "S" "N" Stains. Makes a big difference.
Thanks Craig. I know mine started the process right before he was about to PIR. We live in Hawaii and I was surprised he came at that time. I expected it after he got to A school. We live on a private lane so I informed everyone on the street about the visit from someone because of the clearance. My neighbors are my relatives so I had to let them in on it so they would not get nervous. The wife had her interview over the phone.
My husband got his clearance last week, but the investigator is going to see 2 of his friends this morning (they live in the same house). We don't know why since he already has it. They only visited 5 people off his list, including his 2 friends this morning, and I was not one of them. I thought I would get a visit for sure.

Yes, they visit some people on the list he provided, but that is just to give them leads to other friends.  The investigators will use this as a starting point to verify what he has listed. They can or will talk to teachers, bosses, relatives, neighbors, other employees or fellow students. They will use your references, but they will again use them for a starting point.  Generally they they know by contacting his friends, they are not gonna get any straight answers, however if they talk to the friends, friend, then they will get the true ways of your husband is.  I mean, if you filled out an employment application, would you list the people that hate you, or the people that would have your back?  These investigators are good.  They can weed through the B.S. and get to the facts really, really quick.  They can balance those that are covering him, and those that want to screw him.  You truly have nothing to fear.  It's just an investigation. 


As far as them coming back, it happens.  These investigators just send in the fact they discover.  If DONCAF says, "Something seems to be wrong here, was he in Mexico on July 2009 or August 2009?" then they will send the invesigators back to clarify what was said.   Again, if this happened to my kid, I truly wouldn't care.  They just need to have all the "i" dotted and the "t" crossed.  It's part of the way they do business.....

Oh, I'm not worried at all! We just thought that once he received his clearance no one else was going to be visited. I'm just glad that they got it done pretty quick so he'd be ready when he's able to class up! Actually we were saying that they probably shouldn't visit the parents or spouses/gf/bf of the Sailor because they will always only have good things to say, lol.
Thanks for the info Craig.  What is the average time it takes for the process to finish up?  I know they have talked to our son several times as he calls for more info to give them, and I think they are talking to the references now.  Do they have to have the clearance before they can start A school?
I think it's called a "provisional" clearance that they get before they can start A school. They don't get their final, full clearance until after they take a polygraph and (I think) report to their first permanent duty station. My son had his polygraph before he left Corry, but some don't have the opportunity to take it until after they report.

clockard - At his command did he have to take the "Life Style" poly, or just the "Counter Intelliegence" poly?  Man, that Life Style poly is a bear.  I wouldn't wish that on anyone. 

I'm not sure, Craig. I'll try to remember to ask next time I talk to him.

After we returned from PIR (03-11-2011) of neighbors said that there was someone in the neighborhood asking about our son. A few days later a past employer of our son told us the same thing. Is this normal? Are parents or family members checked out too? I also got an email - that asked us to remove his (PIR) graduation picture and address from a site that our Sailor posted on. Not sure if this is "an official" request...but someone else I know that has done the same type of job (with TS access)...told us that we should remove them.  


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