DHS Public Trust - Unique


Okay so I have a somewhat unique question I think. In 2012, I was deemed not suitable for a DOD job that required TS/SCI clearance. Now, I want to apply to a DHS job that requires only public trust. Vastly different types of jobs. I do not know if it is moderate or high risk - is there any way to find out?

Second, is my previous application/rejection available to DHS for review?

Third, the SF-85P says to answer yes if you've had your background investigated and/or received a security clearance. I assume I have to answer "yes" because my background was investigated?

Fourth, does DHS (more specifically Customs and Border Protection) have any straight dings (e.g. DEA with drug use)?

I would appreciate any information in response to these questions. My main thrust is, does my finding of unsuitability from 2012 in the DOD hurt me with DHS? Based on the question phrasing I assume I have to report it - thoughts? And does DHS/Customs and Border have any strict rejection categories? Note that this is not a field position, but a professional position.

Thank you.


First of all, you were found 'unsuitable' five years ago for something that presumably took place prior to that. So time is on your side (isn't that an old Rolling Stones song?)

Is your previous application available? You betcha. And yes, you should indicate you were investigated.

I don't know about the "straight ding" but as you note, it is not a "field" (or law enforcement) position so I doubt there are any hard and fast disqualifiers.

To sum up, more than likely your previous 'unsuitability' is more than likely ancient history, assuming you have stopped doing whatever it was, or cleared up whatever situation it was, or just got older and hopefully wiser.


Thanks. Part of my question then is, a few questionable activities that MIGHT be straight dings are 6 years ago. I understand that for these categories, they only care about the past 7 years. So, is it worth waiting a year so that they are out of the 7 year window, or is it worth taking the shot now?

The real question there is, if I apply now and am deemed unsuitable, does that negatively impact me if I apply again in a year? So the questionable activities would be out of the picture, but I would have an unsuitable ding from a year ago. Does that make sense?