Federal Suitability/Clearance approval


#1

This is my first time dealing with the federal job hiring process and I am terrified. Anyone who could give some decent advice or guidance would be much appreciated. Ok, I was recently given a TO for a 2210 series GS position. Right now I am at the suitability/security clearance adjudication step (I think) I served active duty for 14 years and was given a General (under Honorable conditions) Discharge for Substance Abuse 08 Sep 17 for failing a Urinalysis (marijuana and oxycodone). The urinalysis were conducted Mar and April 17. During my Active Duty military career I had a TS/SCI. Now all of this is on record as I was active duty when it occurred and of course the discharge misconduct is on my DD214. Fortunately, my security clearance was not revoked-My security manager specifically told me it wouldn’t be revoked. After my Separation I began contracting 18 Sep 17 and when they checked and adjudicated my clearance in JPAS there were no issues-although I did have to submit my DD214 for the position- no questions were asked I was able to fulfill my 6 month contract with no issues and good job performance. The contract terminated in Mar 2018 and I was offered the GS position 13 April 2018. I am currently in the runnings for an iT customer support position which requires a secret clearance. The substance abuse issue was the only issue that occurred in my entire 14 year career and I haven’t touched or even thought about drug use since my Mar/April 2017 mishap. I just want to move on with my life and provide for my family. It was a literal lapse in judgement and an isolated issue. Now HR is asking for my Urinalysis results and I’m terrified they’ll find me unsuitable for federal work because of my urinalysis a year ago. I’ve been honest with everyone in regards to the hiring process, my interviewers were aware of it and they still decided to choose me but I know they have no real decision making authority for the hiring process. Am I totally screwed? Do I have a chance at this (mitigation)? I’m just so confused with the whole process and I desperately need this job. . . Please any advice would really help.


#2

You didn’t have to take a urinalysis prior to starting the BI process? No one here can give you a pat on the back and say that everything is going to be alright. I’m not trying to be rude but none of us really knows what is “ok” and what is not in the eyes of the adjucation department. You can however review the adjucation guidelines and possible mitigation steps and see where you stand. Best of luck, and may your wait not be as long as others. https://www.cdse.edu/documents/cdse/2017-Adjudicative-Guidelines.pdf


#3

Thanks for the reply, it’s just that they haven’t asked anything as of yet. Like an explanation or given me a chance to mitigate these concerns. Those urinalysis are the only isolated concerns per the adjudication guidelines and they happened over a year ago. I mean I lost my active duty career due to that lapse of judgement. I wish they would give me a urine test just so they could see that I’m clean and it was an isolated incident. I took a pre-employment urine test for my contracting job in August 2017. But no I haven’t taken one for this GS position. . .


#4

My personal opinion - If this is your only issue I think you can mitigate it. Just be open and honest about the situation… Did you go through any substance abuse treatment before being discharged from the military? If so, did you successfully complete your treatment? If yes, like I said, I think you will be OK.


#5

Thanks for the reply. I hope so man! I really screwed up and ruined my Air Force career but it was a single isolated incident and i am terribly remorseful. I just want to move past it and get my IT career back on track. Unfortunately, I didn’t undergo any drug treatment plan as I was preparing my family for military separation. God bless my wife who stuck by me while going through it. I’ve coached my sons soccer team since then and again have completed contract IT work for USMC (that I was blessed enough to be hired for immediately after my discharge) w/no incidents in a year, I wouldn’t be worried if it wasn’t so recent but the recency of the incident is what’s getting me (a lil over a year ago). I do have a few questions.

  1. My Air Force security manager said I’d be able to keep my clearance and he was apparently correct as I contracted right after my discharge and nothing came up during the hiring process (I did give them my DD214 which states my reason for discharge) How was I able to keep my clearance?
  2. As I contracted between my discharge and now, how would this effect the suitability determination?
  3. How else can I mitigate the adjudicators concerns as I didn’t even complete or enroll in drug treatment?
  4. If they did find me suitable would they reinvestigate immediately me as the incident occurred approx a year after my security clearance renewal? I’m hoping they’d wait till my expiration date cuz that’d give me more time to lengthen my period of no drug use.
    Again thanks all who’ve replied so far; I’ll take any help/guidance/advice I can get!

#6

No drug treatment plan and it’s barely been a year since you failed the drug test. I’m going to be honest and not sugar coat it, you’ve done nothing to mitigate this (at least from reading your post) and show it won’t happen again.

Obviously I can’t give you a straight yes/no answer but imo you really should’ve looked into a treatment program early on. Since it’s an isolated issue and the only one according to your post maybe they’ll have some leniency with it through the “whole person concept.” I wouldn’t be surprised to see an SOR though.


#7

Legitimate mitigating factors: Long term AF service with a one time failure. The Air Force did not see fit to revoke clearance OR to prosecute his failure and he has already been approved for and completed cleared contract work.

This appears to be a suitability determination, not a clearance review.


#8

Agree with @EdFarmerIII


#9

Thanks for the responses. I am still waiting on the hiring process to make their determination. I will be sure to let you know how it goes. That’s one thing after these type of posts the OP usually never replies with the results lol. @qazw thanks for not sugar coating it but replies like you “shoulda” or “coulda” help no one. No one can time travel and undo the past. Advice on what I can do now, would be more fruitful.

I sent a letter to my HR detailing the events that occurred and the improvements I’ve made in my life since, including no longer in contact with the marijuana provider, haven’t used any drugs since then and my remorsefulness for the career I lost and how it’s consequences affected me (I have no intent on EVER using any substances again.) Although I didn’t complete a drug treatment plan, I believe in my case I can argue that it wasn’t nessesary (I’m not an addict it was an isolated instance-poor decision making) nor did I have the time to fully complete one as I had to secure employment during my discharge to provide for my family, find living quarters, vehicle, move my house, etc. . . -all things that are required when you separate service. I sure hope everything works out.


#10

Just wanted to let everyone know that my package for suitability was found favorable and I just received my official job offer with a set date of June 25, 2018. Despite the derogatory discharge information I was still found suitable! Don’t let your past mistakes define you, push forward and try to rectify those mistakes you never know what can happen! Thank you all for answering my questions. Also, I know on some posts they do timelines so here’s mine:

Applied for Position Feb 2018
Referred on April 2 2018
Interviewed April 5 2018
Tentative Offer April 13 2018
Official Job Offer June 16 2018
Start date June 25 2018

Just wanted to show that even with derogatory history you can still be found suitable! They really do use “the whole person” concept. Anyone else that goes through this stressful process there’s always hope, good luck to you all!!!


#11

Congrats! Happy to hear that.


#12

Congrats. I’m surprised they didn’t even suspend your clearance or make you go through some type of counseling…but each situation is different