Forced resignation after three years of honorable service


New to this board after resigning from DOD service after three exemplary years, and still researching my unusual problem.

In a nutshell:

  • Was hired as a DOD employee under Interim Clearance, post 23 years of honorable service in the military, with a clearly disclosed past legal matter from 10 years prior investigated and resolved on my application, having to do with questionable conduct while in the military, but was not prosecuted by the military and still retired honorably.
  • During employment with the DOD, I excelled in my field, receiving awards, fast promotions, and had an exemplary personnel record. It was my perfect dream job.
  • About a year and half later, finally had an interview for my final clearance.
  • Several months go by before I began to receive correspondence from DOHA intending to deny my final clearance due to the events of concern from now 11 years prior with no re-occurrence of said issues.
  • Fast forward to now three years of employment with the DOD, still under interim clearance, and continued exemplary performance, and after having exhausted all my written appeals to DOHA, and personal appearance before an AJ, was notified by my SO that my final clearance was denied.
  • I was given the opportunity to resign vs. being terminated. I was advised by many to resign, so I did, but to this day still question if I did the right thing, as getting unemployment is not possible with resignation, and I feared having a termination from a federal job on my record.
  • To this day, one year later, I have yet to receive the final decision in writing from DOHA. I have requested it numerous times, but they tell me the AJ’s decision does not get sent to me. Highly suspicious, as I received all my other denial correspondence throughout the appeals process up to that point.
  • Is this correct?
  • Should I have chosen differently (get fired), or do I have any recourse?
  • Everyone I worked with and for were upset to lose me, but said their hands were tied, and sad to see me go.
  • Has anyone here endured such an excruciatingly long interim clearance employment with zero problems at work, just to have the rug pulled out from under you?
  • This eats at me every day.
  • Any useful comments or recommendations are most welcome. Thank you!

No one can relate to your specific experiences. Each case is already unique and the details you gave are vague.

It doesn’t matter now. You can’t unquit.

Is your military retirement not enough? You should be able to find well-paid employment after “23 years of service.”

Not sure if you would have been eligible for unemployment anyway, if the employer had decided to contest your claim. They could have said you were terminated for cause and therefore ineligible-- at least in some states.

Just curious, did you hire an attorney for your hearing/appeal?

Oh and @M_B89 in the vast majority of cases, a military retirement is not enough to live on without any other income. Maybe if you move to some very low cost area and your home is paid off, but I’d say offhand that in most cases, unemployment insurance is worth more than a military pension.

No attorneys were retained. I didn’t have the luxury of affording that. I knew I would lose my employment either way, whether I left on my own or terminated. DOHA was steadfast to be rid of me despite my stellar employment record for the three years I was with the DOD + 23 years honorable military service, and half of the staff showing up with me at my hearing to speak on my behalf. Those three years should have amounted to something other than red tape processing of my clearance. My concern is that I’m still fighting a COVID beleaguered unemployment system in California that has yet to approve or deny my unemployment claim of resignation under duress.

Thanks for the “itemized comments”. Not expecting a magic fix, just curious if anyone else had a similar employment experience, and what they did. I can’t be the only one here. Military retirement for me covers my home + utilities. That’s about it. I’ve since taken up other employment to help.

Did you have a clearance while you were on active duty?

Yes I did. I was in the aviation field for my entire 23 years, and required to maintain a Secret level clearance the whole time, which was never an issue or difficult.