Foreign Service Suitability Rejection - Temporary or Permanent?

I recently heard back from the SRP notifying me that my candidacy for appointment to the Foreign Service was terminated, and I’m wondering if my situation is permanently disqualifying or if I could reapply in a few years.

In the decision letter they state the following reasons:

*Conduct that clearly shows poor judgment or lack of discretion. Criminal, dishonest, or notoriously disgraceful conduct.

*Illegal use of narcotics, drugs, or other controlled substances, without evidence of cessation and substantial rehabilitation; and

*Conduct that clearly shows poor judgment or lack of discretion.

The activities that led them to this decision were as follows:
-In 2015 I visited a prostitute while visiting Amsterdam (one time)
-Used marijuana in social settings with friends/students while in school from 2006-2011(never purchased), and then one time in 2016 (never since)

“Your solicitation of a prostitute and willingness to resume taking illegal drugs after
stopping for more than five years undermines your commitment not to use drugs in the
future and demonstrates poor judgment and lack of discretion”

This is a deeply disappointing update, and especially frustrating given my honesty on my SF86 and DS interview regarding information that is embarrassing, illegal, and incriminating. It’s been 4 years since my last drug use and 5 years since the prostitute.

Individually these issues seem mitigate-able, since the prostitute was only one time and its been four years since my last use of marijuana (and I committed to never do either again), but my question at this point is whether this combination of factors is permanently disqualifying or whether I should let some time pass before applying again (and maintaining impeccable behavior). Also if there’s any grounds for an appeal?

As a note, I DID receive eligibility to hold a TS (that step happens before suitability but just wanted to make clear)

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While I can’t offer any advice since I personally haven’t been in that situation and I’m not an experienced security specialist, I will say this. The fact that you were upfront about everything is huge, kudos to you for being honest I mean after all that’s what they ask of you on the SF86.

Assuming what you say is true and you haven’t done any drugs or any of that other stuff, I would argue that those things are all in the past and shouldn’t be a determination of what you are doing here and now. I would think that in society where we applaud people being given a second chance and not screwing up I would find this rejection rather odd, but what do I know.

One question

To clarify you were told you were eligible for a TS not that you have been granted one, correct?

There used to be some verbiage on the State Dept careers site about having to wait one (or two) years after receiving a “suitability” denial, but I could not find it there after a recent less-than-rigorous search.

Regarding an appeal, there should have been some instructions in the suitability denial.

Their assessment of the marijuana use is interesting… perhaps they would have been willing to overlook the “youthful indiscretion” but not the subsequent use.

Thanks very much for sharing your experience, I know it must have been terribly disappointing and the end of an emotional roller coaster.

I don’t know if you still monitor this, but assuming you had foreign travel and your TS/Suitability took over a year, I’m guessing your drug use was thinking 2/3 years before you started the clearance process? iirc the timeframes that suitability look at are from when your clearance process begins, NOT when it reaches their desk. So your 4 years since last use would have been more like 3 or sooner. Is this a correct assumption? Looking for a data point. Also very sorry that you were denied suitability.