Found out why I couldn't transfer my DOD Secret to DOD Secret(new agency)

Since last week, I thought HR or a hiring manager had dropped the ball. They was having me fill out a new SF-86, new credit report, new fingerprints, new everything. “Why are you guys just not doing a transfer or just pulling my clearance?” Days later someone finally responded…

And the answer is you have Secret T3 and we need a Secret T5 SSBI…wtf

There is scarce documentation/few experiences for a Secret T5.

Why don’t they just call it a Top Secret, cause that’s essentially what it is, same investigation - same hoops to jump through, probably the same timeline…

Clearancejobs resume section needs to change from what clearance you have from Secret/TS to T3/T5

It sounds like the job the new agency has in mind for you only requires access to Secret level information at the moment, but has the potential for requiring you to need to have Top Secret access in the future.

Coming in with a Secret/T5 would allow them to administratively upgrade you to TS without having to do a new investigation if and when the need arises, assuming your investigation is still in-scope at that time.

That being said, I don’t understand why companies/agencies would put someone through a T5 investigation if they only needed Secret, given that T5 investigations are more lengthy and expensive than T3. I’m sure there is a reason for it that I might not be aware of.

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Your explanation makes sense.

The number of top secret clearance holders is supposed to be kept to an absolute minimum. Putting someone through a T5 investigation opens up much quicker access to a TS when/if needed, while only having the employee at the Secret level. The cost is definitely higher to the company, but given how slow TS clearances were just a few years ago, this policy makes some sense.

The position determines the investigation. You don’t always have the access (but become eligible, if needed).

National Security critical high risk positions require the T5 even if you might not have access to classified information. The public trust non-critical high risk position requires the T4 which would not allow you access to anything classified.

IT, Law Enforcement, and security personnel/managers are examples of critical high risk national security positions that might or might not have access to classified information.

Worrying about the investigation type is needless stress.

Speaking to an investigator in a different forum - seems that a Secret T5 SSBI isn’t done for the possibility to boost me to a TS.

Seems a T5 Secret SSBI is done when there will be some sort of heightened IT level access.

Interesting that is different variations of Secret…like TS with Poly…

I don’t think costs for the company is a factor, as I’m a federal employee…

Contract companies do not pay for the investigation. The requesting agency pays.

The position risk level determines the background investigation type. You can have a high risk, critical position, requiring a Tier 5 investigation, and never have access to classified.

Saw this in a USAJOBS vacancy announcement:

Security Requirements: Non-Critical Sensitive with Secret Access

So I guess that position may not involve working with classified information, but the person might have to work in a secure area (maybe). Would that be a case where a Secret clearance would only require a Tier 3 investigation?

I believe the answer to that would be “yes”.