Getting out of dodge vs facing music — revocation/denial

Hi everyone. I have a clearance but am potentially about to self-report some information that will almost certainly result in a revocation. Without details the total is not something I think I can survive—people do retain clearances with worse but they definitely get revoked for less. Believe me that I will never forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made, I don’t need to be reminded I’m stupid.

Basically I’m just wondering if it makes any difference between reporting and getting the revocation now, and trying to reapply years down the line, versus just quitting now and trying to apply years down the line with no additional black mark to report (I’m relatively young right now though not whole world ahead of me young).

I’d still have to be transparent about the derogatory information later but would time potentially help? Or would I get some credit for being honest now (and hence being revoked) that I can point to later instead of ‘why not tell us earlier’? (There are some mitigating factors for not self reporting more promptly but basically a candor issue already exists from the government perspective.) I think I’m going to lose this opportunity anyway so I just don’t know if there’s a way to lose it that’s somewhat less destructive.

I have another recent job offer (a kind I definitely won’t get again, to be honest) but it’s also cleared (higher level) and would probably just give me a denial. If I do self report to my current employer, does it make it ‘worse’ to simultaneously come clean on an SF-86 for the new job because then I have two agencies that investigated and said no? I know one denial would vacate the other clearance anyway but maybe I should minimize the opportunities to be found unclearable.

Thank you very much in advance. I am responsible for my situation but I’m just trying to deal as well as I can with the biggest screwup I’ve ever made.

If it happened while you had an active clearance, down the line they’re probably going to ask why you didn’t report it and instead left the job. Just report it, imo there’s really no “better” way out than being upfront and honest.


Yeah probably better in the long run to self-report now. Besides you’d be surprised what people report and somehow manage to keep a clearance


Not enough info to work problem. Not reporting is never good. I cant see a way back from deliberate compromise. But after that…crime can be mitigated, DUIs are not clearance ending. Im broadly wacking at possible issues. Van you give us a bit more?


Unfortunately the main issue is a one time substance misuse while holding a clearance (not a controlled substance but still drug involvement. Based on a misunderstanding of legality even though I realize now I obviously should have known better) After it happened I consulted a reputable clearance attorney who told me it was not reportable but after considering the other job offer and contacting a different attorney to make sure, I think that was not accurate. I probably should not have relied on that anyway, I realize, though there were some unusual circumstances that made me more willing to just believe it (I was the victim of a violent crime the same night as the incident—not causally related—and have fragmented and missing memories). As a result there’s been a significant reporting delay already so I have a lack of candor problem even coming forward now.

[Not you, amberbunny, but people on here sometimes seem to like rubbing it in when someone has screwed up…I just want to say I know that, I am responsible, I just don’t know if I’m better off giving up on this space instead of going through a long process to get fired.]


Report the information to your security points of contact and allow them to mitigate it and you’ll probably be asked to provide a statement. You’ll feel much better about the situation in general once you come clean and decide to report it. At the very minimum you’ll have your integrity and that’s more important than the job.

I have a philosophy and even knowledge that God will take care of you and provide if you are honest, contrite, and do the right thing. It may be a longer road to repair your career or start new career elsewhere depending upon what it is you did but I would certainly report it as it’s the right thing to do. You never know, this could be mitigated by providing a statement as to what you did and you may be overreacting.

Heard. I have a related issue in my own cleared history. Emotionally devastating divorce, I misused/inappropriately used my now ex spouses Prozac. Undue stress, unlikely to repeat, highly stressful. Very bad decision I still don’t understand. Eventually I got my own RX, got through it, kept working. Changed jobs, polygraph required…scared to death. Never dawned on me how bad a no-no until I filled out my 86. Sick to my stomach with dread…I came clean during initial poly interview. It was grueling. Got a call back, 4 more hours in the chair. I wish there was a DM function to engage deeper. It can be survivable. Decisions made under stress can be mitigated. I recommend getting PTSD counseling to better process what you experienced and your choice. Seeking mental health treatment is a good thing. It adds context to the stress moment. It also indicates a desire to follow a better path, all positives in dealing with a violation. Not lying on clearance paperwork is first step. Don’t compound issue by falsifying paperwork. Makes the hill much steeper. Being honest, forthright…speaks to integrity and potential future risk.


Getting bad legal advice is in and of itself a mitigating factor. I have also seen people who reported using (once) with a secret get a ts just recently, while first disclosing during the upgrade process. Just report it now, you may be surprised.

Also, it doesn’t hurt anything to report, then look for a private sector job. Future you may want to come back to a cleared space, and you don’t want to be mad at past you for not at least getting it out there and out of the way so time can be an additional mitigating factor.

1 Like

Thanks for your reply. Would you happen to be able to say what agency? I know some are more forgiving…(obviously I’m not at FBI or anything where I would be toast but I’m not at DOD which accounts for most people)

I don’t actually recall if they said or not, it was over on reddit.