How "horrible" is the term "INACTIVE"

This may have been asked before, but I have a question about the status “In Active in JPAS”. I found out the hard way (the embarrassing way) that my security clearance was inactive.

BACKGROUND: Applied for and received a TS/SCI Security Clearance through a company I had worked with in 2009 - 2010. Not my first time through the “TS/SCI Gauntlet”. This clearance was for the same company, the same position and almost the same location. From 2010 to 2013 I did not hold a position that required a clearance. When I reapplied to go back in FEB 2013, I had to start all over.

My background investigation was completed in SEP 2013 and the TS/SCI was granted.

The contract this position was for was never awarded to the company, so I never left the US. “Got the clearance but did not get the job …”

I have always been told that background Investigations are “valid” for up to 10 years. Why would my security clearance be inactive today with only 5 years and 6 months time on the clock?

“Fast Forward” to 2019. The TS/SCI should have downgraded to a Secret in SEP 2013 at five years and the Secret clearance should have been valid until SEP 2023, right?

Does the fact that I have not used my clearance for this entire time result in the inactive status?

Is this “typical” with all of the scrambling that has been done in recent years?

Is the In-active status the “kiss of death” or does this leave a small glimmer of hope for those that have not done anything to jeopardize their former clearance status?

I ask because I had the same clearance granted in 2004 but retired from the military in 2009. The company that hired me right out of the military did a background check and it only took a few months to maintain the same TS/SCI clearance.

Can the company that initiated the background check “reach into” JPAS and verify my clearance easier / faster than anyone else?

Am I better off applying for potential positions and begging for a company to initiate the background?

Since I had this clearance before, is that a “marketable” item for me to use?

I am currently unemployed and would LOVE to get a position requiring a security clearance overseas.

I have read the articles about what was happening between 2013 and 2017. I am not here to point fingers or gripe. I just to find out why my clearance is no longer valid in such a short amount of time?

Do I have any recourse towards getting it back?

When you have not held a cleared position for two years, your clearance goes inactive and you, technically, need to start from scratch.

There are some here who say that they have reactivated clearances that were older than two years but I can’t speak to that.

Mek, you never had a clearance. The position required a person with clearance eligibility. I’m not cutting hairs here, but it is germane to understanding where the clearance actually resides. You left a clearance required position in 2010, and were gone three years. Once 24 months passed you required another BI to work at the same level, even with the same company. In 2013 you once again were slated to place your butt in a seat requiring a TS SCI. You were submitted, but the seat/position was not awarded to the company you worked for. You may even have been “read in” on the position…but if you were not occupying a seat that required a person with clearance eligibility…they likely closed out the clearance. The clearance stays with the position, the seat, not the person. The person merely possesses “clearance eligibility.” Meaning you passed a BI and they found no reason to not trust you. But by never occupying that seat…you are closed out. A TS does not revert to a Secret at 5 years. Though I believe a cogent argument can and should be made to look at assigning a measure of “clearance portability,” to the person. I certainly understand the logic that if a TS BI is far deeper than a Secret NAC…and you are trusted to the TS level…I believe a regularly cleared person (been cleared since 1982) SHOULD carry a degree of trust with the person. This is not to say I cannot un-earn trust or get involved in bad behavior requiring an adjudication. In those cases I should be reviewed. If a Secret NAC is good for 10 years…I do believe a TS should revert to Secret and be assigned to the person. But currently the position is the driver, not the person. Inactive just means you have not been actively working with a cleared position for more than 2 years. And that requires you to be submitted as an initial clearance for either Secret positions or TS positions.

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Understood …. and Lord knows I agree with MOST of what you said. The clearance was awarded. In 2015 I turned down a position with a different company because they wanted us to relocate. They did confirm that I had the TS/SCI clearance. So I have to disagree with the company “pulling back” on things (but do understand how that could have been the case).
This is why I am “confused” on why my Secret clearance is not valid today. Seems like a huge waste to pull the rug out like that after investing so much in the individual. I say that NOT feeling like I am owed something, but with the idea in mind that an individual with a current active secret clearance would be of a greater benefit to the industry than someone that HAD a clearance at one time (and is considered “unmarketable” to some degree by most of the employers where a clearance is a factor for consideration.

When you are working in a cleared position, the company and the government have an eye on your activities. When you leave, they do not and they want to investigate what you were doing while you were gone. It isn’t about what is convenient for the government, the employers or the cleared personnel. It’s about what is good for national security.


Again, you he person never had a clearance. The seat you sat in required access to classified. You had clearance eligibility, and as Ed stated, while you are there, they can see how you conduct yourself. Once you leave there is plenty time to get into bad behavior and they need check you out again. Having the ability to be crossed over…does have value to employers for sure. Often this is what confuses people and they think they are walking away with a tangible “something” in their pocket.

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