How important is SCI? And polygraphs?

I used to have TS/SCI + polygraph and was read out some time ago, but I still do have an active clearance:

  • My collateral TS is held by my organization and remains active indefinitely.
  • I am due for a DOD reinvestigation some time from now. I have SCI eligibility up through that point in time (or so my FSO told me).
  • Because of the two-year timeframe, my SCI + polygraph for my specific DOD sub-agency will go out of scope two years from my read-out date, which is before my DOD reinvestigation is due to occur.

How important is it that I keep the SCI+polygraph for the DOD sub-agency active? How is it different from my DOD SCI? And which one facilitates “crossover” between agencies that require a similar-level polygraph?

I’m a little confused as to which thing is important / what I should be worrying about. My goal is to make my transition into any specific DOD sub-agency that requires polygraphs as seamless as possible. But if they’re going to make me retake a poly regardless of what I already have, or if having DOD SCI is just fine, then it makes less sense to panic about the expiring sub-agency SCI.

I’m assuming you are a contractor… and that you were last ‘active’ for SCI at that same company… So let’s say you go back to work on Monday, your boss says your company won the Big New Job with the same customer you were last in access for SCI, and you are going to work it. Security may be able to get you ‘briefed’ again pretty quickly… but I don’t think I’m telling you anything here that you don’t already know.

Other than that specific scenario… who knows. As for retaking a poly, that’s even harder to say.

In other words… too hard to predict, you’ll have to deal with the situation when it arises. In the meantime, don’t panic.

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Got it.
Is it also hard to say whether having just a collateral TS necessarily has less value than having SCI when we’re talking about working for agencies outside of the one the SCI is associated with?

Also hard to say since so many employers are focusing only on those candidates who already have all the necessary clearances. They could probably get someone with only a TS upgraded to SCI without too much problem, but companies are reluctant to do so after having so many candidates taking over a year.

Hopefully once that timeline shrinks (which seems to be happening) employers will become less reluctant.

Hmm after reading this, I may be confusing two different situations which I’d like to clarify: in the first case (which is what @bubbletoot first described), a person is investigated and favorably adjudicated for access to SCI and ‘briefed’ but after a time, because of lack of contracts requiring that access, is debriefed so they are no longer in access but do retain their eligibility. In the second case, a person is investigated and adjudicated ONLY FOR TS, no SCI (unusual in my experience but it does happen). That second person never had SCI access and it may be more complicated to put them in for SCI.

Maybe that is more confusing than it was before :slight_smile:

Technically we all should have accesses closed if our current job doesn’t give access to that level of classified. That generates work so in most cases you simply remain in access until you leave that company and get read out. None of these accesses are “ours” we simply have eligibility, and access. If you job hop in Northern Va…having multiple SCI or SAP accesses gives one a leg up on new, fresh off street applicant. But it is a slight edge only. If they want a person they submit for clearance. Having a TS SCI Full poly is meaningless if applying for a job requiring Secret. Because that company can only grant access to Secret required for their contract. In those cases…it does nothing for you unless that company is hoping to score a TS contract and use you in that capacity. Now, as a contractor, or one living that life for past 17 years, yes having multiple accesses and clearances made me feel more employable.

In years past, most customers seemed to be OK if companies kept people in access even if they were not working the job, provided the contract was still active. But it seems to me, as a non-FSO, that over the past ten years or so most customers became much more stringent about this sort of thing.

Before I left my last job, they were going to debrief me because I was not working that project… I wondered how long I would retain my ‘eligibility’ to get briefed again. I did not stick around long enough to find out :yum:

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Yeah it changes over time. As for me I have no desire to stay in the Poly arena anymore. I have zilch to hide, great credit, very limited foreign connections via social media, lifelong friends since stationed in Philippines and Japan. No crim issues. Just no longer have the fire in my stomach to survive the Poly and what seems to be arbitrary. Lord knows I argued against much of what AntiPoly posts, but at the heart of the matter …I get it. So I am almost there on finalizing a government position in the plain vanilla TS SCI world. More to follow.

I worked with a guy, he said he had previously held the TS/SCI requiring a polygraph. One day the security officer told him he would have to be debriefed. He said, fine, take it, I don’t care… but don’t expect me to ever do a polygraph again!

Watched people rip off sensors, cursing, cussing and speaking ill of everyone’s mama. Other folks cry uncontrollably. I know I felt “dirty” and wanted to shower for hours afterwards. It is a humiliating experience and I suspect at least some of the poly folks “get off” on the psychological torture. I have nothing against testing but making it less than professional just makes you feel terrible.

I’ve heard more than one person describe their first session where they were basically accused of being a drug-dealing terrorist… then passing with no problems at all the second go-round.

:thinking: :thinking: :thinking:

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Yep. During my first poly as soon as I walked in I was asked whether I feel nervous. I said no, because i have nothing to hide, for which she said: that’s a red flag for me. Then I was accused of intentionally calming myself down" even though i just got back from Europe the night before and was still half asleep from the time change. Then she screamed at me saying if I keep this up I’ll never work for that agency ever. I passed at the end.


The crazy thing is those with a conscience often over think and wonder if they did something bad, feel guilt, all the things causing responses to change and get measured while actual spies boldly go into poly and pass simply because they believe in what they are doing and don’t “feel” at all. I’ll let the younger generation take over in that area now.


Jumping in with a random question here - does anybody know when polygraph offices are scheduled to reopen (specifically Northern VA area)? I was scheduled for a polygraph in mid-March, but they called me and said their offices would be closed indefinitely, and they’d give me a call to schedule something when they opened back up. With Phase 2 reopening starting this Friday for NoVA, is there any idea when the polygraph offices may open again?

I was told to scan all my info for a possible virtual CI screening. No idea how polys will be done though, but the screening has to be done first.

Oh yeah. Yeah. This is going to be interesting.

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Jumping in with a random question here - does anybody know when polygraph offices are scheduled to reopen (specifically Northern VA area)?

I’d like to know that too. I’m waiting to get scheduled for poly myself.

Start throwing darts at a calendar. Probably be a while yet. Wonder if they will insist on putting a piece of plexiglas between the examiner and the victim oops I mean subject and how that will affect readings… not to mention disinfecting all the apparatus between sessions.

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