How In trouble am I?

#1

Okay so quick summary, I joined the Army reserves about 2 years ago when I was 20. It required me to get a secret clearance. I was truthful on every single question they asked except for on the drug use section. I have done drugs twice in my life, marijuana when I was 18 years old and cocaine when I was 20. I was in a college fraternity at the time and I made the stupid decision to do it. It was an extremely small amount but non the less it was consumed. When I did my secret clearance I did not list cocaine, only marijuana. Both drugs were one time usage. I was scared and did not understand the severity of what I was doing at the time.
Fast forward to now I have zero drug use and nothing to hide, I qualify for a position within the army that requires a TS. When I take the TS online questionnaire I plan on listing cocaine usage. I understand this qualifies as with holding of information and would immediately get me denied. Is that correct? It there anything I can do to mitigate this? If I get denied the TS would my secret get revoked? There is nothing I can do about my past decision to omit my drug use. I have a civilian job offer currently that requires the secret. Should I start looking for private sector jobs now? Please give me your input, thank you.

#2

Unless you want to destroy your career, do not apply for the TS job. Stay where you are for a while. The fact that you lied on the original application is, if found out, enough to lose you job.

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#3

I’m not an investigator or adjudicator, but I think you might be in hot water. The drug usage isn’t a problem, as youthful experimentation seems to rarely be grounds for denying a clearance.

The problem is that you knowingly lied on your clearance application. The issue is whether or not this is enough to make them doubt your character and if it indicates a risk of lying in the future. I see two essential paths: either stay at your current clearance level if possible, since it seems unlikely that a Secret reinvestigation will turn up with evidence of your drug usage, or apply for the TS while being honest about your previous missteps, and hope for the best. I would say you stand a good chance of getting denied a TS and possibly losing your Secret. You might get some lenience since you were young when you applied for the Secret, but you aren’t much older now, and can’t establish much history between then and now.

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#4

The mitigation is that you were in a college fraternity and 18 to 20 years old. Did your recruiter give you any advice when you filled out your last SF86? They often seem to recommend hiding drug use to young recruits and both investigators and adjudicators are familiar with this problem.

You are taking a risk. This was recent behavior and you COULD lose your Secret clearance if denied the TS.

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#5

How old are you (@boblakers) now?

#6

His post says that he is 22 . . .

#7

My recruiter did tell me to brush over everything and say check “no” when I first joined that army, however that was for initially joining and not for my security clearance. When it was time to do my online questionnaire I followed the same logic. I’m not much older now being that I’m 22 and not 20 so it would be very hard to convince them of my change of character. I will most likely pass on the opportunity to get a TS within the Army reserves since I would not like to take a risk and get my secret revoked. My current civilian job is fantastic and only requires a secret even at the highest position. I guess this is the route I must go, I can’t live in regret.

#8

This is most likely going to be my course of action. I do not need to go for the TS. My civilian employment only requires a secret. No need for me to take such a risk.

#9

Concur you are at risk. I’ve seen people get booted from the Air Force 8 years after joining because they claimed no prior drug use, but in a totally unrelated situation said “I smoked prior to joining.” So yes it can happen. Even if you put 8 more years between you and the event it happened. At times it MAY be considered mitigated but it never really goes away.

#10

Keep in mind that this issue will not go away . . . You have been cleared for two years. In another eight, you will be asked to fill out another SF86 for a reinvestigation. You will have to decide to come clean or continue your lie.

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#11

Since you are now 22 and the drug use occurred at age 20, you need to wait another 5 years or you will have to answer the the “in the past 7 years…” questions on the SF86 relating to drugs and check Yes.

It is concerning that you did lie when you were 20. I don’t know if the drug use happened before or after you filled out your SF86 for joining the Reserves. Regardless of what the recruiter tells you, there’s the Army application and then there is the SF86. You ended up signing all of it ultimately

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