I joined the Delayed Entry Program in February of 2021. While talking with a recruiter, I told him about my marijuana use. I was a frequent, purely social user from March of 2020 until December of 2020 when I quit with no problems. I don’t miss it at all and my life absolutely improved without it’s use. I also never purchased it myself, nor owned any paraphernalia. I left for basic in August of 2021, and eventually in July 2021 had a Secret clearance granted in order to access training material. I’m currently in the pipeline for my rate in the Navy.
When I told him, he wanted me to completely omit it from any enlistment document. I eventually settled on downplaying it - I listed my last use as August 2020, and that I used it only 5 times. This was the info I used on my NASIS which I now know as the SF-86. I figured a half-lie was better than a total one. I wanted to come clean in the interview as the guilt was killing me but I did it in the office surrounded by recruiters, including the one I filled out the form with, and couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’m now up for a TS and I want to come clean since not only am I concerned about the lie being found out, but the guilt I’d hold for getting cleared under a lie would bother me for a very long time. Again, my use was frequent in accordance with the dates listed above, but it was completely social in nature and the fact that it’s not only normalized in today’s world but especially in my state didn’t help. In high school, everyone from the bona fide stoners to hopeful college athletes and AP students used it. All use also took place before the age of 18, I’m 19 now if that means anything. I did talk to my command security office and was just told that the choice to come clean is mine and I’m responsible for all decisions I make from here on out.
I do have a few questions:
When I come clean, will the fact that I technically fraudulently enlisted put me at risk of losing my job or discharge from the service? I do understand that OPM and the DoD are separate entities. This job is truly the only one I joined to do and I would not have any other.
Am I at risk for clearance denial and/or revocation of current clearance? I do believe that the recruiter’s guidance, self-admission, “young ignorance” and fear serve as mitigating factors but the fact I lied on a federal form that’s based on honesty is huge in itself.
I understand that recruiter guidance aside, I ultimately am responsible for my actions. I’m terrified my mistake and past drug use will cost me an amazing opportunity and losing my job in the service would crush me, there’s nothing more I want to do. With that being said, I refuse to have my clearance continue to be based on a lie. I plan on filling out this current SF-86 honestly and explaining why the info is discrepant with my last form, and explaining everything talking to an investigator. I appreciate all input and advice.