Made a big mistake as a child, will it kill my chances for a Top Secret position in the Military?

I am currently trying to join the Army National Guard as a Signal Officer. I’m terrified, however, of the Top Secret background check. A few years back, I tried to get hired as a Police Officer. 2 Agencies polygraphed me. The first one discontinued me after the Polygraph but never explained why. The second one also discontinued me after the Polygraph. They didn’t give me an explanation but I made what was probably a stupid admission AFTER the test was over. The admission was that at 11 years old, I was curious and fiddled with my dog’s penis. It was just that one time and I never did anything like that again. I chock it up to just childhood curiosity.

Will this come up if I go for a Top Secret position and will it kill my chances? If this DQ’d me, would my unit find out the reason?

I really want someone to answer this.


There is not a place that this behavior would be listed on the SF-86. However, questioning beyond the SF-86, into the adjudicative guidelines could bring this to light.

If the behavior has not been repeated, significant time has passed and basically you were a curious kid, all of these would mitigate the issue.

I would be surprised if this were the actual issue that failed you on your poly.

To add on. No. Your unit would not know other than you got denied. Which from what fed said, sounds like you won’t. If that were the case I would know all the dirt on my coworkers but thankfully I don’t.


So, if I were to go to OCS and ultimately lose my clearance, I would just get bumped down to enlisted and still be allowed to serve?

That’s honestly the only thing I can think of. I have no criminal record. Good credit (wasn’t always that way, but is now). I’m in good shape. I’m smart and outgoing. I have a bachelors degree and experience in the field.

I feel like the problem was that I said one thing during the actual polygraph and then made an admission. The chief refused to tell me why I was disqualified. I was there number #1 applicant before that.

On a positive note, I would imagine that going forward, your childhood indiscretions shouldn’t be an issue.

1 Like

I wouldn’t worry about losing a clearance like fed has said. It was too long ago to matter. In my experience here people get cleared a lot easier than people trying to be police officers. I’m not too sure what happens at OCS if you can’t hold a secret clearance.