Military Commander Revoked SCI Access Due to SOR from DoD CAF

I have a couple of questions related to my topic, but first a little background. As a military member, I have held a TS/SCI clearance since 2008 and have worked in SCIFs of a certain three-letter agency since. However, in 2020, during a pre-polygraph interview as part of the civilian hiring process at the three-letter agency, I disclosed things about my past and the hiring process was discontinued stating that I had committed a “serious crime.” I continued to work under military orders in the agency’s spaces and in 2021, was interviewed by a security personnel from the three-letter agency and answered more security-related questions.

Finally, in May 2022, DoD CAF sent an SOR containing the information that I had disclosed in the interviews to my military unit Security Management Office (SMO) about the “intent to revoke clearance eligibility.” DoD CAF provided me with instructions on how to challenge the issues of concern and submit a response. With the help of legal counsel, I submitted a 12-page response addressing all the security related concerns brought forward. My SMO, my legal counsel, and I are all pretty confident that DoD CAF will continue to grant me clearance eligibility. However, in the meantime, despite the SOR stating that “my SMO may elect to suspend access,” my unit commander revoked my access and ended my orders early before allowing DoD CAF to make a final determination on my clearance eligibility.

So, my questions are: How long might I expect (if it’s possible to guess) to hear back from DoD CAF for a final determination? Does the commander have authority to revoke access? If my commander revoked my access and ended my orders early, shouldn’t the commander provide me with a memo of some sort containing their reason to revoke access? Also, I have been advised by my unit SMO that I can still apply to other jobs requiring TS/SCI while we wait - is this true? I know this is more military related, but would my situation of being cut off of Title 10 orders constitute “involuntary separation” since I am a National Guard member? I appreciate any reply in advance!

A risk averse CC will do just that. In fairness they should provide written justification but likely treat as administrative action…not judicial. The recommended suspension is always done to protect classified…and we pay the price while under appeal. Many are overturned on appeal. With proper legal advice and structuring the appeal based on what they claimed…if a cogent argument is made…it should end in your favor. I would seek ADC advice on approaching the CC for written justification on the suspension and termination of orders. Having anything in writing beats verbal. Moving forward, even if overturned…I highly recommend ALWAYS reporting this on each SF86. It just helps case to reveal upfront instead of being discovered and if found technically not required. I consistently tell people over report vice under report.

I appreciate your advice and explanation! Unfortunately, my ADC just deployed after we had submitted the response to CAF and my commander is TDY. So I’m scrambling for work, in the meantime lol.

I feel you there. Without full understanding of concerns it is hard to speak to totality of issues. I would hope a CC would move to uncleared duties in interim. But they may feel risk required it.

Yeah, thank you - I have orders until mid-July to have something lined up. Would you happen to know if I should not include “SCI” now on my TS clearance on job applications? Is having revoked access mean no SCI?

Also, as a result of my commander’s decision, I am being forced into potential loss of pay and benefits and having to separate from active duty (I’m a reservist) before a final decision is made. Can they do that without any recourse?

Yes. If you are unable to maintain the needed clearance they can’t use you for the position. National security trumps everything else. Also, if you can’t fill the position they need to replace you with someone who can.

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I still have a TS clearance.

The commander is ultimately responsible for ensuring mission success. Something worries your commander. They can remove anyone from a position at anytime.

So you have a TS but aren’t allowed to work?

Read the correspondence carefully; the verbiage reads (or at least it used to) “suspension with intent to revoke” or something like that. Pending a successful challenge I suspect you may not have any clearance at all.

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The subject of the memo from DoD CAF reads: “Intent to Revoke Eligibility for Access to Classified Information, Assignment to Duties that have been Designated as National Security Sensitive, and Access to SCI.” It later states, “a preliminary decision has been made to revoke your eligibility for access… If this preliminary decision becomes final, you will not be eligible for access…” Then it says, “If you currently have access, [it] may be suspended by your unit’s Security Management Office.” Finally, it states, “You may challenge this preliminary decision by responding with any information you think should be considered in reaching a final decision.” I have submitted the response to challenge the decision and we’re awaiting the final decision. In the meantime, my commander decided to suspend my access before the final decision.

Definitely submit your side of the story. Otherwise the decision is based solely on trusting the commander who is paid to make a risk decision. If national security is a concern I expect them to act in the best interest of national security every time.

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