Military TS clearance investigation

I know the sf86 requires you to fill out a blanket HIPAA authorization, but does the investigator actually go through medical records?

Also, if I applied for my state’s bar, would the investigator pull the application?

We don’t routinely go through medical records - though as an agent that once had to do through 1008 pages of a Subject’s mental health and substance abuse medical history - at times it happens; We just summarize the information in the report and send the whole document in as an attachment.

We would only seek the state bar information if you are applying to be a lawyer or your position requires the bar. Part of the BI is ensuring you stated your qualifications correctly. You’d probably be surprised how many people don’t realize we check education or licensing and how many times those credentials are falsol

Oops. Well that would certainly be awkward.


I think the Diploma Mills took fedciv folks by storm for a period. There were a lot of higher level GS15s and the like with fake PHds. Now USAJOBS has a fairly strong warning on fake or non accredited colleges. What stinks is some of these Nationally Acredited (not as strong as regionally accredited), make students work every bit as hard for a degree that won’t transfer. The military lost a lot to similar scams. People thinking they have a BS degree but find out no graduate program will accept it. Making it a true…BS…degree

and yet AB, we still cases with military, fed civ, and contractors listing degrees from a local diploma mill…

What is a ‘diploma mill?’ If you’re talking about some place that advertises in a magazine and will basically sell you a ‘degree’ for a one-time charge, I got it.

But some of our well-established institutions of higher learning also count as diploma mills in my book :slight_smile: AND they charge a lot more money.

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This is a diploma mill. A non-accredited organization that sells a fake diploma.


Question for you experienced guys. What does it take to jump from one GS level to the next? Is it simple pass of time or do you have to do “something special”? Also, do you move from one GS level to the next or can you skip some?

This depends. If you start below a 11 you might be able to get promoted on a ladder scale. If you are 13 and higher you might have to go to a board, depending on the agency. If you apply for a job at another agency that is higher than your current level you may be able to get the higher grade. It all depends on which agency.

Thanks. I’m starting at an out of college GS level, even though it’s been 20 years since I graduated, but I’ve never done what I’ve been hired to do, hence the low level. And a third of my current salary. My wife thinks I am crazy but I really want to do it.
Anyway, just wanted to know how the GS promotion thing works.
P.S. I’m still processing.

Note that some agencies have gone to a much more complicated and annoying promotion process. You have to basically ‘apply’ for promotion and compete against a large pool of other applicants. This is mainly for agencies in the ‘excepted’ service.

There’s also the “band” system which is in use at a number of DoD agencies. I don’t know much about this but promotions to the next band are even more difficult.

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I can tell you only my limited perspective of 11 months. You can negotiate steps. I was repeatedly told that was impossible. But I was offered GS 13 Step 1, I asked to be reassessed, was given Step 3. I’m convinced it is nearly impossible to get full and fair grading for previous contract work. So I’m dutifully waiting on finishing another month to lock in the GS13 level before applying for GS14 slots. I’ve known many who climbed from 5 to 12 over 6 to 8 years. It took me that long just to get referred and my resume right.

But I can tell you after 19 years contract on 4 companies…I’ll take Fedciv anyday.

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