Past actions: Polygraph Test and Security Clearance

Hi Everyone,

So, I am interested in applying to either the FBI, DEA or CIA, but I am worried about my past actions since leaving the Marine in 2017. Here is a little bit of information about me. Currently I am 28 years old. While in the Marine Corps I held a TS/SCI security clearance because of my MOS and held it for another year while working in Iraq and Kuwait with CACI. I was honorably discharged from the Marine Corp and had no job issues with CACI. I am currently a full time undergraduate student. And my expected graduation date is on December 10, 2022. I have a 3.5 GPA. I am studying finance and accounting with a minor in political science. My finances are in order - my credit score is 800+ and I am financing my education without taking out a student loan. I don’t have a criminal record, nor do I have any mental or psychiatric issues nor a substance abuse problem. Moreover, I am single and don’t have a record of sexual assault or harassment.

Now the issues that I am not proud of.

I smoked weed once with my roommate in 2020, and have not had the desire to smoke ever again. I should add that I live in Colorado where smoking recreational marijuana is legal.

I visited a massage parlor in my area 6 times, and twice at two other locations where sexual acts occurred from 2020-2021. But since then, I have had no desired to go back to any of those massage parlors. No one has called me up asking for money or blackmail.

I regularly watch porn and have been using only fans to purchase and watch amateur videos. But I don’t engage in escort services with anyone nor do I ask to meet with any people in only fans. Furthermore, I believed that all videos that I purchase and watch were with consenting adults, and not minors. No one has called me up asking for money or blackmail.

So there you have it, guys. What do you think? Do I still have a shot or should I scrap the idea of applying?

Now days, if you are applying for any job with the CIA, you will have to undergo FS Poly, no if’s and’s or buts about it. When you go through the Poly interview, you will have to talk about these things. Numero Uno. Do not leave any of this off your SF-86. I don’t believe they ask any qiestions about porn, but they do about marijuana, and as long as you reveal it, it will not be an issue. The Agency is looking for truthfulness and honesty. You are better off putting it on the SF-86 where it calls for it than leaving it off. I will tell you, one of the questions they ask is whether you have ever tried to mislead or hide evidence from the government. Not reporting something on the SF-86 falls under that question of misleading. If you don’t report it and you say you never tried to mislead the government, when you do your Poly, it will trip you up and you will start having anxiety and guilt issues and questioning your honesty and asking why didn’t I report that, and the bottom line is, it isn’t worth putting yourself through all that. Just be honest and truthful and you should be a OK. I’m no expert on the matter, but I wouldn’t think that watching porn is an issue. as a matter of fact, it’s not something you report on an SF-86. It is something you can discuss with the person that is interviewing you for the Poly, and he will probably tell you not even to be concerned about it.

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Thanks man. If you don’t mind me asking. If I do report everything I mention. Will this hurt my chances of being hired. Or are they only interested in me being honest.

If you report everything you should be fine. You have no felonies, you haven’t stolen any government classified documents or property, you haven’t deceived the government, you’re not in debt, you don’t have any unreported foreign travel, you have no habitual alcohol or drug problem, you don’t have gambling problems from what you have described. The worst thing they will do is ask you why you did something, and for the marijuana, if it was for recreational purposes and you wanted to see what it felt like to smoke it, then tell them that, or whatever the reason was, but don’t try to sugar coat it, talk around it, avoid answering it, or anything like that or they will think there is something going on that you aren’t telling them. If you can do that, you should do well. But I gotta forewarn you, it’s not a cakewalk, they’ll find something to grill you on and as long as you are up front and straight with them you’ll be OK. One last thing that I was not aware of. When you get done with the interview, ask the interviewer for a card that has his/her phone number on it. You will want to have that for future follow up in the event your clearance gets hung up in adjudication. And if you have a second Poly, which most people do, and you have a different interviewer, get their name and number as well, you will be glad you did.

While applicants for positions of public trust have an ethical obligation to answer relevant questions truthfully, the fact of the matter is that volunteering derogatory information will indeed hurt your chances of of being hired.

Just answer the questions asked. Period. If a question asks have you ever, the answer is either you have or you haven’t. It is not no, but. If a question asks have you within the last x number of years, the answer is either yes or no. It isn’t no, but.

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I lived in the poly world 9.6 years, had 4 polys. I had to speak to use of my ex wife’s antidepressant medication during our separation and divorce. I was 100% forthcoming, as embarrassing as it was. I was 45 at time I used this for medicinal purposes during a period of unusual stress unlikely to repeat itself. You were roughly 26 when you used. You could say having led a clean life in the USMC, you did not experience the youthful indiscretion period. Since it was state legal and you were not cleared at time, and it is longer than 4 years ago…I think you will clear. The massage parlor question may come up. Speak to it. Because doing so means you cannot be blackmailed over it. If someone threatens too tell them go ahead you already did. Most info poly gets comes from the 5 minute interview prior to what you think is the actual test. It gives them scabs to pick at. So don’t hold back. Give it all. Let them ask you amounts, times, cost, etc. Once reported…its reported. Now don’t do that (those things) again.