Secret Clearance

I messed up and lied on the SF-86 about a criminal record i have overseas, it’s 3 misdemeanors wich happend at once and one of them is drug related. I lived most of My life overseas and told the truth on the SF-86 about that but didn’t mentiomn My criminal record.
Will the investigator for a military SECRET Clearance call the local police departement in the country in wich i lived? How should i go about Telling them about it?

At this point, you are going to have some issues. I would tell your FSO that you omitted some information, and you would like to add it. They probably will say it is too late. In that case, allow the investigation to continue and you willl most likely have to discuss this information with an investigator if you have an interview. They check police records in every city you have lived so I am sure they will discover it. It is not necessarily a guranteed denial, but you will have some explaining to do.

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Overseas law checks are not conducted with local national police, only the military police at the base if you were at one. Now if the local police picked you up and turned you over to the military there may be a record of it. Otherwise they only other way for it to be found is through the State Department or some other source that is interviewed during the investigation. Regardless, you are in a bad spot and should come clean if you are interviewed.


I believe that lack of candor is among the chief reasons for security clearance denials/revocations. The fact that you did not include this information in SF-86 is troubling, but it can be mitigated/explained. It will be even more troubling if you did not correct the SF-86 and provide the information immediately, which is not a good looking. This will amount to a lack of candor, which is worst.

Just remember that adjudicator makes security clearance decision based on the notion of whole-person. This is more the reason for you to be forthcoming.

Regardless, you asked a question that I believe that a security clearance attorney can better answer your question. Actually, a background investigator or an adjudicator should be able to answer, but I doubt one will answer that for you other than telling to you to be forthcoming.

So, contact your security manager or security officer and disclose.

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Going off of what you said about lack of candor and correcting an SF immediately, does it look bad if you provide the investigator with “updates” when you have your interview? Such as a very recent change of address/cohabitant/work location…I’m talking about all of these happening within two months of the interview, and about 3 months since filing the SF.

I have not heard of anyone being able to correct or update their SF86 once it is submitted. The advice to “come clean right away” just doesn’t work as far as I can see.

Go over your SF86 and write up anything that you think that you missed. If you are called for an interview, present that write up to the investigator at the beginning of the session and explain that you have reconsidered some of the information that you provided. Your write up should include any mitigating factors as listed in the guidelines.

As for changes in address or employment, just present those to the investigator if you are interviewed. They can’t possibly hold it against you. It may delay their work for a few days because they new information to track down but in the long run, that does not represent an issue.

If it is something minor such as address changes, etc., then no it wouldn’t look bad. If you were arrested or such, that is a “reportable” event that a security clearance holder ought to disclose as soon as practicable. However, if it is something like an arrest or such prior to filing the SF-86, then I can imagine it won’t look good. In the latter case, the investigator will probably ask why didn’t you correct the information immediately or something to that effect.

Not to be funny or insensitive, but my first thought to your first sentence was Jared Kushner. Heaven knows how many times he updates his SF86. Nonetheless, I have seen colleagues update their SF86. If they didnt have to update, they at least have documentation of the initial disclosure. In the Government, we like to say CYA-- Cover Your @SS.

Nonetheless, I think it depends on the type of changes. As you mentioned, change in address and employment wouldnt really be considered material change. Misconduct? Foreign contact? Criminal activity? I would imagine that they are considered material changes; thus, ought to be reported immediately. This is just my opinion.

Gotcha, thanks for the info. No arrests or anything of that nature. Had accepted position with company A (who sponsored clearance) and a couple weeks later got an immediate position with company B, who also requires a clearance, but I can currently work on the project. So when the time came for my interview I had to provide the investigator with these updates (all of which were just minor life changes).

One thing I should mention… if you already have your subject interview, then no biggie.

However, if you haven’t and you moved to a different work location. There might be a delay as your clearance will need to be routed to a nearby investigator. Some delays were insignificant (Few days) and some were significant (months).

So, you might want to proactive there if you don’t want to unnecessarily delay your Personal Subject Interview (PSI) any further than it is.

Yep, I had it about a month and a half ago. Supposedly has been in adjudication since. 169 days since filing the initial SF for a first time Secret.

Update for routine info won’t hurt you such as an address change happening after the submission. Not reporting an arrest is different. It sounds like three formal charges from one incident. Were you charged, investigated, and adjudged in Europe? Did you serve time, pay fines? Was it minor traffic related stuff or was it in fact crime? Was violence or drugs and alcohol or weapons involved? Property damage? The scale of the offense matters. I do see a lack of candor issue and if it isn’t discovered and you are granted a clearance I understand the impulse to let it go. But that is not big picture long view wise. How many years ago was event causing these three charges? More than 10? Not a big deal unless it was under the more specific SF86 questions. If it was in the last 3 years …it is considered current and requires reporting.

I haven’t had an interview yet and Only told recruiter so far because i haven’t shipped and he assures me that no one Will find out and just not say anything. I know this is the wrong option. i have talked to some People in the military wich tells me to keep quiet since this happend in another country before i was a US Citizen, “what’s the big deal” I’m told.
Is there anyway i can show them i’ve changed even if i come clean?

PSST… NBIB has agreements with INTERPOL and checks your international law record if you have been overseas…

Your recruiter is asking you to falsify your enlistment - which is a crime.

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Military recruiters are notorious for this… When I enlisted at 18, apparently my recruiter filled out my sf-86 and included it in the stack of papers I signed at MEPS. I looked at it years later and noticed several discrepancies…

How did you deal with it once you found out?

Hi i hve the same issue i hve been convicted for drugs (dealing overseas) back in 2014 n i was released (deported) 2016 since then ive changed my ways. N im thinking of joining the army and getting a ts clearance…shall i go for it or no? Should i mention it or no? Thanks