TS/SCI - Appearance of underage drinking with previous interim clearance

Hello everyone,

A few months ago, I was working at a certain government contractor and was granted an interim Secret clearance. Over the course of a few weeks, I became good friends with the interns I worked with (all juniors or seniors in college while I was significantly younger). Towards the end of their stay, they invited me to a party with some of the other interns since they were leaving. Although I knew alcohol would be involved, I really enjoyed hanging out with them and felt I could trust them so I went. I intended to completely avoid alcohol since I didn’t want to jeopardize my clearance, but I also wanted to seem “cool”.

My solution, which was kind of ridiculous, was to pretend to drink instead. I even looked up guides online on how to realistically appear to be drinking without actually consuming anything (most of these guides were actually meant for pregnant women at parties).

It was a little more difficult to accomplish than I thought it would be, but I still managed to pull it off although sometimes I got questioning looks. I would frequently leave the room to “drink water”, “use the bathroom”, or “take a call”, instead discarding the drink and replacing it with water. I feel bad about wasting their drinks and I think I definitely should have told them directly, or just not have gone in the first place. I did in fact refuse an e-cigarette when directly offered it despite some significant pressure though.

My main motivation for even doing this in the first place was that in high school, I was viewed as uncool or too innocent or boring since I usually never took part in this sort of thing. I guess I technically still am but now I might have to face consequences for something I didn’t actually do.

Also, even though I didn’t end up doing anything illegal, I definitely learned a valuable lesson. I’ll just be upfront about being uncomfortable with this sort of thing, since I feel that I did succumb to peer pressure, even if it was indirect. Since then, I get invited to some other parties in college but I generally avoid them. It’s pretty easy since my college isn’t much of a party school.

My main worry now is that I have no idea how to explain this on the SF-86 or during the interviews and polygraph for my upcoming clearance application. I am definitely not going to lie, but I’m worried that the truth seems super fabricated too. In addition to this, all of these people, who are potential references, all believe that I really did drink.

Is this something to worry about? Also, is there a place to include this on the SF-86? There was no crime committed but I’m not sure if I should just wait until the interview.

Thank you all in advance, I really appreciate the work this website does by the way.

Jesus you’re worrying way too much. Was a crime committed? No. Was anything you did even slightly morally wrong? Besides wasting some good alcohol, no! My advice, don’t bring it up even in interview because all you’re going to do is force that investigator to write it down and get further information, all for something that wasn’t illegal or questionable. Calm down, chill, and enjoy your life. You did right. Why should that hurt you?

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