Upgrade from S to TS/SCI following rocky S adjudication

Hi All! It’s been a while. Quick question for investigators/adjudicators, and apologies if this has been answered, but I was unable to find something similar to this set of circumstances.


Submitted SF-86 in Summer of 2018 for Secret. Denied suitability in early 2019 based on self-disclosed recreational drug use (marijuana), last use in Summer of 2017. Successfully appealed the suitability denial and received my clearance, entered federal service in late Spring 2019.

I’m currently filling out SF-86 again after accepting a position requiring TS/SCI (same agency). In my >1.5 years of federal service, I’ve had nothing but glowing performance reviews, including a couple awards. I’ve had no security incidents and there is no new information to report.


I understand the investigation process is more thorough for TS, but do I have anything to worry about re: some of the previous issues from my Secret adjudication? Should I expect to go through the same arduous process again, or will the investigator/adjudicator focus more on my time since entering federal service? Should I include details rom my successful appeal in the submitted documents? Any other advice?


To my knowledge, the adjudicative criteria for TS and S are the same, it is just the investigation that differs… how deep they dig.

No need to include extensive details in your SF-86 eQIP as this will almost certainly be a topic of discussion for the next twenty years if you stay in the field that long :frowning: and you will be able to provide detail during the interview. But answer the questions truthfully, dont hide anything.

And keep in mind, just like an ugly win is a win, a rocky yet successful adjudication is a successful adjudication.


I am not an investigator or adjudicator but I was in the Air Force for twenty years, went through three clearances myself, and had a lot of people around me do it.

First, of course, you can’t really know for sure and that’s just the unfortunate way it is.

Second, as long as no new information comes up, I suspect you are OK. They already have the old information, it was eventually accepted, and you’ve been a good citizen since that time.

So, third, which only you know, is there something else hiding out there that they might find? If yes, that could be a very big problem, not only for your TS but even for keeping your S. If no, then I suspect you have no real problem.

Good luck!


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Are you a Phishhead?

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I was in a former life!

Squirrel summed it up nice. If you were honest. And consistent with answers, and there has been no repeat of recreational use or other disqualifying factors…logic dictates you will clear. However. We’ve seen folks clear one agency but not another based on same information. Normally, MJ use requires at least 12 months…as much as 36 months depending on age when used. You seem to be there now. So considering it was disclosed and adjudicated it should be fine. Nobody can blackmail you by threatening to reveal it. You’ve done that. And bravo to you challenging and winning the first denial. We will see much more in the way of MJ use as 4 more states approved recreational use and Oregon went whole hog, heroin, etc. That will be interesting. If you kept bills up and no other undisclosed info such as foreign contacts…I think you are good to go.

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Closing the loop: TS investigation began in November, investigation continued at least until 8 weeks ago (according to a former co-worker who texted after being contacted), and received favorable adjudication two weeks ago. Thanks for all the advice!