I’m a 23 year old graduate student that completed undergrad in May 2023. I am in the application process for DIA and am curious about my security clearance/suitability adjudication, should I receive a CJO. Using a throwaway account.
I have a considerable amount of red flags from my time in college. These include alcohol abuse, drug use, marijuana sale, pattern of academic dishonesty, drinking and driving, hiring a prostitute, watching movies/TV on “free” websites, foreign travel (14 countries since 2017), and foreign contacts (friends from school).
Alcohol abuse (Spring 2018-Fall 2021)
- Arrest due to alcohol use October 2019
- 2 alcohol violations while in freshman year Fall 2019—conduct probation
- While in college, blacked out almost weekly until arrest
- After arrest, went for alcohol counseling while staying in college. I went sober for 90 days until January 2021.
- But since my mindset was the same (low confidence, seeking external validation, no purpose in life), my drinking did not abate much after ending sobriety
- Drinking severity significantly decreased after moving home from the dorms at the start of Spring 2021 semester
- Couldn’t control drinking on days I drank
- Last blackout September 2023, and before that, June 2023—although I highly suspect I was drugged that time
- haven’t had a problem with booze since late Fall 2021
- change in value set
- saw therapist for help restoring confidence and self-worth
- alcohol problems are in the past
Drug use (Fall 2019-Fall 2021)
* Started November 2019, ended October 2021
* Used in total maybe 35 times with frequencies ranging from once every week or so to once every two months
* Purchased cocaine “lines” and “bumps” from friends totaling 10 occasions. All usage except one occurred between September 2019 and November 2020. First use September 2019, last use February 2022. February 2022 use was first use in 15 months.
* Used twice: November 2019 and August 2021
* Small amount, didn’t feel it either time
* One use Spring 2020 while blacked out
* No recollection
* One use in December 2017
* Used as a joke given prevalence in pop culture
Amyl nitrate (poppers) (1)
* One use Spring 2020, same as ketamine night
* No recollection
* Took friend’s adderal one time November 2019
- significant time since last use
- use was a result of lack of care for world’s rules and desire to appear cool. I also felt lost and didn’t care about anything
- Sold marijuana, mostly in edible form, from my stock to friends approximately 44 times. 37 occurred from December 2019-March 2020, 2 in October 2020, 2 in November 2020, 2 in September 2021, and 1 in November 2021.
- I would buy edibles and marijuana carts from my friend in a legal state, he would ship them to my school P.O. Box, and I would sell edibles to my friends. Occasionally, I would trade “hits” of the marijuana carts for money. In July 2021, I purchased plant marijuana from this same friend, who was back home for the summer. He had brought it with him. I mostly used the plant marijuana for myself, but I sold the rest of the marijuana to a friend in November 2021 to get rid of it after I quit in October 2021.
- I received approximately $635.5 from my friends as payment.
MJ sale mitigation:
- only sold to friends, not an industrial operation
- Over 2 years since last sale
Academic integrity violations:
- Cheated on academic assignments in high school and college sporadically up until October 2022, where I was caught and received a “letter of discontent” but did not receive honor violation and the letter of discontent is expunged from my record
- was accused of cheating in Spring 2019 in HS but successfully argued my case
Academic integrity mitigation:
- symptom of my apathy about the world
- totally different worldview and value set now
- over a year since last incident of cheating
*hired a prostitute in a legal country in May 2022
- only time doing so
- regret and will not do so again
Broad mitigating factors
- Strong sense of contrition
- Disgusted with my out of control behavior, disregard for law and integrity, selfishness, and worldview
- Genuine reformation—complete life turnaround
- Don’t even recognize the person I was back then
- Significant maturation
- I lead a principled life according to legal and moral standards. I recognize that my past wrongdoings are not only legally problematic, but also morally so.
- Much more religious
- Very honest and have high integrity
- Therapy to work on alcohol and self confidence issues
- No intent to do drugs ever again
- Have not cheated since October 2022 and will not ever again
- Cheating was a function of laziness, not need. It eliminated the time required to study, but did not elevate my grades higher than what they would have been if I did take the time to study.
- Have not drove while over the legal limit since March 2023 and will not ever again
- Scrupulous in calling Ubers and don’t even have car with me in current city
- Only drinking socially, developed methods to keep it under control
- Most recent blackout in September 2023 was a massive wake-up call, and I drink only once/week with 5-6 drinks on average.
- I am willing to forgo all alcohol consumption in the future
- My alcohol abuse and drug use was a product of my lack of self confidence.
- I lacked self confidence and did what I felt would earn me acceptance in “popular” circles in college, and this included heavy drinking and some drug use.
- Further, I used alcohol as a confidence booster in and of itself. My previous lack of self confidence is the core reason for the way I abused alcohol and used drugs the way I did, and it is not relevant anymore
- I have very high self confidence now and have no need to find validation through others. So no chance this behavior will resurface
- I do not associate with the vast majority of people I used to do drugs with and sell drugs to, and the two people I am still friends with have made positive improvements in their drug use. Drugs are not a part of my life anymore, and they never will be again
- When sold weed to friends, I was young and immature (19-21) and seeking external validation. My actions were of the weed culture in my (then) friend group, and I was not an industrial drug dealer. The sale of the kind I partook was common within my friend group.
- I would sell small quantities to my friends if they wanted any, and many times I would just share it with them without getting paid.
- My previous conduct has no impact on my current and future ability to safeguard sensitive information or perform my job with excellence
- I fully understand the seriousness of my past wrongdoings, have atoned for them, and commit to never doing them again
- I cannot be blackmailed or coerced with any of this information, as I do not lie about it to others
I understand this is a lot. However, I am genuinely reformed from this kind of behavior and take full accountability for it. I have at least a year between now and my last red flags, and in most cases, even longer.
In my case, I am most worried about the pattern of academic cheating, even thought it isn’t asked on the SF-86 and my transcript is clean. Further, to my knowledge, the poly is only CI, not FS, so with luck, it will not be asked about. I am also very worried about the MJ sale and alcohol abuse, even though I am confident in my mitigating factors.
I will be 100% honest on any form and in any interview. I understand how my former conduct might convince an adjudicator to deny me clearance or suitability. Be it my degenerate drinking, my drug use and sale of weed, my academic dishonesty, or my selfish drinking and driving, I am gravely aware of how my form might look to an adjudicator. I felt sick going through my memory, reminding myself of the horrible decisions I made. I deeply regret my actions, and I know in my heart and in my mind that I am truly a changed person. I know I can’t change the past, and honestly, I’m not sure I would. I admire the person I am today and wouldn’t be here without these severe mistakes. Now, I am a much more reliable and trustworthy person. These transgressions no longer define me in the slightest bit, and I am fully committed to maintaining good conduct in accordance with the law and DIA’s priorities.
I want your advice:
In your opinion, how is my case? What do you see as the result for both clearance and suitability review?
Have I done a good job stressing my mitigating factors?
Are my mitigating factors good enough?
How should I frame my reformation story to maximize my chances of positive adjudication for clearance and suitability?
What questions will be asked in a CI polygraph? Will I be asked JUST about counterintelligence stuff and SF86 stuff, or will I be asked about relevant things not on the SF86, like academic dishonesty or drinking and driving without arrest?
Do you have any other comments/concerns?
Thank you very much for your time. I look forward to reading and responding to your comments.