Security clearance jobs are not available to anyone. Even people with the right skill set, education and experience to qualify for a specific job or position in the military might not be eligible for other reasons. Anyone with problems in their history could be denied security clearance positions or military enlistment.
Security clearance denials
When looking into a career that requires security clearance (and the same frequently holds true for seeking enlistment into a branch of the military), three of most common reasons people are denied are:
- A criminal conviction and judicial restraint: If you have been convicted of any type of serious crime, this could present a red flag for the people making the decision on your application. Especially serious crimes like felonies can make it nearly impossible to get approval. Judicial restraint is another potential problem for people on parole, probation or imprisonment.
- Financial problems: If you have a history of gambling addition, you’ve filed for bankruptcy or you have been foreclosed on, the military will look at these records and consider these issues a very serious impediment to your obtaining a security clearance position.
- Personal conduct: This is extremely common, as it is a category that can include myriad behaviors. From drug or alcohol dependence, to falsifying information on your application and problematic work history could all fall under the “personal conduct” category and result in a denial of your security clearance application.
There are numerous other reasons for security clearance denials, as well, but these are among the most common.
Why are the standard so high?
There are multiple reasons why the military denies people security clearance because of problems in their past. The primary reason is that these positions require people of “good moral character.” People who have a history of legal, financial or other problems, they present a higher risk of compromising our nation’s security or lowering morale. These are important reasons. For example, someone who has insurmountable financial debts and a history of gambling addiction could be vulnerable to manipulation from someone with a desire to harm the government. Being compromised in this way could be a great threat to national security.
If you think you are at risk of being denied a security clearance job or being denied enlistment due to problems on your permanent record, talk with an experienced military law attorney to discuss your options.