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Don't Let Your Security Clearance Expire

Don't Let Your Security Clearance Expire

Christopher Michel | Military.com

August 18, 2008

Eventually, the time comes for many of us to evaluate the marketability of the skills, qualifications, and experiences we have gained through government service. We hope a prospective employer will appreciate our proven leadership abilities, sharp intellect, and valuable training – fortunately, many do. One of the most valuable, and perpetually underestimated, qualifications that many of us bring to the table is our active security clearances. Today, thousands of employers are in a desperate hunt for cleared individuals to support a myriad of government agencies and programs.

Qualified job seekers will find they have a tremendous leg up on non-cleared candidates and, almost certainly, will benefit from a salary premium. Unfortunately, many people let their security clearances lapse. An active clearance is a commodity that must be actively maintained and managed.

With the global war on terror in full bloom, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, significant increases in defense spending, and the growing intelligence community, there never has been a greater demand for employees to work on classified programs. This strong demand has put a significant strain on the Defense Security Service (DSS), the government agency responsible for conducting background checks for the Department of Defense and other agencies. In fact, a recent report on DSS indicated it had a backlog of more than 500,000 applicants. Unfortunately for government and civilian employers, it can take noncleared employees between six months and two years to receive a new clearance — an unacceptable time frame for many organizations that have significant contracts to deliver in the near term. In addition, the clearance process often is very expensive.

A government security clearance requires a periodic reinvestigation every 15 years for a “confidential” clearance, every 10 years for “secret,” and every 5 years for “top secret.” When a clearance is inactivated (because of switching jobs or leaving the military), it can be fairly easy to reinstate within the first 24 months, as long as that falls within the periodic reinvestigation window. After that, it becomes significantly more difficult. In other words, if your clearance is going to lapse, it is important for you to consider some options to reactivate it within the first two years.

How to Preserve Your Clearance

The easiest way to maintain security clearance is to take “cleared” positions with companies or government agencies. There certainly is no shortage of those opportunities today. A quick search among the nation’s top job boards finds thousands of open positions for individuals with active clearances. The USAJOBS government job board lists more than 1,000 types of positions requiring some type of clearance – from the intriguing “supervisory” intelligence officer position at the Defense Intelligence Agency to the slightly more mundane “staff auditor”. Utilizing GovCentral’s government job search might lead you to your next career.

There are specialty staffing companies that assist defense contractors and government agencies to fill temporary and full-time positions with cleared individuals. “We provide our employees the opportunity to work on tremendously important client projects. In addition to allowing flexible work schedules, we work actively to ensure our employees are able to maintain their security clearances,” said Bob Merkl, president of Secure IT Services, a staffing firm specializing in connecting cleared people with public- and private-sector opportunities. Companies seeking cleared candidates, he said, often pay a 5-20% salary premium.

Your active security clearance is one of the hottest tickets in town, don’t let it expire.


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    dianalovett

    about 1 month ago

    2 comments

    I received a "secret" clearance standing in 2007 while working as a contracted Program Manager for two military programs overseas. Where can I go or who can I contact to find out if my standing is still active? I am currently living near Ft. Gordon.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    OneBeanAG

    7 months ago

    2 comments

    I don't think I saw this question. I renewed my clearance a year before I got out (I'm still within the time frame) and was needed for a gov contract job I had started 3 weeks after getting out. My question is, the contract company I work for "contracted" the verification of my clearance, is there another way that "I" can renew without going through my employer?! This is a big intl company and doubt that anyone is renewing clearances? I value having my clearance! I've had since 1995 and really don't want to lose it.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    fawaz

    10 months ago

    4 comments

    we will submit our proposal to Royal Saudi Naval Forces ( RSNF ) and we are looking for a company provides Classified billets service for US citizens currently working at RSNF and for new comers for five years contract in what is called the industrial security program administered by the Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office (DISCO) . Would appreciate very much if reply ASAP. if you know or kindly provide list or name of provider would be much appreciated

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    fawaz

    10 months ago

    4 comments

    We are a company operating in Saudi Arabia and now preparing proposal to Saudi Naval Forces and one important requirements is Classified clearance service company from US , would appreciate very much if someone help and provide me details or address of any US security clearance services providers .

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    SPI6616

    about 1 year ago

    2 comments

    30 years ago I had been working for a military contactor manufacturing defense weaponry. Myself and my Boss and a couple of other employees had a sit down with some MIBs (men in black) they had asked many questions and we followed their protocol and nothing more happened,other than we had manufactured the products needed! Many years later and at least 3 different occasions at high security clearance places (Air force base, Honeywell etc.) they gave me walk around badge (with work to be done at those places)with very little concern for me but treated my companions like the plague. Did my once clearance for military manufacturing give me FOREVER clearance or di they just feel I wasn't a threat for security because of it?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    bp44470

    about 1 year ago

    2 comments

    In August 2005 I joined the US Navy as a IT. A month prior to leaving for bootcamp I was investigated by the FBI for a top secret clearance and was approved with it finally being official in April 2007 by my command.I was honorably discharged in August 2010, and was informed that I had 36 months after inactivity to remain eligible for reactivation. After a little bit of research, many sources state that there is only a 24 month period before it has officially expired. It has been 35 months since I have left active service, and 4 months since being
    discharged from the inactive reserve. Besides a couple of speeding tickets, I have a clean record. Im kicking myself for listening to the sources that told me im good for 36 months so is there any hope for my procrastination to not lose such a valuable asset?

  • Images__5__max50

    lanier3834

    over 1 year ago

    60 comments

    I did not know this wow!

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    timropdden

    almost 2 years ago

    2 comments

    When does my NACI expire? I received the clearance affective, 8-31-2011?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Thusain

    about 3 years ago

    2 comments

    I passed my poly and done with my background check..i got lay off and have only one week left . can any agency take over on my clearance? it may take couple more weeks or may be month. its been 1 year since process begin. please help me out or suggest me.Thanks.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    niceguy4904

    about 3 years ago

    2 comments

    I have a NACI Clearance. How do I know if it is still active? I got my NACI in July 2010.

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    kevinthoroughman

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    I have a security clearance that has been inactive 24 months this week. If I get hired by a company in a month that requires a clearance...is there a way to renew it or do I have to do a full investigation again?

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    SecurityFirst

    almost 4 years ago

    6 comments

    A Periodic Reinvestigation can be submitted at 4 years 6 months.

    Good Luck

    Security First & Assoc.
    Author: Everything you Need to know about the security clearance process, but are afraid to ask!
    www.securityfirstassocitates.com

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    SecurityFirst

    almost 4 years ago

    6 comments

    You have 2 years - 24months to reinstate your security clearance

    Security First & Associates
    Author: Everything you need to know about the security clearance process, but are afraid to ask.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    VitaHound

    almost 4 years ago

    8 comments

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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    BayArch

    about 4 years ago

    12 comments

    In fact,to say nothing more on this subject, but still would like to thank for sharing respects. Thanks architectural design services, interior design firms

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