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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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    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

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    scrice47

    about 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I am wondering if you can get your secret clearance back if it has lapsed for at least 10 years. If I am willing to go to all the hasle, who or what can I do to work towards this goal. I don't currently don't need one but some jobs require you to have your clearance within the first 30 days or they have to end your employment. I heard from a security office last year that it could take me 6 months or more because my secret clearance lapsed over 10 years ago and filed bankrupsy in the passed 2 years. Can you expand on this and give me any ideas?

    Shannon Rice

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    yeotjangsoo

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    How can I reinstate my top secret security clearance that has expired back in 1989 when I got discharged from the Army?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Sonya100k

    over 4 years ago

    12 comments

    It is time for a reward. I hope everyone is happy with the results now ;) Link building company

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 4 years ago

    I have a TS/SCI and the end of my 24 month period is June 30 2010. My original background investigation 5 year lapse period ends March 2011. Is it possible to still reactivate my clearance AFTER June 30 and BEFORE March 2011, without starting over with an all new investigation? Please help.

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    joseph76513

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I had I Secret clearance while in the Army but it was granted in 1995 and my curent job required a clearance under the Department of Education I am not sure if it was redone or updated. How can I I find out or what the status is now.

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    gvigil41

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    Does anyone know if i can go to a site to find out if my Secret Clearance is still active???

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    bkdindc

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    What are the employer requirements for temporarily holding the clearance of a consultant?
    Do you have to be registered with the DSS?

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    CrystalStar1978

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I currently hold a Secret clearance for the Navy. I separate next September, but my command wont renew it prior to me getting discharged. My clearance is good until 2012. The comand wont renew it for me. Would I be able to get it renewed at my next job?

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    charlie11c

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I am an ex-military (army) i hold top secret security clearance,and i heard that you can get it update within two years. my secret clearance most likely not active anymore because i have been out of active duty and joint the national guard, and i just recently got out from the national guard about 5 months. can you tell me more about my security clearance if it still active? if not what can i do or how can i get it active again? any information would be much appreciated. thanks in advance.

  • Dea_n_max50

    djtaz1200

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Anyone familiar with a TS/SCI clearance being "dual tracked?"
    What exactly does this mean and how long does it normally take?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    gerorc

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    If my security clearance has lapsed one year ago, can I get it updated on my own?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    drisskam

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    what is the standard procedure to get a Secret upgraded to Top Secret? and how long does it take?

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    supa

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Google the following title for accurate information: "RECIPROCITY OF PERSONNEL SECURITY CLEARANCE AND ACCESS DETERMINATIONS." Concerning TS/SCI, you are still good as long as your SSBI or PR is "in scope," meaning no older than 7 years. If your PR or SSBI is past the 5 year update but less than 7 years you still will have no problems getting access to classified info.

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    yngdiego

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    This information is for TS/SCI people. If you've held and active clearance less than 24 months ago, getting it re-instated is a quick an easy process when you find an employer that has a billet. If it has been more than 24 months, but your 5 year SSBI hasn't expired, then a 30-45 day re-adjudication process is needed. If you are between 5 and 7 years from your last SSBI, then its up to the command's discretion to have you re-adjudicated or start all over and wait a year or longer. Past 7 years since your SSBI date, and forget it....you are uncleared in the Gov't eyes and you must wait like everyone else.

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