There are 13 adjudicative criteria used to determine eligibility to access classified information. Those criteria cover everything from sexual behavior to financial considerations. If you have an issue related to one of the adjudicative guidelines, that doesn’t mean your chance of obtaining a security clearance is sunk.

Adjudicators consider the ‘whole person‘ when making their determination. Decisions are based on national security and a ‘common sense’ judgment of a person’s trustworthiness. So, even if you have skeletons in your closet, don’t consider your clearance chances sunk. The government cares more about the person you are today than who you were in the past.

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Lindy Kyzer is the editor of She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.