Katie Keller and Jill Hamilton are back highlighting the national security news that’s been happening lately. It’s been a long week in this country, and here at ClearanceJobs, our secret squirrel even had his own campaign.

Week in Review – ClearedCast Style

News in the Intelligence Arena

While some things take center stage in elections, it’s important to notice when state laws change, which could lead to confusion for clearance holders. While the country voted on candidates, they also voted in DC. and Oregon to decriminalize psilocybin. We wrote a while ago about more states legalizing marijuana with election day, but this week we focused on what happens when magic mushrooms are legalized in specific places. It’s important to note these changes because while you may no longer need to worry about a criminal record due to psychedelic habits, when some of these things remain illegal at the federal law, it can impact your clearance process.

We also continue to see how Space Force is shaping up with new positions. The National Security Space Association recently called for reforms in space security policy, practices, and governance. The industry group is pushing for establishing reciprocity for access and security between DoD and the intelligence community. The paper suggested, “Legislation or executive-level agreements between the DoD and the IC should be put in place to facilitate the joint-use and co-use of facilities, SCI personnel accesses, secure networks, communications, and clearance adjudication decisions.” The NSSA is warning that smaller companies need to be involved in the space business in order for the government to have as much access as possible to new ideas, technology, capabilities, and applications.

Security Clearance World

While the security clearance world can sometimes feel like a mystery, it’s helpful when there are experts who have seen a lot in the field. They can dispel rumors and help clearance holders know where to be more cautious. Sean Bigley explained a large clearance term that clearance holders need to be aware of – derivative classification. At first glance, you may not think it applies to you, but every clearance holder needs to understand this concept – especially if you are in the business of compiling reports from multiple sources, you need to understand how your presentation is then classified. Bigley encourages clearance holders to pay attention when paraphrasing classified information at different levels or using images.

William Henderson explained another term that people may not be as familiar with – written interrogatories. He explained that with Interrogatories, you are verifying a portion of your Subject Interview. So, in order to make sure that an Interrogatory isn’t just a precursor to a SOR for you, it’s important to pay attention to your answers. Henderson states, “Receiving Interrogatories should be regarded just as seriously as receiving an SOR. If you do a good job responding to the Interrogatories, it could result in receiving a clearance and significantly shortening the adjudicative process. Alternatively, it could provide DOHA with additional evidence to strengthen the case against granting you a clearance.”

Career Advice

Steve Leonard looked at a key component of leadership this week, which is morale. We often talk about the value of company culture, but we neglect to look at how morale plays into that. Leonard states: “Morale also underpins the culture of an organization. A team with high morale will exude a winning attitude, and that kind of confidence breeds success. Take that away, and as confidence breaks down, so does the culture. An organization with low morale will eventually slip into a culture that engenders negativity and an attitude that fosters failure. Bad things happen when morale drops.” And then he talks about ways that leaders kill morale. Leonard emphasizes how easy it is to kill morale with his first two points: leaders who reward the wrong people or don’t enforce standards have a way of killing morale. This is important because leadership that kills morale doesn’t fit the narcissistic leader bill . These leaders are often people just trying to do their best, but they miss the whole picture and wind up doing more damage. Leonard ends with, “Ultimately, morale is one of a leader’s most important responsibilities, and the key to lasting success for any team.” The importance of this is that it means that whatever level of leadership we’re at, team morale has to be on our radar.

News to Look for This week

Keep your eyes open for our weekly recruiting articles, where we sum up who is hiring or opportunities to watch, as well as offer weekly recruiting tips. This month, we have a lot of great content coming your way highlighting our veterans in recruiting. And as always, look for clearance, leadership, and workplace knowledge bombs.

Make sure you subscribe to ClearedCast and be social with us on all our media channels. Have a security clearance career topic you’d like us to cover? Drop us a note in the comments, or you can send us any thoughts or questions at editor@clearancejobs.com.

Related News

Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.