If you’ve applied for a national security position you may be clamoring to get started on all of that exciting Top Secret work. But you may suddenly have second thoughts when your security officer delivers you an ‘eyes only’ package from the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) with information about your security clearance application made only for your eyes. These packets generally take dual factor authentication to the next level, with an initial package coming via your security officer and then a follow-on with the password from DCSA. While it sounds like your secret squirrel job has begun, the process is generally mundane, and is simply an interrogatory or request for more information to complete your background investigation.
The background investigation process can be somewhat intrusive. An ‘eyes only’ request for information directly to the applicant – whether a request is made via email or through official channels with a security officer – simply means the government is ensuring the applicant has a chance to directly respond to any issues him or herself. That doesn’t mean you can’t indicate the contents to your security officer (unless for some reason you were told not to), but it also means you don’t have to disclose the questions asked. Most commonly, the request is for more documentation about financial issues, foreign travel or relatives, or other information that wasn’t in the SF-86.
Many applicants wonder if an ‘eyes only’ package is a security clearance denial or Statement of Reasons. While it certainly could be, that information is generally given to the security officer for the company or agency and passed along to the applicant. Receiving an eyes only package shouldn’t be considered a preliminary step toward a denial or revocation. Plenty of individuals respond to the information request and are successfully granted their security clearance.