The ClearanceJobs podcast recently discussed some rules of engagement as you enter the holiday season. It’s a time to be merry and enjoy family, but sometimes holidays and family time are synonymous with over drinking, progressing the holiday season from something joyous to volatile.

One ClearanceJobsBlog subscriber experienced this “holiday” experience of over-drinking, high emotions, and some family drama a bit early before the holidays:

I have interim TS and going through the process to obtain full TS/SCI. Had full secret at my old company and new company is requiring TS/SCI. I was arrested tonight and charged with assault (striking and shoving) my own brother while on vacation. I did not strike him and only held him back while he was trying to hit me. His wife actually is the one who assaulted me. I did not press charges because we are family. I have a court date on the 29th. How will this affect the Top Secret (TS) process? Do I report this to my manager or to my facility security officer (FSO)? I cannot believe I am being falsely accused. He was drunk and I had no drinks. Please advise. Thanks.

Self-reporting to your FSO

Any arrest, no matter if charges were filed or other involvement with the legal system, need to be reported to your FSO. Being arrested means that you were taken into custody by law enforcement and being charged with a crime means that prosecutors formally allege you committed the crime.

In any case, this clearance holder should consider the adjudicative guidelines at large and report this incident instead of playing the ignorance card later. Failing to report the charge could lead to a security clearance revocation due to personal conduct issues. Another background investigator on the blog agrees: “You need to report the charge to your security people, probably your FSO, the first chance you get.”

Isolated incidents like these usually don’t result in a security clearance denial. Unless you have a background or pattern of getting into physical confrontations with your family on vacation (or with anyone for that matter), you likely don’t need to be concerned – but you may forfeit your security clearance for trying to conceal it.


Subscribe to the Security Clearance Careers Podcast for more security clearance holiday and horror stories.

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Much about the clearance process resembles the Pirate’s Code: “more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules.” This case-by-case system is meant to consider the whole person, increase process security, and allow the lowest-risk/highest-need candidates to complete the process. However, it also creates a  lot of questions for applicants. For this reason, we maintain – a forum where clearance seekers can ask the cleared community for advice on their specific security concerns. Ask CJ explores questions posed  on the ClearanceJobs Blog forum, emails received, and comments from this site.

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Katie Keller is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 8+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸