Bickering with your roommate? So long as things don’t cross the assault and battery line and the police aren’t called, your clearance isn’t in jeopardy. Fighting over who ate your ramen? You should be in the clear.

However, once legal authorities are involved and your argument is on the record – whether about noodles or something more serious – there are a few things you should do as a clearance holder to ensure your livelihood isn’t affected.

A subscriber to writes:

I am reaching out to get some advice on an incident that occurred the other day. My co-habitant and I got into an argument yesterday and she had claimed I pushed her which I did not. I explained this and made a statement to the officers but since she claimed assault, they said they had to arrest me. I was released with no bond and spent just a few hours at the jail before I was released. I have literally no criminal history, no prior domestic violence charges or convictions or anything. The first thing I did was self-report it to my FSO and sent them all documentation regarding my case. I plan to hire a lawyer prior to my actual court date. My co-habitant told the officer that she did not want to press any charges and didn’t really even want me to be arrested. I am beyond scared and on edge about what may happen to my TS as it’s literally me and my family’s job security, so a lot is riding on it. What can I do? Does anyone have any experience or possibly how the outcomes could present or if I am screwed? This is a first-time offence for me and again I am not at all violent or have ever hurt anyone. Please someone help or give me some advice. Thank you!! (Please no judgement just advice).


What can you do? So far, you have done everything correctly in self-reporting the incident to your Facility Security Officer. What comes next is more like playing with a magic 8-ball. One investigator on the blog advises, “Go to court, take the diversion program if offered and complete all requirements of the court., i.e., anger management classes, etc.”

With no criminal record or prior incidences of violence before, and the fact that this security clearance holder self-reported can work in his favor. His background / history does hold weight to an investigator reviewing the case, but all he can really do now is the hardest thing of all: just be patient. Depending on how complicated the differences in the stories are, it could be a long process. If his clearance is revoked, he could also submit an appeal to DOHA, proactively take anger management classes, collect personal references, and hope for the best.


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, ClearanceJobs maintains – 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! 🇺🇸