We’ve covered the life of spy films and war flicks at ClearanceJobs. And while for the most part films should be considered entertainment and not educational, there are sometimes things that can be learned from paying close and careful attention to the plot twists that happen – particularly between multi-part books and series.

Someone recently asked about the real-life national security implications for everyone’s favorite junior analyst turned protector of the free world – Jack Ryan. Between The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games, Ryan transitioned from an analyst with the Intelligence Community to a professor at the U.S. Naval Academy. But then the CIA comes back calling – leaving some to wonder how plausible that CIA to DoD back to CIA crossover would actually be.

Security Clearance REciprocity/Clearance Crossover

Security clearance reciprocity is required by security clearance executive orders and federal rules, but just because agencies are required to accept clearances that are the same level doesn’t mean it’s as simple as that – especially for IC positions. Reciprocity has improved significantly into the DoD, with current reciprocity for clearances transitioning into the DoD taking an average of just 6 days. But that crossover generally doesn’t happen from DoD into the IC. And there are typically good reasons for that. The IC operates using its own security clearance system of record, and with suitability and security clearance requirements unique to its mission.

The good news for Ryan is that the government does have special Limited Access Authorizations and read-ins for individuals who may not yet be cleared within a specific agency but who have an urgent need to assist with a special government program. If the fate of the free world hangs in the balance, the U.S. government will be able to onboard the individuals it needs – without waiting for a 6+ month background investigation from the IC.

For the rest of us, however? Well, there’s always hope that Trusted Workforce 2.0 advancements will help make faster clearance crossovers a reality.

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at ClearanceJobs.com. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer