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Security: Be the solution, not the problem


Security is everyone’s responsibility. In fact, Department of Defense security regulations unequivocally require members to report questionable behavior they observe and/or commit. You are expected to report certain changes in your personal life, activities, and occurrences that may impact your security clearance eligibility. When in doubt report it to your security manager or commander!

Failure to report or conceal reportable information is a violation that compounds the original problem, and increases the risk of having a clearance suspended and/or revoked. Simply put, don’t be that person! Losing your security clearance isn’t worth the risk.

The same applies if you see someone else commit or is involved with unfavorable information ─ report it! Whether this person does it willingly, or by mistake. By doing nothing, you have now become an accomplice, and your career is in jeopardy.  

As a separate but related requirement, all DOD military, civilian, and contractor personnel, whether cleared or un-cleared, also have a responsibility to report counterintelligence indicators detailed in an extensive list in DOD Directive 5240.06, Counterintelligence Awareness and Reporting.

Most members do not meet reporting requirements because they don’t know what types of events must be reported and others think it’s unnecessary to report any unfavorable information until the next periodic reinvestigation for their clearance. Below are the 13 guidelines to report:

1. Allegiance to the United States: An individual must be of unquestioned allegiance to the United States.

2. Foreign Influence: Foreign contacts and interests may be a security concern if the individual has divided loyalties or foreign financial interests. (e.g., foreign travel, foreign family members, foreign cohabitant and/or foreign national you may have close or continued contact, or foreign bank accounts/investments).

3. Foreign Preference: An individual acts in such a way as to indicate a preference for a foreign country over the United States.

4. Sexual Behavior: Sexual behavior that involves a criminal offense, indicates a personality or emotional disorder, reflects lack of judgment or discretion.

5. Personal Conduct: Conduct involving questionable judgment, lack of candor, dishonesty, or unwillingness to comply with rules and regulations. (e.g., deliberate omission or falsification of security documents; providing false information to an employer, investigator, security official; unauthorized release of government protected information; inappropriate behavior in the workplace; a pattern of dishonesty or rule violations; engaging in any activity that is legal in a foreign country but illegal in the United States; or association with persons involved in criminal activity).

6. Financial Considerations: Failure or inability to live within one’s means, satisfy debts, and meet financial obligations.

7. Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption often leads to the exercise of questionable judgment or the failure to control impulses.

8. Drug Involvement: Use of an illegal drug or misuse of a prescription. (e.g., testing positive for illegal drugs, illegal drug possession, or possession of drug paraphernalia; any illegal drug use after being granted a security clearance).

9. Psychological Condition: Certain emotional, mental, and personality conditions can impair judgment, reliability, or trustworthiness. (Some conditions are exempt from reporting, please contact your security manager or commander). Please keep in mind that an individual’s decision to seek mental health treatment/counseling will not, in itself, adversely impact his/her ability to maintain a clearance.

10. Criminal Conduct: Criminal activity creates doubt about a person's judgment, reliability, and trustworthiness, regardless if charges were filed or conviction.

11. Handling Protected Information: Deliberate or negligent failure to comply with rules and regulations for protecting classified or other sensitive information raises doubt about an individual's trustworthiness, judgment, reliability, or willingness and ability to safeguard such information, and is a serious security concern.

12. Outside Activities: Involvement in certain types of outside employment or activities is of security concern if it poses a conflict of interest with an individual’s security responsibilities and could create an increased risk of unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

13. Misuse of Information Technologies: Noncompliance with rules, procedures or regulations pertaining to information technology systems may raise security concerns about an individual’s reliability and trustworthiness, calling into question the willingness or ability to properly protect sensitive systems, networks, and information. IT systems include all related computer hardware, software, firmware, and data used for the communication, transmission, processing, manipulation, storage, or protection of information.

When reviewing the reported information the CAF considers if the information was reported voluntarily, truthful and complete, resolved or likely to resolve and has demonstrated positive changes in behavior.

Please contact your security manager or commander to report continuous evaluation information.