Q & A Session – Revoked Clearance


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I am a Former U.S. Navy Petty Officer Third Class. I applied and got accepted to Navy EOD School. During my Single Scope Background Investigation, I disclosed that I experimentally tried hallucinogenic mushrooms during my divorce. Divorce and drug use happened in 2008, well before EOD SSBI. I never failed a random urine analysis, nor continued use of the substance. No one knew about it until I revealed it to the investigator. Ultimately, the clearance I did have was revoked and I was denied a Top Secret Clearance. Since I couldn’t continue in training, and my enlistment was ending, I simply got out then. Honorable discharge, best re-enlistment code and no negative evaluation or marks

Can I apply for other federal positions, say Marshals or TSA? How can I find out if I will ever be able to obtain a clearance again? What can I do to be able to obtain a clearance again?


You are certainly free to apply. Your prior drug history will be weighed against your other life accomplishments to decide whether to hire you and/or grant a clearance. There is no clear cut answer to your question without applying for a job, being tentatively selected and then going through the security clearance adjudication process.


Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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