How Military Clearance Can Affect Background Checks
When you are applying for a job, you are often required to go through a background check. This practice is a common request made by many employers that are going to employ individuals in high-security positions potentially. To obtain this position of trust, you must clear your background check, and many factors can help or inhibit this process. Many people that have been in the military have been granted what is called military clearance. This clearance allows them to view certain types of information that pertain to national security. There are three separate levels of security clearances available in the military, all of which can have a bearing on whether you pass or fail a background check. Let’s discuss the different levels of military clearance that a person may have, and how these clearances can affect background checks.
What Is A Background Check?
A background check is going to look at different aspects of a person’s life in several different areas. It is often assumed that employers are only going to look at your criminal record. They will look for certain violations such as convictions for misdemeanors and felonies. These checks will also include whether or not you had a DUI or DWI. A background check also looks into several other areas of your personal history. This will include credit checks, verification of certain licenses and credentials, bankruptcies, medical records, and references that you have provided of past employment. Employers will also look into a person’s military record which will provide them with limited information. This will include any awards that they have received, duties, salary, and the rank that they were before leaving the military. As they are searching through military information, this may also reveal your military security clearance level.
Overview Of Military Security Clearance Levels
There are three levels of security clearance that military personnel may achieve. This will include confidential, secret, and top secret clearance. Each one allows the person to have access to certain types of information. The confidential security level allows a person to gain access to information which could lead to national security problems if it were ever released. The secret clearance level pertains to information that could cause severe damage if it were ever revealed to the public. The highest level of security is top secret. This information could lead to grave damage to national security if it were disseminated, especially to those that could use this against the United States. These three levels of security clearance are used to determine what a person can see if they are part of government agencies such as the NSA, DOJ, the Department of Defense and many others.
How Can Military Clearance Levels Affect Background Checks?
If you are applying for a job that will require a military security clearance level, they must determine that you have achieved the proper level of clearance to be considered for the role. Employers prefer having people that have already achieved these clearance levels as it makes it easier for them to simply put them into the position that is available. For example, if you are applying for a defense-related job, they will state what security clearance level you should already have. If the job involves positions that involve working with nuclear energy, or if you would like to be a traffic controller for an airport, these are positions that often require this type of clearance. Those that do not have these clearance levels may not even be considered for these positions at all. Therefore, background checks that include looking at your military record can make it easier for employers to find the right people for positions in their organization.
What If You Do Not Have Proper Security Clearance?
If a person is applying for a job in the United States that requires a security clearance level, and they do not have proper clearance, it is something that is obtainable. However, you must be a US citizen, and it may take up to two years to receive the requested level of security clearance. Referring to the example of the defense jobs that are available, the Defense Security Service would have to proceed with their own background checks. All findings would be reviewed and evaluated, based upon 13 sets of criteria, after which the clearance would either be denied or granted.
This is why employers that offer jobs that require a military clearance level will have background checks done. It allows them to eliminate potential candidates that do not have any military clearance at all. This is why having some military clearance is beneficial, especially for those that are looking for jobs after their time in the military. In conclusion, a background check that will assess a person’s military clearance level can be either beneficial or detrimental to the applicant. From the perspective of the employer, it simply makes it easier to find the best people for the job that will already have the necessary level of military clearance.