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Why military members are losing their security clearances

A great article on the hazards of financial problems with military members appeared in the March 17, 2008 issue of the Montgomery, AL advertiser. In the article, written by Jenn Rowell, the author discussed a problem I saw personally as an Air Force squadron commander.

When a private individual has financial problems, it can lead to stress, emotional distress, and embarrassment. When a military member has serious financial problems, it can lead to a loss of their security clearance, which prevents many of them from performing the tasks that they were trained to do. Units have to prevent these members from having access to classified materials, which often means that they cannot even be in their unit’s building!

Military members who have their clearances suspended can appeal the ruling, and may have their clearance reinstated, but this is a long and painful experience, both for the member and his or her unit.

I personally experienced this on several occasions. In an often deployed combat unit, members were prevented from deploying without a clearance. This had a dramatic impact on the morale and welfare of my squadron.

Take a look at the Montgomery Advertiser to read the article.


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