Security Clearance Careers Podcast
Navigating the Security Field as a Female Professional
The security field is ever changing. ClearanceJobs chatted with Amy Grossman, security manager at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory. Grossman has worked in the security field since 2005, and she shared more about her experiences in what can be a male-dominated profession, along with lessons learned and advice she gives to others considering starting or growing within a security field.
Popular Myths About Military Life: Fact or Fiction?
Your neighbor: “Do you suffer from PTSD?”“If I did, I probably wouldn’t tell you. Why would you even ask that?”This might be a common exchange between civilians and military service members. These myths about military life – and after the transition – are perpetuated by civilian assumptions. For this episode of ClearedCast, Steven Matthew Leonard and I do a deep dive into military myths.No matter which branch you’ve served in, no matter your military occupational specialty (MOS), and no matter how long you’ve served, American citizens might be prone to thinking every veteran has served our armed forces in the same capacity a character like a Rambo killing machine. Not every brigadier general is like Jack Ripper from Dr. Strangelove or Lt Dan from Forest Gump – and not all military service members are broken.We even get into some creepy ghost stories about Fort Leavenworth.
Changes Coming to the Security Clearance Application Process
The Office of Personnel Management released proposed changes to the standard forms used to process security clearance eligibility. The updated Personnel Vetting Questionnaire replaces the SF-86 and SF-85 forms, and provides an updated process consisting of a single form with different segments. Sections on drug use are clarified and mental health are sectioned out, creating what is hopefully a more clear and better to understand process for the average applicant. Security clearance attorney Sean Bigley and Lindy Kyzer with ClearanceJobs discuss the form, its changes, and what they mean (or don't mean) for clearance applicants.
How an Army Green Beret found his True North After Special Operations
Starting his career as an enlisted soldier at the age of 17, he understands the requirement to recruit great people and develop true leaders at organizations. Chris Schmitt, former Army Special Forces Green Beret and owner of Azimuth Consulting, joins the Security Clearance Careers Podcast to talk about his 30 years of service in the US Army and how the lessons learned from special operations in combat translated into him becoming an entrepreneur and running a successful (and non-traditional) leadership consulting organization.
Why Suitability is the Wild West of Federal Hiring
One of the more confusing aspects of seeking employment with the federal government is the vetting process. While many people are aware of the security clearance process, few realize that each agency also has its own suitability guidelines. Sean Bigley, security clearance attorney and Lindy Kyzer, ClearanceJobs discuss suitability and why it often seems like the wild, wild west of the federal government hiring process.
How Surveillance Balloons May Point to Cyber Espionage
The great spy balloon freakout: from January 28th to February 4th, 2023, a Chinese operated high altitude balloon was seen across North America, so entered North America through Alaska, went through Western Canada, was shot down on the East Coast. And we've had several other strange unidentified objects in US airspace. And I saw recently that Russia is also operating these spy balloons and they're being shot down over Ukraine with that conflict.While there currently isn't a connection between the balloon and cybersecurity concerns, intelligence experts believe it demonstrates how China is ramping up their espionage tools and gathering intelligence, which could potentially lead to cyber-attacks aimed at US critical infrastructure.Senior VP of Security, Michael McNerney, has an extensive background in threat intelligence and spent a lot of his career with these types of threats in mind.McNerney is a part of a ransomware task force, a working group of government and private industry leaders brought together by the White House.
Security Clearance Application Headed for an Upgrade
The Office of Personnel Management recently released a draft version of a new Personnel Vetting Questionnaire, the replacement for the SF-86, SF-85, and SF-85P. In a period of public comment, the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) offered its feedback on the upgrade to everyone's favorite security clearance application. Larry Hanauer, Vice President of Policy at INSA sat down with ClearanceJobs to discuss the form, why it's an improvement on the current process, and some of the small steps the government can take it to be even better.
Recruiting Myths that Service Members Believe
Some recruiters in the national security space also serve as active-duty military spouses or mentors, and being a part of the military family ecosystem can influence the way they recruit in a positive way, but also lend insight into some of the no-nos that happen in the cleared networking space – perhaps due to educational gaps that service members are unaware of when reaching out to recruiters; things that are just not taught in Transition Assistance Programs (SAP).Jessica Reynolds currently serves as a technical recruiter in the cleared space, but also supports the US Navy as a Command Ombudsman, transition consultant, and a mentor for our friends at Hiring our Heroes. With her experience as a military spouse and working with service members, we dive into some tips to help guide those transitioning and veterans that might be navigating the job seeking journey on this episode of ClearedCast.*This podcast is brought to you by the ClearanceJobs Careers Events team. If you’re in the DC/VA area or looking to relocate there, join us out our IN-PERSON networking event! Held on April 26th, from 1-3PM, at the Watermark Hotel! Learn more at by visiting our careers events page.
The Alcohol Made Me Do It
Lindy Kyzer with ClearanceJobs and security clearance attorney Sean Bigley discuss alcohol consumption issues and your security clearance. The question becomes - is alcohol use a mitigating factor in other negative behaviors that come up in the clearance process? Alcohol is frequently used as a 'justification' behind other issues that come up, such as domestic abuse, assault, or other poor judgment issues. Alcohol abuse is an adjudicative guideline that stands alone - if you abuse alcohol and don't get help, it can be a clearance issue. The good news is alcohol issues - like most issues - are very case specific.