Borough Market, London
Foreign Service update: On The Register!

Foreign Service update: Security Clearance issued!

 State_Department_Seal After 6 months and 7 days of waiting, I finally received my security clearance!

It was granted on Wednesday, Oct. 21. The next step is the Final Suitability Review Panel, where a panel of judges looks at my entire case file & background and decided whether I'll make a good Foreign Service Officer. This usually takes about a week to 10 days after all clearances (security and medical) have been granted.

Once I pass the Review panel, candidates get placed on the FS Register, where everyone gets ranked based on their score from the Oral Assessment. Then I just have to sit back and WAIT AGAIN until a seat opens for me to attend the Foreign Service Orientation Course (aka "A-100"), which is based in Arlington, Virginia.

I was in adjudication (3 months), longer than my actual background investigation (two months, 21 days).  Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) wouldn't/couldn't tell me why my case took so long, but I'm guessing it's related to my extensive overseas travel, work and life experience. I've lived in the UK since 2005 and have traveled to nearly 60 countries for business & pleasure, including some not-so-friendly countries like Iraq & Afghanistan. Most of my travel was related to my long journalism career, so this travel was all well-documented. My eQip (SF-86) was about 90 pages long with a dozen foreign contacts listed. Also my parents are naturalized US citizens.

Those three months in adjudication where, without a doubt, the longest three months of my entire life. To those of you who receive your clearance in just 2 or 3 months or never go into adjudication, you don't know how lucky you are. And to those with waits even longer than mine, I truly feel your pain and best of
luck. Hang in there, it WILL happen when you're least expecting!

My stats
11/4/08: FSOT
2/12: QEP
4/14: Passed FSOA. Score 5.40, Consular Track.
4/17: Security background investigation launched
5/1: Veterans preference bonus points added. New score = 5.575
5/5 & 5/7: Medical appointments at STATE MED. Class 1 clearance issued in-person on 5/7.
5/10: DSS in-person interview (three hours long)
5/16: Medical Clearance hardcopy arrives in mail
6/18: Security case manager requests a final piece of information.
7/17: Took Spanish phone test. Flunked (I know, can you believe that?).
7/17: Background security investigation completed
7/21: Adjudication process initiated

I hereby revoke my membership in the Limbo & Purgatory Club!