February: Security awareness month
The Air Force Central Adjudication Facility is the designated authority to make personnel security determinations that can result in an unfavorable administrative action.
A Statement of Reasons is a collection of unfavorable information discovered during a security clearance investigation. The CAF initiates an SOR when a member’s reliability or trustworthiness is questioned. Once an SOR is received, the corresponding memo will detail the specific reasons. The Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals can advise applicants of their right to respond with a written rebuttal, as well as their right to a hearing.
Applicants receiving an SOR often believe their ability to obtain or retain a security clearance is lost – that is not the case.
While an SOR is not good news, it’s important for members to respond to the statement of reasons or request a hearing. There are several important points to consider when responding to an SOR.
1. Mitigate, or investigate each fact in the SOR.
An SOR often contains several specific reasons for clearance denial or revocation. For example, if an individual has $50,000 in negative credit debt divided among several creditors, the SOR will list each delinquency – the response to the SOR should include mitigating factors for each issue, including any applicable receipts or documentation that support your response.
2. Understanding your rights
When responding to an SOR, ensure you fully understand your right to response or hearing. The SOR should include the general guideline along with directions and points of contact to aide in your response. Your unit security manager should be your main point of contact regarding issues with your security clearance.
3. Understanding the consequences
Members also have an option to decline an SOR; however, this could lead to serious repercussions such as permanent revocation of the security clearance. If your career field requires a clearance and it’s revoked due to an SOR, you may not be retained in that career field or in the Air Force. Furthermore, SORs can have an effect on personnel who desire to be considered for a future position as a civilian federal employee after completing their military careers.
For more information, contact the unit/group security manager or call 56th Fighter Wing Information Protection Office at 623-856-5981.