Don’t Jeopardize your Security Clearance Eligibility — Guideline J: Criminal Conduct

  • Published
  • By 301st Fighter Wing Information Protection Office

Criminal conduct for most usually is an individual action that produces an individual consequence, but for service members, criminal activity impacts the national security mission. Considering this, such activity could adversely affect your national security clearance eligibility — think about the continuous evaluation process.

What is Continuous Evaluation?

Continuous Evaluation (CE) is a personnel security investigative process to review the background of individuals who have been determined eligible for access to classified information or to hold a sensitive position. The CE proves searches numerous commercial and government databases, in addition to other information lawfully available to security professionals.

Adjudicative Guideline J

The adjudicative guideline in focus is Guideline J: Criminal Conduct. This guideline ensures that you exercise the ability to comply with laws, rules, and regulations. With that, there are certain conditions that may raise a security concern. Patterns of minor offenses, in any combination, cast doubt on an individual’s judgement, reliability, or trustworthiness. Next, evidence including credible allegation, an admission, or matters of official record are deemed security concerns regardless of whether the individual was formally charged, prosecuted, or convicted.


The best course of action regarding Guideline J is to simply abstain from engaging in such activity. The modern CE process differs from previous models by periodically pinging incidents and encounters from various databases, including but not limited to NCIC — the United States’ central database for tracking criminal records. If you have been involved with criminal activity it is paramount that you self-report to your commander, immediate supervisor, first sergeant or your security assistant. Self-reporting may prove an emphasis of reliability, trustworthiness, and the ability to protect classified and sensitive information. While self-reporting is not a guarantee you will keep you clearance, it does show an act of good faith to the adjudicators.


Please contact your Unit Security Assistant or the 301 FW Information Protection office for questions or concerns.